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Maryland SPCA’s Kindness for Paws Art Show

On Sunday Maryland SPCA held it’s 5th annual Kindness for Paws Art Show and Sale at White Marsh Mall.

The Name-Your-Own-Price art sale featured more than 1,700 pieces of student artwork from 17 local elementary and middle schools. The inspiration for all of the artwork were pets that were cared for at the Maryland SPCA before they were placed into loving homes. The art includes various styles including paint, colored pencils, statues and paper plate puppets.

The event has grown tremendously over the years beginning with Molly Schappel, an art teacher at Perry Hall Middle School who reached out to the shelter about having her 7th-grade students do a service project for the shelter to raise awareness about all of the dogs and cats that are in area shelters.

“Fundraisers like this means a lot.” Said Katie Flory, Director of Public Affairs and the Humane Education Director for the MD SPCA. “We get no funding from the ASPCA or the government. We rely solely on donations, so every dollar we raise is going to helping animals in our care.”

Over the years Kindness to Paws has raised more than $5,000 for the homeless and hurting pets at the MD SPCA. Events like Kindness have help approximately 15,000 pets each year.

 

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Woodlawn Elementary students spreading kindness

So what can you do with a box of rocks?

At Woodland Elementary School, the answer is simple: Spread colorful thoughts of kindness throughout Mansfield this week.

The project is part of a Kindness Week concept developed three years ago by guidance counselor Taryn Nall after she heard a teacher remark that she wished students would be nicer to one another.

“Students were excited to paint and decorate the rocks with messages such as ‘Be kind,’ ‘You are special’ and ‘Take time to smile,’” Nall said. “Teachers will spread them around Mansfield. Our hope is that people will pick them up, enjoy them, then leave them somewhere else for others.”

The rocks, provided by Stone Creations, have “Woodland 2018” painted on the back.

Woodland’s Kindness Week, which coincides with National Random Acts of Kindness Week, began Monday morning with an assembly in the gym where teachers wore bright pink T-shirts with “Kindness” printed in black across the front.

“What can you do to be kind to others?” Principal Kim Johnson asked the 200 kindergarten through third-grade students seated cross-legged on the gym floor.

Dozens of hands shot up.

“Say kind words,” said one girl.

“Like what?” Johnson asked.

“Do you want to play with me?” answered a boy.

“Wonderful!” Johnson said.

Whenever a teacher or staff member notices a student showing kindness this week, that child’s name will be posted on the school’s Kindness Wall. The same is true at Prospect Elementary, where Nall also serves as counselor.

Woodland has a Kindness Week theme each day this week:

  •  Monday, Give Someone a Compliment Day: Say something nice to someone.
  •  Tuesday, Make A New Friend Day: Talk to someone you don’t know well.
  • Wednesday, Food Service Appreciation Day: Keep the cafeteria clean and tell the cafeteria staff thank you.
  • Thursday, Custodian Appreciation Day: Help keep the school clean and tell Miss Erin and Miss Abbey thank you.

There is no school on Friday.

 

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It’s cool to be kind

AMID the political spats and celebrity feuds, an occasional story pops up to show the more compassionate side of human nature.

From the well-wisher who pays a stranger’s overdue parking ticket, to the charity drives dedicated to a poor soul who has fallen on hard times, these are the tales that show how if you put enough random acts of kindness together you can change the world.

Though celebrating the kindness of strangers is nothing new, there is a now a movement dedicated to each of us performing a good deed.

Today, as Random Acts of Kindness Week begins, participants are encouraged “to leave the world better than they found it” through small, spontaneous gestures of goodwill to others.

A global movement originating in the United States, the drive is also followed by a specially-designated World Kindness Day later in the year which aims to “celebrate and promote kindness in all its forms”.

According to “kindness czar” Dr David Hamilton, from Dunblane, kindness is something people are beginning to take more seriously and integrate more in their lives.

“It’s definitely improving, it’s getting really cool these days,” he said. “And I’m warmed by the fact that it is becoming more cool, in the sense that people are taking being kind more seriously, almost as an antidote to some of the worse conditions in the world.

“We find when we go more out of our way to help people out, we bring more glue and cohesion to families, to streets, to socials groups. That’s how I see it on the ground level and it’s beginning to work up momentum.”

