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Jon Snead of The Agency: The value of unexpected kindness

As more and more COVID-19 social restrictions came into play, Jon Snead of The Agency Neutral Bay found himself increasingly preoccupied with ways he could help – not just as an agent but as a member of his community. Ultimately, he created ‘rescue packs’ comprising essential items for the vulnerable. Beautiful in its simplicity, it has gone viral as a result…

The Agency’s Jon Snead says he has always lived by the mantra, if you are able to help, you should. When he found himself working from home amidst increasing COVID-19 restrictions a couple of weeks ago that weighed heavily on his mind.

“It was one of those things,” he explains.

“I was mulling ideas around when working from home, thinking about ways to help people around me. At the time there was hoarding and all that palaver going on. I kept thinking the elderly and fragile in my community would be most affected because they couldn’t get to the shops.”

That’s when he had the idea to create rescue packs comprising the daily necessities like bread, milk, Vitamin C and the obligatory roll of toilet paper to assist.

First, he started with people he knew then his mission expanded by asking his contacts if they knew anyone else who might benefit from the offer.

“If I didn’t know them directly, I knocked on their door and stood back to explain what I was doing,” Jon explains.

“Some of the older residents even shed a couple of tears. They weren’t expecting kindness out of the blue.”

Soon Jon was receiving emails and texts from relatives touched by the generous offer.

“I got a lot of response from people and started wondering how I could extend it.”

He sourced a delivery truck, found himself local bread and milk suppliers and was set to commence a delivery run by the time further restrictions came into effect.

Jon turned to his database, his e-newsletter and then Facebook and LinkedIn to spread word of the offer, noting the recipient may well be fine but if they happened to know someone who could use assistance, he would be happy to drop the products at their address.

“The aim was to deliver bread and milk to those who needed it – whether that was mums and dads with a houseful of kids, people in isolation after returning from overseas, or the elderly.”

The move quickly went viral, with 10,000 views on LinkedIn receiving 300 replies – many of which were simply commending Jon for his generosity.

“People I haven’t spoken to for years got in touch as well as other agents asking to use my letter, and of course I had absolutely no problems with that.”

Jon also took the time to personally respond to each message with a phone call, noting, if nothing else, COVID-19 sees communities value the human connection more.

He reflects the move wasn’t designed as prospecting, but rather to offer warmth and a meaningful outcome.

“It was lovely to step sideways and really focus on people,” he says.

“The warmth I’ve got from doing it will change the way I operate.”

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