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Random Acts of Kindness Week

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Featured

Published on February 08, 2012 with No Comments

Remember when that friendly stranger offered to take the grocery cart back to the cart corral on that cold rainy day, allowing you to get into your car?

 How about the time you were running late and the person in front of you in line let you cut, shaving minutes off your wait and miraculously getting you to your meeting on time?

 Sometimes the smallest gestures can turn someone’s day around, generating exponential amounts of smiles and positive attitudes in the process.

 In essence, this is the driving force behind Random Acts of Kindness Week, a new, pleasant initiative being spearheaded by the city of Valparaiso. The special week runs from Feb. 13 through 17.

Random Acts of Kindness Week is an international event created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. According to its website, the foundation is “an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.”

Since the week’s inception, thousands of positively-conscious individuals from nearly 130 countries around the world have actively participated in doing something special for strangers, asking and expecting nothing in return.

Christine Hisick, Valparaiso’s neighborhood liaison and human resources assistant, said the city’s participation in this event was based on a communal desire to inspire more giving, more goodness and positivity.

 It’s her goal, as well as that of Mayor Jon Costas and all other parties involved, to inspire intentional acts of kindness fostering an environment of positivity and hopefully, allowing the entire population to benefit from not only receiving them, but also from giving.

“This is something that we wanted to do in our city to inspire more goodness and positivity and it was inspired by Random Acts of Kindness Foundation,” said Hisick.

Thus far, nearly 40 organizations, businesses and churches are planning to participate. This doesn’t include any number of private citizens also hoping to secretly make someone happy. It’s a pleasant initiative, one which embodies the virtue of kindness and encourages selfless giving. 

Hisick is asking everyone to get involved and, if possible, make the acts both random and secret. The purpose behind the secrecy is to influence people to give selflessly, with no intention of receiving anything in return.

 “This week isn’t about what people will get back from giving. We’re not searching for anything. We just want people to participate. We’re hoping to create positivity. If you want something you have to go out and create it. And we want more positivity in our city and this event, we hope, will do that,” said Hisick.

The ways to get involved are literally endless. Whether it’s holding the door for someone or a business handing out hot chocolate to its patrons, any small act will do.

 Neighborhoods can organize activities to encourage participation among neighbors. Help someone shovel a driveway, collect food or clothing to donate, or perhaps show some kindness to someone with whom you don’t get along.

Hisick is still looking for businesses, organizations, neighborhoods and individuals to participate.  Hisick is also urging citizens to share their inspiring stories of kindnesses given or received.  Contact Hisick by calling 219-462-1161 or by emailing her at chisick@valpo.us.

 For additional information on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, visit its website at www.randomactsofkindness.org.

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