PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — It's the little things. Moments of kindness and words of encouragement that Debbie McFarland says can have the greatest power.
"It can be something as simple as leaving quarters on a vending machine... leaving little notes at the grocery store," McFarland, who lives in Peachtree City, told 11Alive. "It sounds so insignificant... but I've seen big things happen from just the smallest sparks."
What started as a birthday mission several years ago to spread good deeds sparked a fire in Debbie, so much so she created a Facebook group dedicated not just to random acts of kindness but daily, deliberate ones.
"You never know when someone is hanging on to their last thread of hope and how we can make a difference with our words and actions," she said.
Such is the guidepost for Sparks of Kindness Facebook group, which McFarland said has now gained nearly 7,000 members across 40 countries.
The group is a source of ideas for kind deeds, or "sparks," as well as a way to connect and share inspiration.
Amid the pandemic and times of uncertainty, McFarland believes such moments are more vital than ever.
"Everyone we see is facing a struggle... but I think now it's much more evident," she said.
McFarland encourages those who are struggling to use it as motivation to do something for someone else.
"Even in my darkest days of grief or despair, the one thing that could get me out of that was to do something small like this for someone else," she said.
At the end of the day, no spark of kindness is too small for the group committed to helping others.
"A lot of people feel hopeless and like their fire is burned out but I promise you there is still a glowing ember inside," she said. "If you just light that fire, it will make you want to do more but it will also spread that fire to somebody else."
For locals who want to help in a more "hands-on" way, McFarland creating Sparking Georgia on Facebook for community initiatives.