News

Students in Stark Co promote acts of kindness

Messages about the need for positivity and acts of kindness are spreading throughout Perry Township in Stark County following several incidents, many fatal and related to bullying, over the last few months.

Perry Township police sent out a weekend challenge on Facebook, asking residents in the community to take a few extra seconds to be kind to one another. People are encouraged to smile, ask their families how they are doing, say hello to strangers and perform a random act of kindness.

Police put an emphasis on teaching children kindness through example.

“One of the most important things to consider is the influence each of you have on your families, and in the community daily just by what you do as adults,” the Facebook post reads. “Your positivity will make a difference on how your family feels when you’re together…Having our kids see us hold the door open for someone, help someone pick something up that they dropped, or just making the extra effort to be nice to others is important.”

 

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Kindness Centre reopens

Kindness was in large supply on Saturday at the re-opening of a downtown centre that helps meet the basic needs of local residents.

The snip of a red ribbon marked the official grand re-opening of a bright, spacious Kindness Centre in Market Square Mall operated by Freedom House. The new centre, on the mall’s lower level just a few steps from the church, was a year in the making.

“It’s the next step in our goal to have a ministry centre that can meet needs – body, soul and spirit – around the clock,” said Dave Carrol, part of the leadership team at Freedom House.
Within minutes of the official opening, the centre was filled with families and individuals being supplied with clothing, food and toiletries.
For about five years, The Kindness Centre had been operating in a much smaller space on the upper level of Market Square, where about 150 people would come for a clothing giveaway and food basket on the fourth Saturday of the month.

With a $50,000 “capacity-building” grant from the Brant Community Foundation, the new Kindness Centre has a fresh, dignified look and is now open to the general public to purchase donated clothing at minimal cost. Items range from $1 to $10.

“Food always remains free, but the goal of The Kindness Centre has always been to provide a hand up instead of a hand out,” said Carrol.

While those in need will still receive some free clothing and food, Carrol said the centre wants to partner with other agencies to provide programming and holistic help so that people can afford to pay a modest price.

“There is dignity in this transaction,” said Carrol, adding that they are helping a growing number of working poor who have more bills than income.

The centre

The centre also functions as a thrift store, stocked with clothing, shoes and accessories, for shoppers from the general public. Money generated by sales will go toward food and other emergency supplies for those in need.

Also in the new Kindness Centre is an artisans’ corner where local craftspeople and artists are selling pottery, photography and other creations with a portion of the money going to the centre’s operation and outreach.

Mayor Chris Friel said capacity-building grants help sustain projects that begin as good ideas but have the potential to stall because people may not have the administrative knowledge or other skills to move forward.

Brant MP Phil McColeman said The Kindness Centre is an example of a grassroots effort “at the heart of who we are as human beings.”

The concept for the centre came from Freedom House member Amberlee Brown and her sisters who rented a downtown storefront several years ago where they operated a food and clothing giveaway.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Woman’s amazement after train passenger’s incredible act of kindness

A kind-hearted mystery donor gave £100 to a young woman after overhearing her discussing her financial situation on a train to Leeds.

Ella Johannessen, 23, was traveling to Leeds on a Virgin Trains East Coast service to visit friends on Saturday when a fellow passenger made the incredibly generous gesture.

After boarding at Peterborough, she sat down and phoned her mum to discuss a £35 bank transfer that had not gone through, while confiding in her about being short of money and worried about her financial situation.

£100 in cash

Ella then fell asleep, and woke up half an hour later and noticed a napkin on her lap. When she looked under it, she found £100 in cash.

“I was incredibly thankful for your kindness to someone you don’t even know. After a terrible 18 months where I lost my father and both of his parents, it shows me that there is kindness and good people in the world. I will pass your kindness on. I want to say thank you to the person who gave me this gift, I hope you will eventually see this.”

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Charities handed £4,500 cheque thanks to the kindness of Ashby residents

Four charities have each been given a £4,000-plus boost thanks to charity fund-raisers.

