By MICHELE COLLINS
On February 17, performing Random Acts of Kindness is the mission of the day.
Random Acts of Kindness Day has sprung out of a movement which asks people of all ages, from students and those in senior center residences to make kindness a focus of their everyday life.
Random Acts of Kindness can be simple things, but simple things can make a huge impact. Think of simple things, such as buying the person behind you in line their morning cup of coffee, or, use that day to donate funds or supplies to your local animal shelter. Got extra clothing, furniture, or cookware? Goodwill Industries will accept your donations gratefully.
“Random Acts of Kindness connect you to your humanity, remind you how much love there is in the world, and inspire you to pay it forward,” says the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging and celebrating Random Acts of Kindness throughout the world.
Imagine a world where kindness was the norm?, they ask participants.
While February is the focus month to perform kind acts, kindness should be a year-round activity, according to a local organization. Values-in-Action Foundation, originally called Project Love, is a Mayfield-Ohio based organization that wants to help local students make their community the most kind and caring place in the nation.
Their goal is to make acts of kindness an everyday occurrence, not just on a day once a year. They ask participants to join their “Kindland” community, by sharing with family, friends, and neighbors that you stand for kindness and believe that we can live in a Kind-Land.”
They have even created a Kindland app, through which people can share acts of kindness, and, how those acts of kindness impacted their lives– on social media.
Stuart Muszynski and his wife Susan founded the Values in Action organization 30 years ago. And as of today they have taught almost two million students about the act of kindness.
“Since 2015, Be Kind® Stick Together® has trained over 1,700,000 students in 50 states, 73 Ohio counties, and 4 countries in over 4,350 schools,” shared Mr. Muszynski.
The free, character education program offered to schools and youth organizations by Values-in-Action (VIA) and Duck Tape® in an effort to provide a fun and different way to explore the important social-emotional learning concepts of kindness and sticking together to increase kindness, combat bullying, and decrease negative behaviors,” he added.
Kindness, you see, is not only impactful, it is contagious.
By performing acts of kindness, it opens students up to the idea of what they can do, how their actions can impact others. Then the receivers of the kind acts, decide to provide that same feeling to someone else.
New this year, Values in Action is sponsoring The Kindness Games, a competition for students in grades K-12 to do and report acts of kindness within their communities, with the chance to win great prizes.
“The idea behind the games is to document kindness acts that are already going on in our community,” said Mr. Muszynski. “And then we will encourage more kindness within that community by sharing those acts, inspiring others to do the same.”
He said that as an example, the winning Kindness Games high school will receive a free prom.
Younger students can receive prizes for their schools, and special events to celebrate their achievement.
The Kindness Games will make being kind not only impactful on the receiver of the kindness, but a celebration for the Kindness Games participants.
How can others in the community become part of the Kindland movement?
It’s as simple as visiting https://www.viafdn.org/kindland and signing the pledge.
“By signing this pledge, I commit to spreading kindness throughout my community, both online and in person. I vow to be an active member of Kindland by recognizing and sharing acts of kindness in an effort to inspire others to do the same.”
And perhaps on Feb. 17, look at those around you, and see what “random act of kindness” you might do for that person or persons – anything that would simply make their day brighter, which will in turn inspire that person to do it for someone else.