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82-year-old fills 21-storey building with acts of kindness

Margaret Spark hugs a neighbour. Margaret Spark hugs a neighbour.

When she heard the woman she’d seen around the building whistling in lobby, Jane Vatcher was curious.

“She’s always so positive and I’m not always positive,” Jane says. “I thought, she has a secret that I would like to know.”

So, when Margaret Spark stopped whistling and started inviting Jane to their condo building’s music room for a sing-a-long, she accepted.

“It was my first time there,” Jane smiles. “And we had a lovely time.”

So lovely, the neighbours became fast friends, and Jane started learning the secret behind Margaret’s perpetual positivity.

“You can choose to be happy or sad,” Margaret says. “And I’ve never been a ‘poor me’ type.”

But that was tested at an early age, when Margaret’s husband died unexpectedly, leaving her with three young daughters to raise, and night classes to attend so she could qualify for a better job to support them.

“A kindly neighbour looked after the girls in the evenings,” Margaret says. “So I could have all day to study and be home with the girls.”

Ever since, Margaret’s never forgotten to be a kindly neighbour too.

“I remember when people were kind to me,” Margaret says. “And I want to see that on others’ faces.”

Which is why — when Margaret’s not making scones from scratch and delivering them to neighbours up and down their building’s 21 floors, “just because” — she’s leaving thoughtful cards and gifts to surprise people on their doorsteps.

“Margaret always has a smile,” one neighbour says.

“When you see Margaret, it’s definitely an uplift of your spirit,” another neighbour smiles.

“She’s worth her weight in gold,” yet another proclaims.

Accompanied by a cheery soundtrack of whistling, Margret rides the up and down the elevator, en route to look after pets while their owners are away, check-in on neighbours who require round-the-clock health care, and give daily hugs to others who’ve recently lost loved one.

“She just creates a spark wherever she goes,” Jane smiles. “And she just lights up the world.”

And the “secret” to her enduring joy, Jane has learned and Margaret agrees, is simply focusing on being kind to others.

“Just get on with it and do it,” Margaret beams. “And you’ll feel so good afterwards.” Top Stories


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