Youth charity CEEP, Measham Youth Centre, burns centre Burnaid and Steps, which helps disabled children each got £4,500 from Ashby Castle Rotary Club. The business club raised the cash through its annual Santa collection out in the town during the festive perios.

Representatives from the charities were presented with cheques fro the amounts at at Willesley Park Golf Club, in Ashby.

CEEP

Steve Berrill, from CEEP, said: “The heart of the charity’s work is to engage with the people of the community in North-West Leicestershire by helping them to develop and progress to reach a better future.”

Accepting the cheque on behalf of Measham Youth Centre, Barry McGill said: “We were lucky enough to be awarded generous grants from The Big Lottery, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Veolia. This enabled us to adapt the building for use as a Youth Club. Your donation will enable us to continue our valuable work for Measham young people.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Japanese official returns to thank residents for kindness

The huge turnout of people from Dundalk and surrounding areas at the vigil for Yosuke Sasaki, the young Japanese man who was fatally stabbed as he walked along the Avenue Road, made such an impression on the Japanese Embassy, that an official visited Dundalk last week to convey their gratitude.

Ms Yamamitsu, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission from the Japanese Embassy was welcomed to County Hall by the Chathaoirleach of the Dundalk Municipal District Cllr. John McGahon when she visited Dundalk last Monday.

Ms. Yamamitsu was in Dundalk to meet with both Cllr. McGahon and the staff of National Pen on the aftermath of the death of Yosuke Sasaki.

Her first port of call wasto County Hall and where she met with Cllr. McGahon for 45 minutes before she travelled to National Pen where she met with staff and friends of Yosuke.

Commenting on the visit Cllr. McGahon said: ‘Ms. Yamamitsu spent the morning in Dundalk to show the Japanese Embassy’s appreciation and thanks for the show of support that Dundalk provided after the tragic death of Yosuke.’

Ms. Yamamitsu mentioned that the huge turnout at the vigil surpassed all their expectations and they wanted to convey their gratitude to everyone who turned out that evening.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Keeping Matthew Benting’s legacy alive

To keep Matthew Benting’s legacy alive, those who knew him are hard at work paying it forward as he would have wanted it.

Benting was a 20-year-old Bridgewater State University student from Pembroke and a budding hockey player at BSU. Despite being in exceptional shape, he did have Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, which, according to mayoclinic.org, is an extra electrical pathway between your heart’s upper and lower chambers, which causes a rapid heartbeat. He was diagnosed at 18 and was cleared by cardiologists to play sports.

According to Laura Benting, Matt’s mother, on the night he died, June 10, 2016, he spent time with his family, mowed the lawn, picked up his hockey bag and told everyone he was going to his summer league hockey game. He told his teammates at the game that he was having a hard time breathing and used his albuterol inhaler.

He was found in East Bridgewater 10 feet from a woman’s home with the car running in drive and his foot on the brake. He died at Brockton Hospital shortly after arriving.

Matthew Benting Scholarship Fund

In his memory, the Kenneth Matthew Benting Scholarship Fund was formed.

Since his death, his family is asking for people to honor his memory by performing random acts of kindness.

For example, every Friday Laura goes to Marylou’s Coffee and pays for the person behind her in line as a way to honour Matt. That is the type of behaviour Matt was known for, said Laura.

“We’ve decided as a foundation that we are going to run two different charity events each year in honour of Matt,” said Laura. “The road race, which will be held in April around his birthday and the other will be the golf tournament that will be held in Pembroke around the anniversary of his death.”

The 5K road race is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 and the golf tournament is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at the Pembroke Country Club.

In 2017, six scholarships were awarded to Pembroke High School seniors, along with donations to Hope Floats in Kingston for families in need for Christmas, a donation to Cranberry Hospice for families in Plymouth County, Cape Cod and different parts of the South Shore who have lost a child and made a donation to Hobomock Elementary School in Matt’s honour to use in the library.