Some anonymous acts of kindness have really touched the heart of the nation. There was the shopper in Liverpool who shared the story of finding £5 tucked inside a book in his local Waterstones.

Attached was a note which read: “Enjoy a cuppa on me or pass it along to give another a smile to someone else.”

Acts like these are particularly important, says Hamilton, “because when you get your ego out of the way, you know you’re just doing it because it’s the right thing to do”.

There is also a raft of research which shows how kindness can help the heart, the brain and the immune system.

Hamilton, who has a background in the pharmaceutical industry for cardiovascular drug development, has written nine books, two of which concentrate on the health benefits of kindness.

He added: “When you feel things like love and warmth, this generates Oxycontin, a cardiovascular hormone which plays an enormous role in keeping your heart healthy. The main thing is that kindness makes you happier. It’s an antidote to mild to moderate depression as it seems to boost happiness and has a protective effect.

“Just about everyone knows that you feel better when you help someone, but it’s nice that there’s so much scientific evidence that support this. It validates people’s own feelings and experiences when they see all these different ways scientists have studied this and conclusively rubber-stamped this. And I find that it encourages people to do more of it.”

 

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Norwich church encourages random acts of kindness

A Norwich church is encouraging its members to spread goodwill – and some chocolate – during Lent with random acts of kindness as part of its 1000 Hours project.

Gateway Vineyard Church in Newmarket Road, Norwich, is taking part in the goodwill drive throughout the 40 days leading up to Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 14.

The project, which originated in the Causeway Coast Vineyard in Ireland, was created to help make a difference in their local community.

Hannah Deal, Gateway Vineyard’s Church pastor, said: “We are asking our church members to think about doing simple acts such as baking a cake for a neighbor, giving your postman a bar of chocolate, or cooking a meal for someone in need.”

The church has plans to run a baby cafe in Thorpe St Andrew, organize and run family activities and kids club in Trowse, and to go litter picking at schools, beaches and a hospital.

Mrs Deal added: “There are all kinds of ways in which people can show kindness towards others and we hope that through them we will see positive changes in our community.

“We believe that simple acts of kindness will send ripples across our city and county. I cannot wait to begin and I hope that in big ways and small we will be able to show God’s love and kindness to people.”

 

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Kindness rocks with Rock German students

During a walk around her neighborhood, Slippery Rock High School German teacher Megan Kramer would find painted rocks occasionally. After searching online, she discovered the Kindness Rocks Project and thought it could fit in nicely with foreign language instruction. And so, #SRDeutschRocks, or “Celebrating kindness across cultures,” began.

“My idea was to incorporate the idea into my lessons in order to not only teach German, but to also foster a culture of kindness in my classroom and beyond,” said Kramer, who teaches students in grades 9-12 in German I, II, III, IV and advanced placement. Her plan was to incorporate the idea into all of her lessons.

The students spent class time investigating the Kindness Rocks projects via websites and videos. They then used an instructional technique called “Think, Pair, Share” to brainstorm German words and phrases that the students knew. Phrases that were both kind and encouraging were emphasized by Kramer and the students spent time translating the phrases that they wanted to use into German. A list of acceptable words and sayings from the student collaboration groups were used.

“Whatever I teach, the main objective is to have students use German as authentic language,” Kramer said, noting the project let the students discover how they could turn some of their common English slang into German phrases that they could paint onto the rocks. “It really doesn’t get much more authentic,” she said.

The students also had to learn a grammatical objective to be able to form commands such as “Sei ein Held” (Be a Hero), “Hab Mut (Have Courage), or “Gib nie auf” (Never give up). For the students in German I and II this was a new concept. It served as a valuable review and reinforcement for the upper levels.

The added objective of promoting kindness in the school or, Kramer puts it, “fostering a culture of kindness” within the SRHS community enhanced the lesson. Kramer acknowledged that this particular objective is difficult to measure but hopes to see the results over time through student-to-student interaction.

Katie Griffith, a student in one of the German classes, had a positive reaction to the project.

“The #SRDeutschRocks program has been a lot of fun to be a part of,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the response the public has to the rocks and the way in which they spread both kindness and a love for the German language.”

