Friday, Nov. 13 marks this year’s World Kindness Day. This day is meant to remind people to choose kindness whenever possible, and in the end, make the world a happier place. Middle school students from the Bend-La Pine School District have taken the reins of leadership in the campaign to spread kindness to their community.
“Kindness is a wonderful and inclusive thing and we hope to see that grow in our community,” said Nikolette, an eighth-grader from Cascade Middle School. “I want to be part of this positivity, to live in a community that is filled with kindness and that has the courage to be kind.”
This message is echoed by Nikolette’s classmates, as well as other students across several schools who are all spearheading this year’s kindness campaign. Many local organizations are participating in the campaign, including the Bend Park and Recreation District, Central Oregon Community College, St. Charles Health System and Oregon State University-Cascades.
The city of Bend itself is taking part in the campaign, with Mayor Sally Russell speaking on the importance of spreading kindness in the community.
“A little gesture of kindness—warm words of support or gratitude—might just help others in our community who are having a tough day feel like someone cares,” Russell said. “As a caring community we can get through these unprecedented times together. We can show support for each other by making kindness a priority. A little kindness goes a long way.”
A little kindness does in fact go a long way, and that statement is backed up by the U.S. Department of Education, which claims that “students who learn in positive learning environments that are safe, supportive and engaging are more likely to improve academically, participate more fully in the classroom and develop skills that will help them be successful in school and in life.”
Organizers suggest that the next time you get the chance, celebrate this holiday by spreading some cheer. Consider bringing someone coffee in the morning, or maybe break the ice in an online meeting and help the new people feel comfortable and welcome. On Nov. 13 in particular, organizers are encouraging others to wear a cardigan to represent the kindness spread by the late Mr. Rogers.
However you choose to be kind, consider documenting the act and posting to social media accounts with #ChooseKindnessCO, so anyone who sees it might be encouraged to spread kindness in their own life, too.
Learn more about the Choose Kindness campaign here.