Fri­day is that Kind of day, so we’re asked to act ac­cord­ingly

Wool­wich of­fi­cials on board with Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness Day, launched by KWCF

The Woolwich Observer - - LIVING HERE - FAISAL ALI

A LIT­TLE KIND­NESS GOES a long way. That’s true ev­ery day, but es­pe­cially so to­mor­row: Fri­day is of­fi­cially Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness Day.

Held an­nu­ally, the event calls on peo­ple to sim­ply take a mo­ment and do some­thing con­vivial for their fel­lows.

Liv­ing up to the spirit of the day, Wool­wich Mayor Sandy Shantz was with town­ship staff at last Sun­day’s Elmira Su­gar Kings game, hand­ing out ap­ples in an ef­fort to spread the kind­ness and spread the word. With her were chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer David Bren­ne­man, and Rae Ann Bau­man of the build­ing depart­ment, who is or­ga­niz­ing the town­ship’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the day.

“Be­ing kind to peo­ple is easy,” said Bau­man. “It’s not some­thing that has to be thought or pushed, it should be sec­ond na­ture. This day kind of hon­ours kind­ness in peo­ple, not only ran­domly, but if peo­ple can take time to be kind, you’ll get more out of life be­ing nice to peo­ple than you will be­ing mean to them.”

The kind act could be some­thing as clas­si­cally po­lite man­nered as holding the door open for some­one, tak­ing the ex­tra time to show some­one ap­pre­ci­a­tion, or donat­ing blood. Bau­man notes that while the town­ship is pro­mot­ing the day, it’s up to peo­ple to get in­volved

While Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness day has grown into a na­tion-wide event, the day was ac­tu­ally started right here in Water­loo Re­gion by a vol­un­teer at the KW Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, Debb Ritchie. Ritchie ap­proached KWCF with her idea ten years ago, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion was keen to sup­port it.

“In our first year we had ten vol­un­teers that went out and did kind acts in the com­mu­nity,” said Bethan Llewellyn, the group’s di­rec­tor of foun­da­tion ser­vices. “And now we’re up to over 25 dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions that are par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cally and en­cour­ag­ing their staff, and par­tic­i­pat­ing widely through­out the re­gion.”

When the move­ment be­came too large for Ritchie to han­dle her­self, she passed the reigns over to the foun­da­tion to man­age.

“In ad­di­tion to the move­ment grow­ing here lo­cally, it has spread across the coun­try, and will be cel­e­brated in over 250 com­mu­ni­ties,” said Llewellyn. The lo­cal foun­da­tion is part of a net­work of 191 com­mu­nity foun­da­tions in Canada, and many have joined in the Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness day them­selves.

“It’s been picked up from coast to coast to coast,” she noted. “So Ran­dom Act of Kind­ness Day is now cel­e­brated in com­mu­ni­ties from Fred­er­ic­ton all the way right out to Vic­to­ria and the com­mu­nity foun­da­tions out there in B.C. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to have seen this grow over the last ten years.”

In the town­ship, as else­where, the scope of the event is re­ally sup­posed to ex­tend be­yond the ac­tual day it­self, and is more about com­mu­nity and be­long­ing, said Bren­ne­man.

“Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness might be one day a year, but it’s about hav­ing that feel­ing and hav­ing that at­ti­tude and hav­ing cul­tural type spirit through­out the en­tire year,” said Bren­ne­man, who was the chair of the KW Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion for the

pre­vi­ous four years.

“Just get out and ex­pe­ri­ence it,” rec­om­mends Llewellyn. “I know that peo­ple think you should be kind ev­ery day, but slow­ing down and tak­ing a mo­ment and think­ing about oth­ers, es­pe­cially on Ran­dom Act of Kind­ness Day can be a very re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The KW Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion has been in­volved in the town­ship for a num­ber of years through the Wool­wich Com­mu­nity Fund. The fund has been ac­tive since 2000, and in the past has pro­vided grants to­wards projects for the town­ship’s li­braries, schools and play­grounds. As of De­cem­ber 2016, the Wool­wich Com­mu­nity Fund was val­ued at $300,000.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

Wool­wich Mayor Sandy Shantz (left) was at the Su­gar Kings game Sun­day to pro­mote Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness Day. Lend­ing a hand was Rae Ann Bau­man of the town­ship build­ing depart­ment and her two sons, Quinn and Hunter Bau­man.

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