A plaque with a picture of Matt in the library is planned as well.

Hockey players at BSU are required to pay to play the sport, according to Benting, and money was donated by the foundation to help sponsor one of the players.

Once it was officially determined that he died from cardiac arrhythmia, the foundation made the decision that some of the money raised would be going to cardiac organisation in his memory.

The goal, according to Benting, is to keep the foundation going for 10 years.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Spotify blubrry, TuneIn, Stitcher and IHeartRadio

 

Showing kindness is easy

Life is hard. I’ve told my kids this dozens of times. I’m not trying to be a “Debbie Downer” parent, but I do think I owe them honesty. And honestly, life is hard.

I think it’s supposed to be.

What we get caught up in, sometimes, is thinking that life is hard for only us. We see smiling faces on Facebook.

People are taking exotic vacations, going to posh parties, eating at fancy restaurants and attending concerts and sporting events far beyond what our budget would allow.

Not everyone makes the team. Not every interview ends in employment. Love doesn’t always work out in the end.

The scale never lies and that can suck. Sometimes there are more bills than paycheck. Illness rears its ugly head at the most inopportune of times.

Cars break down. People can be judgemental and even cruel. The weather hardly ever cooperates with our own life plans.

Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Adulating is hard.

Life, my friends, is hard.

And although I usually try to refrain from handing out unsolicited advice, I have something to say about this particular subject.

Not about when life is hard for us, but about when life is hard for others. Because it is. Even though they may not talk about it, post it on Facebook or even show it.

People struggle. You know it because you live it. But I’m not here to make life easier for us. I’m here to make like easier for them.

My message is basic but the ramifications and outcomes can be complex.

Be kind

It’s a simple concept and not at all hard to implement yet we ignore opportunities for kindness all the time. Me included.

We get busy or self-focused. We’ve got problems of our own and don’t have time or energy to reach out to others. But we should.

It’s cliche, but kindness can cure many of the problems in our world. A kind word at the right time can mean wonders.

A kind gesture just might be the bright spot to someone’s day. And you don’t even have to know the person you reach out to.

Kindness works on strangers as well as friends. It even works on spouses. Crazy, I know!

We all have the ability and the authority to choose kindness, yet I fear many of us don’t ponder this important fact on a daily, or weekly or ever basis.

Especially and most consequentially with our spouses.

Kindness however small or large can have excruciatingly significant positive outcomes.

First, it causes us to put someone else’s needs before our own.

It takes the focus off “me” and puts it on “we.” In my humble opinion we need more of this in our self-focused, self-esteemed, overly-entitled culture.

Kindness brings about a shift in perspective. An anonymous warm body becomes a human being — a relevant human being. Someone with wants and needs and pain and desire — just like us.

That brings with it another shift.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Students share smiles

Todd Elementary School’s halls have been filled with big cheesy grins and helping hands this week as the school participates in “The Great Kindness Challenge.”

The Challenge

The Challenge is an international effort encouraging school kids to do kind acts during the week of Jan. 22-26. In 2017, more than 10 million students in 90 countries participated. Children in more than 15,000 schools performed 500 million acts of kindness, according to thegreatkindnesschallenge.com.

Todd is participating in the challenge for the first time this year and has found it has made for a fun and helpful atmosphere. With the end of January being dreary and cold, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Mary Ellen Fuentes said it was the perfect time to launch the effort for kids and staff.

“We wanted something to motivate our kids and something which was really positive,” Fuentes said.

Fuentes said the week kicked off Monday with an assembly where students learned what was expected of them.

Kids were provided checklists of potential acts such as

  • smiling at 25 people.
  • helping the custodian.
  • reading books to younger kids.
  • lending pencils.
  • holding doors.
  • making thank-you cards.
  • carrying friends’ books.
  • making a wish for a child in another country.
  • helping teachers and more.

