As a way to give back to the community and encourage others, Random Acts of Kindness Day has been a lasting legacy within the Niagara Region for the past eight years. On Nov. 2, the Niagara community exchanged random kind gestures, keeping the tradition alive.
The Niagara Community Foundation organizes the day in the Niagara Region. They claim the intention is that individuals and organizations will be inspired by seeing and reading about the kindness of others and, in turn, do a random act of kindness for someone else.
“We are upholding this annual tradition of celebrating kindness because we feel each and every one of us can use more kindness in our lives. We understand the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as being on the receiving end of kindness,” said JoAnne Krick, Community Initiatives Manager at the Niagara Community Foundation. “We know that small acts of kindness can literally change lives for the better. We believe kindness inspires kindness and is such a special way to build up our communities.”
Random Acts of Kindness day was initially created by the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. The Niagara Community Foundation joined the Random Acts of Kindness day initiative in 2010 along with other community foundations. This event is celebrated across North America.
Anyone can participate, including groups, workplaces, individuals and families. The Niagara Community Foundation encourages people to share this day with their communities and on social media to raise awareness for the event.
Some random acts of kindness took place in schools and community centres, and between friends and family. YMCA of Niagara, school boards, Meridian, Brock University, Niagara College and Centre de Sante are just some of the organizations that were involved this year.
Last year, the Niagara Regional Police Resource Officers recognized kindness within Niagara Regional high school by teaming up with the Niagara Catholic District School Board and the District School Board of Niagara. The committee for Random Acts of Kindness Day donated Niagara Ice Dogs and Niagara River Lions tickets to give out to members of the community or local schools.
Additionally, daycare students made artwork for retirement homes in Welland. Teachers in schools led kindness initiatives in classrooms and Brock and Niagara College faculty, staff and students joined the Snow Buddies program to rake leaves for seniors and the Niagara Community Foundation distributed flowers across Niagara.
Debbie Ogilvie is a Community Outreach Coordinator and currently works for the Niagara Catholic District School Board. This is the eighth year that the Niagara Catholic District School Board has participated in Random Acts of Kindness Day and continues to support local initiatives such as Canadian Blood Services blood drive and Organ donation awareness. Ogilvie claims that participating in this day is a great way to touch someone else’s life.
“Our Catholic faith calls us to be responsible citizens, and random acts of kindness take place across Niagara Catholic schools and sites every day but Random Acts of Kindness Day is a time where we really highlight the ways in which very small gestures can be incredibly impactful on the person who receives them,” said Ogilvie. “There are so many way to show kindness and Niagara Catholic staff, students and families do very well. Random acts of kindness are a wonderful way to touch the lives of another person and make the world a better place.”
All students in the region were encouraged to perform simple acts of kindness for someone in the community. The Niagara Catholic District School Board supported Socks for Change by collecting spare change that will be used to purchase wool socks to be distributed throughout Niagara.
For more information about Random Acts of Kindness day and for a list of 101 random acts of kindness go to niagaracommunityfoundation.org/community-collaboration/rak and cspolice.ca/random-acts-of-kindness.pdf