Random acts brighten region

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Last Friday, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation held its annual Random Act of Kindness Day in the region.

Related to the international Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, Random Act of Kindness days aim to encourage community members to do small, courteous things for one another.

“Random Act of Kindness Day started back in 2008,” said Bethan Llewellyn, director of executive services at The KWCF. “It all started when a volunteer at the foundation experienced her own act of kindness in Waterloo, and she had one of those light bulb moments thinking this is amazing and wanted the whole community to feel the way she did.”

Random Act of Kindness Day not only advocates that citizens take individual action and share their own acts of kindness, but also brings events around the region. This year there were events at the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College, Conestoga Mall and another event coordinated by the City of Waterloo. The Conestoga Mall event was the main kick-off of the day and hosted many local leaders, including Waterloo Regional Police Chief, Bryan Larkin.

“The UW event was very successful,” said Llewellyn. “They had a whole bunch of folks that took part on campus.”

However, Random Act of Kindness Day truly remains an event that relies on individual generosity. Community members were encouraged to do small things such as buy a stranger a coffee or hold a door for someone to collectively make the region a nicer place.

“It’s really been grassroots. It’s really up to the community to grab hold of this special day and really make it their own,” said Llewellyn.

The KWCF also kicked-off an online “RAKnom” campaign, where people are supposed to make a video of themselves performing acts of kindness and then nominate a friend to do so.

The foundation has also started to post stories sent to them describing their experiences with random acts of kindness. The stories, which can be found on the Random Act of Kindness Facebook page, depict various acts of kindness.

One story was sent by a couple that came across a hard-working waitress at a restaurant, who mentioned working two jobs to put herself through night-school. The couple mentioned that on their total bill of $20, they left a $100 dollar tip and ended the story with, “what a great feeling.”

“One of the biggest take-aways we hear from folks is that it’s amazing for them to experience making someone else’s day,” said Llewellyn.

Members of the Waterloo community can get involved in next year’s Random Act of Kindness Day by volunteering with The KWCF, or any of the other organizations putting on events.

However, The KWCF also emphasized that random acts of kindness can be done any day.

“It isn’t really all about one day,” said Llewellyn.

“We have a celebration and we call it Random Act of Kindness Day, but really what we want is for the community to step up and be nice to one another and do kind acts throughout the year.”

 

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