Community Group Kicks Off Year Of Kindness In NCW
Friday, February 17th was proclaimed Random Acts of Kindness Day in East Wenatchee and other cities including Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan and Moses Lake are joining what is planned as a year-long campaign.
Kindness Counts NCW is the group that has formed to kickstart the kindness movement with a website and social media to help gather and share acts and stories of kindness in North Central Washington throughout the whole year.
Dr. Gene Sharratt, Margie Kerr, former Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney are among the organizers but many more are involved in getting the website KindnessCountsNCW.com and social media pages on facebook and instagram up.
Sharratt, speaking Friday on KPQ's Agenda Program said the idea came from the polarization Wenatchee and many communities are experiencing. "We're starting to focus more on our differences than we are on what we have in common, and it's starting to divide our community, our state and our nation. Instead of focusing so much on our differences. Why don't we focus on what we have in common; kindness, thoughtfulness, civility, those are the things that we all have in common" Sharratt explained.
The campaign will encourage people to be kinder to one another. To make others aware of the acts of kindness in the community, the website will be a repository for stories of kindness they observed or may have been the recipient of. A Make Kindness The Norm calendar will be available with suggested daily random acts of kindness throughout 2023. Suggestions are as simple as bringing bagels to work for your co-workers or as personal as forgiving an old grudge. Submissions to the website will be featured in a weekly column in the Wenatchee World.
Sharratt likens the Kindness campaign to Make A Difference Day, only every day instead of the annual day of volunteerism held annually in October.
For those who think the campaign is a "pollyannish" approach to a divided political and cultural climate, Sharratt says being kind "leads us us to problem solving. When we can look forward to solutions and not say we're being separated apart. There are no answers. Indeed, there are many answers to our problems". Sharratt, who has worked for Disney as a motivational speaker believes kindness helps with mental and physical health. "It definitely helps people connect to the community. It helps us to be good role models for our young people. So I think kindness has no bounds and kindness is free. It's a smile. It's opening the door. It's saying good morning to somebody. Kindness has no cost, but the benefit to both the giver and the receiver are endless".
Kindness Counts NCW "Bee Kind" logo /credit: KindnessCountsNCW facebook