The kindness rocks will now be placed at various points throughout the Slippery Rock Area School District community. Residents might find rocks in Slippery Rock, Portersville, Harrisville, Prospect, Butler and points beyond Butler County, as well. Anyone who finds a rock is encouraged to snap a picture of it, email it to SRDeutschRocks@gmail.com and then re-hide the rock. Kramer will add the pictures to the Instagram site, “SRDeutschRocks.”

Alternatively, people can snap a picture and upload it to their Instagram sites and add the hashtag #SRDeutschRocks. A label on the back of the rocks instructs those who are lucky enough to find one. Kramer’s Instagram site will translate the phrases painted on the rocks.

There are already rocks in Oklahoma. Kindness Rocks will also be placed in Germany and Switzerland this summer when Kramer visits both places. “We want to get the whole community involved in the project, not just the German students and not even just the high school students,” she said.

 

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Emma Doherty completes ’30 random acts of kindness before 30′ across Devon

Leaving a gift on a homeless persons’ bed, delivering doughnuts to firefighters and donating money to children in hospital were just some of the random acts of kindness completed by a North Devon woman.

In 2017 Emma Doherty decided to embark on a mission to complete 30 random acts of kindness before she reached her 30th birthday in January 2018.

Emma lives in Langtree with her husband Andrew and children Lucas, 9, and Lillyanna 6. She set up her own business after training as a massage therapist.

She specialise in massage for the elderly and those with dementia at nursing and residential homes throughout North Devon. She said: “I absolutely love my job it’s so rewarding and it’s amazing to be able to bring a little happiness to someone’s day.”

Emma has worked in the care industry since she left school and prior to becoming her own boss she worked as an emergency support manager for the NHS and for the last six years as a senior carer in a residential home.

In April 2017 Emma wanted to give something back to the community and she set herself the task of completing 30 good deeds before her milestone birthday.

Emma said: “I really like helping people and thought it would be a good way of giving something back for my 30th.

“I set up a Facebook page called 30 random acts of kindness before I’m 30 so that people could write if they found them.

“Some people did which was really rewarding and I updated the Facebook page each time I did a random act.”

 

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Record-Herald receives Act of Kindness

A large crockpot full of hot chili con carne on a cold winter day. Altrusa’s Communications Committee decided there could be no more suitable recipient for the committee’s “Random Act of Kindness” than the Record-Herald, which helps inform the community of this Washington C.H.

service organization’s many local projects. Debra Corbell-Grover, chair of the committee, prepared the main attraction for the newspaper employees’ Friday lunch.

 

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Vancouver Companies Join Forces to Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week

Random Acts of Kindness Week has been an annual opportunity to remind Canadians that kindness makes the world a better place, and that it spreads easily.

For the second year MLA Canada is celebrating Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week in a big way by performing daily activities within their communities.

This year, MLA Canada has partnered with likeminded local businesses such as Microsoft Vancouver, RYU Athletic Apparel, Daily Hive, Colony Digital, Noravera Visuals and media personality Kaitlyn Bristowe to celebrate the week.

Together they produced a video encouraging Vancouverites to participate in just one act of kindness to perpetuate the movement and make a difference in the world.

The video features employees from all six businesses and former Bachelorette and influencer Kaitlyn Bristowe sharing how a random act of kindness can make a world of difference.

Since inception, RAK estimates that millions of people have participated in the week-long celebration. The local companies hope to plant the seed within their offices and spread the kindness through Vancouver and beyond.

“Kindness spans across all industries, generations and cultures,” said Shayna Macquisten, Chief Operating Officer of the real estate sales and marketing company. “We’re thrilled to partner with a group of incredible organizations in the city who share the values we have at MLA Canada around kindness and the desire to pay it forward.”

The video urges viewers and other companies to take action and post their random act of kindness using the hashtag #Just1Act. The goal behind posting stories of kindness is to fill social feeds with good news, spreading the kindness and movement.

“This thoughtful initiative is a reminder that kindness can be just one act, whether simple or grand, and the gesture can take a small amount of time out of their day,” said Karen Randhawa, Community Manager for Microsoft Vancouver. Our hope is the video starts the discussion and inspires others to pass on the kindness in their day.”

