World Kindness Day more relevant this year in a world torn by COVID-19

·3 min read

World Kindness Day was on Nov. 13 and with COVID-19 still hammering a beleaguered world, it is an international observance that is now more relevant than ever to remind people to be kind to one another, despite the hardships and restrictions imposed by the pandemic. It has been celebrated in dozens of countries including Canada since 1998, and was initially introduced by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs. Baseball for Dad’s Louri-Ann Snider commemorated the day with her family, having a family dinner, with a social media contest and draw and a nod to the Kindness Moose, a local program that encourages kids to exhibit kindness to their peers.

Brooke Jones is the vice president of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in Denver, Colorado, a small non-profit that invests their resources into making kindness the norm, and are rooted in the belief that all people can connect through kindness and that it can be taught.

“We love that there is a day devoted to celebrating kindness and helping remind people that kindness is a powerful tool to help create a better world. At The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation we are hoping that people will begin to tune in to all the good happening around them and find opportunities to share kindness and receive it,” she says.

Louri Ann Snider, whose charity Baseball for Dad was created in honour of her son Mark to fight against the stigma of mental illness, agrees with that sentiment, and celebrated World Kindness Day the evening of Nov. 13 with her family.

“I think of World Kindness Day as a day of celebration for a year of being kind and creating change from kindness. As well as a reminder of how being kind can truly change the world,” she says.

Snider and her family had a meal of pizza, Caesar salad and popcorn, some of Mark’s favourite foods, to commemorate the day.

“At dark, we will be lighting up the Beary Christmas light display, inspired by Mark’s love of the holidays, and doing a sneak peak video. We will share that video on social media asking people to share. We would like to get it shared so everyone can come and enjoy the light display this holiday season. At 10 p.m. we will do a couple of kindness draws for everyone who shared our video,” she says.

The winners of the draws will get one of either a birth stat elephant by Cozy Cub creations, or a Moosing Around Party Rental of their choice for up to 25 people.

The Kindness Moose is a program that kicked off in local schools back on June 24, Mark’s birthday. It asks kids what does kindness look like, and suggests ways to exhibit kindness to their fellow students. Every month through the school year, the Kindness Moose (a stuffed moose-teddy bear) is presented to a kid who shows the Kindness Moose qualities.

“After our celebration dinner, the grandchildren will be working on Christmas cards for seniors and the adults will be working on the Kindness Moose, as they are now in 11 schools.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times