Kin Club spreads kindness in Neepawa

Today is Kin Kindness Day, an opportunity to spread joy in local communities and celebrate Kin Canada’s 103rd birthday.

Across the country, Kin Club members are going undercover as “Kinjas” (kindness ninjas), surprising people with small acts of kindness and gifts, from cards to cookies.

In Neepawa, close to 30 Kinjas have been on missions of kindness all week.

“All throughout the week, they’ll just do a little random act of kindness to the organization or to the person who has been nominated to receive a random act of kindness,” said Amanda Naughton-Gale, vice-president of Kin Canada. “It’s a great way to just give a little bit of hope to somebody at this time of year.”

The Kin Club of Neepawa’s Facebook page has been filling up with photos of the beneficiaries, from staff at Hazel M. Kellington Elementary School, the Neepawa Public Library, local emergency service providers, an animal rescue organization and more.

Ashlie Gonzales, a receptionist at the Town of Neepawa’s office, said she was surprised by the gift bags and treats that an anonymous Kinja dropped off at her office.

“I was not expecting that [people] were appreciating what we’re doing here,” she said. “We’re so happy.”

Her colleague Debbie Stemkoski agreed, saying the gifts gave her a positive feeling. They were also a nice change from some of the phone calls she’s received from local residents irritated about construction areas and other common occurrences.

“It’s not always nice when we get a phone call,” Stemkoski said. “When we get a nice phone call, we enjoy that, instead of bad phone calls … like if the road is shut down for three days, it’s not our fault. It had to be.”

Kin Canada was founded in 1920 by Hal Rogers in Hamilton, Ont. The service organization is made up of member volunteers who host and sponsor events and community service projects throughout the country. Since its founding, Kin Canada has contributed more than $1 billion to Canadian communities and disaster relief programs outside the country.

Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun