VICTORIA, B.C. – Help spread kindness across Greater Victoria for Random Acts of Kindness Week (RAK Week) from Monday, February 12 to Saturday, February 17. These days, kindness is needed more than ever, and while kindness is a constant in our community, this special day helps build a movement of kindness that extends year-round.
RAK Week encourages community members to do something nice for someone and ask for nothing in return, except that they “pay it forward” with an act of kindness. The act doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It should simply spread kindness in your community.
“A motto I try to live by is ‘when in doubt, do the kindest thing,’” says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation.
“No act of kindness is wasted. When we approach people with empathy, patience and a willingness to listen and learn, our community can be a much more welcoming place. I encourage everyone to take part in an act of kindness, no matter how large or small,” she said.
To spread the word, community members are encouraged to post their act of kindness on social media with the hashtag #RAKweekYYJ, and to tag the Victoria Foundation so that we can share their kindness on all our social media platforms.
The Victoria Foundation first marked RAK Day in 2015, and since then has encouraged Vancouver Island businesses, non-profits, governments, families and community members to take part.
Val Litwin, a Victoria resident and member of the Kindness Crew that toured the U.S. and Canada showing random acts of extreme kindness, says RAK Week in Victoria is a wonderful initiative.
“One of the surest ways to build strong, vibrant, and inclusive communities is to build up our reserves of social capital – that pool of compassion and generosity that allows meaningful relationships to flourish. Random acts of kindness create social capital, and the best part is: They cost nothing to do, and we can all commit them!” said Val.
To get children involved, the Foundation hosts an annual colouring contest for kids, in partnership with Black Press Media. Children aged 12 and under are invited to colour an image found in their local Black Press paper or on the Foundation’s website. Participants are encouraged to send in their finished page for a chance to win one of six $50 gift cards to a local business alongside a $100 donation made in their name to the registered charity of their choice.
To help spread kindness in the community, all colouring sheets that are submitted will be displayed at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) Central Branch. They will also be sent to local long-term care homes. The Victoria Foundation is excited to see community partners embracing this special day, including the GVPL.
“I am so pleased that the Greater Victoria Public Library is partnering with the Victoria Foundation again this year for Random Acts of Kindness Week,” said Maureen Sawa, CEO of the Greater Victoria Public Library. “Public libraries are community hubs, and we are excited to spread positivity and create a hub of kindness within the library and throughout our community.”
Colouring contest winners will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, February 16. The deadline to submit an entry for the draw is 12 pm on Wednesday, February 14. To help generate conversation and action this RAK Week, the Victoria Foundation has created lists of ideas for children and adults that include:
Help with chores around the house.
Return someone’s cart at the grocery store.
Leave a kind letter in a library book.
Help build a bird feeder.
Leave happy notes around town.
Hold the door open for someone.
Raise or donate money to a local charity.
Phone a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in a while.
Leave a 5-star review for your favourite local business.
Random Acts of Kindness Week runs from February 12 to 17. For more details, visit the Victoria Foundation’s website.
About the Victoria Foundation
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested over $300 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.
About the Greater Victoria Public Library
Greater Victoria Public Library builds community and supports literacy and lifelong learning by providing free access to information, space, tools, and expertise. There are 12 branch locations within 10 local municipalities serving more than 380,000 residents. The virtual branch at gvpl.ca is open anytime, anywhere. GVPL is your place to connect, discover, and imagine.
Adam van der Zwan, Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Kelly Ridgway, Coordinator, Marketing and Development
- 250.940.4875, ex 346