“RYU stands for respect your universe. We have always encouraged all of our staff to try and perform one small gesture a day to bring a little extra respect to the world. We can think of no better initiative than #Just1Act to partner with and be alongside other great companies in trying to make a positive difference in our communities,” adds Alex Briglio, Vice President of Marketing for RYU Athletic Apparel.

 

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Singer Stu Jacobson has strong message of kindness for Fremont students

Almost 500 students clapped and sang along with singer and songwriter Stu Jacobson during his motivational program, “Be Kind, Be Positive, and Read!” Tuesday at Fremont Intermediate School.

In addition to the program, Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show Windy City LIVE videotaped the segment at the school assembly that will be aired Friday, Feb. 16.

The Mundelein-area school has adopted a theme of kindness that includes fourth-graders filling a bulletin board with daily acts of kindness, stations where children experience the daily challenges of disabilities, a third-grade class writing letters to the homeless and another class making Valentine’s Day cards for children in a hospital.

The Stu Show is an interactive and engaging performance of original, entertaining singalongs, such as “I Liked to be Liked” and “The Right Side is the Bright Side of the Sun” to spread a message of kindness.

According to producer Justyna Syska, Windy City LIVE features a show every week on an individual or organization doing positive work and giving back to the community.

“Stu Jacobson was chosen to be one of our ‘4 Star Chicagoans’ for the work he does while visiting schools and teaching kids about kindness,” she said in a statement.

 

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Professor’s acts of kindness impacts students

It’s been a blockbuster year for one professor at Texas A&M University.

Just a few months ago, Dr. Henry Musoma invited a student to bring her son to his Mays Business School class when her childcare fell through.

That student captured the moment on video: Musoma leading the class holding baby Emmett.

The post went viral, bringing the Mays Business School professor into the national spotlight, and an invitation to The Ellen Show.

The story was all over social media and newscasts, allowing the world a glimpse of the qualities that students across the campus of Texas A&M said they’ve known for quite some time.

“He’s so busy, and he always makes time for students,” said student Oscar Gonzalez.

Oralia Estrada faced many challenges in her life before coming to Texas A&M, including the loss of her father.

“I was alone. I’d been through so much,” said Estrada.

She was struggling as a freshman on such a big campus, and then she met the professor through a mentoring program for first generation college students.

“That’s where Musoma comes into place. He said, ‘Don’t live in the past, live in the present and enjoy what you have,’” she said.

Estrada said her life changed when Musoma showed her the true meaning of kindness.

“I mean no one can replace my dad, but to know somebody cares for me that way, it’s special,” she said.

That compassion and that genuine love for others is something, Musoma said, is just part of who he is.

“I just truly, truly want to do good. I just truly, truly want to make a difference,” he said.

Musoma said it’s all about creating a village and spreading that generosity to others.

Like last week, when a student couldn’t afford the textbook in time for the upcoming test, Musoma jumped into action.

He passed a box around the room asking students if they could spare a dollar for a fellow student.

That’s why Alexis Guillory took to social media to share the act of kindness that she saw in her class.

“He’s seriously probably the most giving person that I’ve met, and I’ve known him for three weeks,” she said.

For Musoma, he said it’s not about the attention. It’s about teaching students to love themselves and each other.

According to the students, Musoma is teaching lessons that will remain in the lives of many students for years to come.

“That’s how he’s created this village, by showing kindness to the world, kindness that we don’t see as often,” said Estrada.

“And, he doesn’t expect anything back,” she added.

Other students feel the same way about Musoma.

“I feel like he’s definitely impacting students at Texas A&M, but I can see him impacting the world,” said former student Elise Thorpe.

“He just inspires people to be better and do better in everything that they’re striving to be and everything that they’re striving to accomplish in their life,” said Guillory.

“Not only is he the only professor I’ve had that’s been on a television show, he’s probably the only A&M staff member that I’m ever going to know that has generally gone out of his way to help students more than to help himself,” said A&M student Cooper Ross.

Even though the social media posts and the appearance on Ellen have brought him a sort of celebrity status, Musoma said he just feels blessed by all the students who will forever have an impact on his life.

“My students don’t realize that because they love me, it makes me a better father, a better son. It makes me a better citizen, and a better human being because I feel responsible for them,” said Musoma.

“I don’t want to disappoint them. They’re part of my family,” he added.

 

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