Buy a cup of coffee for someone, congratulate a colleague on a job well done, hold the door open for a stranger or phone your grandparents.
These are small acts of kindness that the Victoria Foundation hopes people around the region will do as part of the city’s first Random Act of Kindness Day today (Friday, Nov. 6).
As part of event, the foundation distributed thousands of kindness cards to 50 locations, including local businesses, community spaces, grocery stores and recreation centres.
Each card has an act people can commit, including tipping your barista, giving up your seat on the bus for another passenger, comforting someone in need, planting a tree, volunteering, helping someone move, bringing treats for co-workers or thanking a police officer, firefighter or paramedic.
Random Act of Kindness Day started in Canada in 2008 by the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation. This year, more than 250 communities across the country, including Parksville/Qualicum, Nanaimo and Saturna Island on Vancouver Island, will also be promoting the day.
Rob Janus, director of communications with the Victoria Foundation, said the message is simple.
“It just make kindness a priority on Nov. 6 and if you just do that, the effects can be many and hopefully all good,” he said. “I think we have a very kind community overall.”
The foundation has had a lot of traction online so far, drumming up interest for the event with social media and with local businesses such as Island Savings.
Chris Waddell, community relations specialist at Island Savings, said the cards are being distributed by workers at branches. They have a similar year-round initiative called waves of kindness as well.
“We live in a beautiful part of the world here and kindness can go a long way. It can really be that spark to brighten someone’s day and hopefully have them pay it forward,” he said.
Janus said they hope the cards will continue to circulate after Nov. 6 as well.
“What we’ve heard from the Kitchener and Waterloo experience is that the cards actually end up getting recirculated in the community indefinitely,” he said.
“People take it upon themselves to say ‘I can use this again’ and they go out and they do something nice for someone. That’s kind of the nice legacy effect of the event.”