Second and third graders were charged with performing 50 of the kindness acts.

After the assembly kids went straight to their duties. Fuentes said the littlest ones were quite overt with their smiles – flashing them at anyone they could find. The older students started performing acts on their list with gusto.

In addition to having dress-up days, Todd School hosted a variety of activities such as making cards to be delivered to Meals on Wheels recipients, nursing home residents and those who have been ill.

On Wednesday, students in a joint first and second grade classroom led by Sue VanDenLangenberg and Melissa Rohrbeck were making thank-you cards for the cafeteria staff and crossing guards. Rohrbeck said there has been an overall sense of caring in the classroom this week which resulted in kids helping each other more with school work.

VanDenLangenberg said the kindness had been spilling over from the classroom to homes as students report kind acts being done for their families.

“I made a mess and cleaned it up,” Alex Harmon said.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Spotify blubrry, TuneIn, Stitcher and IHeartRadio

 

Wear your kindness cap for a day!

Let’s say we all got up one morning and decided privately to wear our kindness caps all day, the whole 24 hours. And let’s say that we were all serious. Let’s say also that we were bent on not yielding to the temptation of doing otherwise, despite the strength of the temptation. So, we would pray to the Almighty for strength to keep our word. Good!

Now, we are on the road where ‘the rubber meets the road’.

Patience is tested, tempers flare and rage engaged. Well?

On the road are motorists unfamiliar with the road code (licences bought), those unaware of the presence of others on the road, the absent-minded, the visually impaired, the mentally unstable, non-drivers, and the great majority who are bereft of road courtesy.

Understand what the rest of us encounter on a daily basis?

And it is under these circumstances all of us will show kindness.

Your first test occurs at the traffic light, where ‘madeeks’ runs the red light, almost causing a nasty collision with you.

Shocked, you place your hand on your head, and it hits your kindness cap.

Remembering your commitment to kindness that day, instead of swearing and chasing down the motorist, you ask the Lord to have mercy on his soul and help him to get to his destination safely. With his kindness cap on, the other motorist, realising his blunder, does a mental apology and wishes you well.

So you go to the office and the boss and other normally disgusting co-workers are all wearing their kindness caps. Wow! “What a wonderful day it’s going to be! Productivity is going be high today – it’s a no-undermining day at the office.

Pressured to be kind, the boss pressures no one unnecessarily today.

On this kindness-cap-wearing day, no are lies told, malice keepers become friends, and bad-mindedness is laid to rest. For real? Yep!

By the following day, leaders, television networks, and journalists from across the world will descend on our little Island to know our secret behind this day of no murder, no robbery, no rape, no scamming, no corruption in Government, no cheating, no wife and husband fights, no school fights, and nobody getting upset with anybody etc. Excitement!

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Spotify blubrry, TuneIn, Stitcher and IHeartRadio

 

Kids Zone highlights rewinding to bring back kindness

Back when we had video stores (remember those days?) to rent movies on VHS tapes, each tape had a sticker that said, “Please be kind, rewind.” With that in mind, the kids’ ministry of First Baptist caught some inspiration from the simple ways — like rewinding a VHS tape — we can show kindness to the people in our lives.

FBC KidsZone

In 2018, rewinding of course really isn’t about tapes, but kids rewind digitally all the time. From their DVRs to their YouTube videos and song tracks, if they see something they like, they will watch it over and over again.

This month in the FBC KidsZone, elementary aged kids will learn to be kind and rewind. You’re invited to come and take the opportunity to give kindness a replay.

“Jesus loves everyone” is the sweetest news we will ever share with our preschoolers. So, get your sweet tooth — and your heart — ready for a super sweet month with preschoolers in the First Baptist Church KidsZone, filled with the good news that Jesus loves everyone.

It’s going to be one, huge, sugar overload, not because of candy but because Jesus’ love is just that big and sweet.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Spotify blubrry, TuneIn, Stitcher and IHeartRadio