It’s what they do – help the community in any way they can.
The St. Thomas Kinsmen club will be covering the cost of parking at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital on Saturday.
Saturday is the sixth annual National Day of Kindness, which is celebrated by each Kinsmen club in Canada.
“Every Kin club in Canada gets together and does something to give back to the community,” said Matt Sharpe, president of the St. Thomas Kinsmen club.
For the last two years St. Thomas’s club has provided free parking at the city’s hospital.
“From 10 (a.m.) until 5 (p.m.) the gates will be up,” Sharpe said.
The club members got together and decided to cover the cost of parking because of the impact the act will have locally.
“It’s a feel-good feeling when you know that people that have been in the hospital for various different reasons, expecting to have to pay for parking, coming out and finding out there’s a couple Kinsmen standing by the change meter saying, ‘You don’t need that today,’” Sharpe said.
Paul Jenkins, STEGH Foundation’s executive director, said the biggest message that can be taken from the Kinsmen club’s act of kindness is that it isn’t the first time the club has stepped up to help the hospital.
“We’ve had a long relationship with them,” Jenkins said. “They’ve been donors extraordinaire.”
Jenkins said covering the cost of parking takes away one extra stressor for people visiting the hospital.
“It removes just one small burden,” Jenkins said.
The St. Thomas Kinsmen are constantly looking for ways to give back to the community such as Canada Day fireworks and the annual Easter egg hunt.
“We do different events to raise money for the community,” Sharpe said.
Kin Canada has been around since Feb. 20, 1920 and the National Day of KINdness is a way for members to celebrate the club’s founding. The St. Thomas club was found 25 years later in 1945.
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