Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Sandra Richardson: Acts of kindness have ripple effect in tough times

Random Acts of Kindness Day is on Feb. 17. It’s a special day to reflect on the big difference that small gestures of kindness make in our community
Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson

The cost of living is top of mind for many, as a dollar does not go as far as it used to. However, there’s one simple act that can go much further and it won’t cost a single cent. Much like a stone’s throw in a pond, it can also ripple throughout the community.

Random Acts of Kindness Day is on Friday, Feb. 17. It’s a special day to reflect on the many gestures of kindness we see across the capital region. What I love about the day is that, while grand acts of kindness are special, so are the small ones.

A gesture like holding a door, a simple smile, or an unannounced visit with cookies can carry weight far beyond the moment.

Much like a jolt of caffeine in the morning, an act of kindness has the power to pick us up. At one moment we may have felt stressed, worried, or sad, and the next moment we may feel warm, happy, and invigorated to “pay it forward.”

It’s a movement needed this time of year. From holiday bills, grey winter days and all of life’s challenges, kindness is in high demand. Yet, if we look around us, Random Acts of Kindness Day can remind us that kindness surrounds us. When we acknowledge that, we take the first step in helping it spread throughout our community.

One of the simplest acts of kindness we can do is ask, “how can I help?”

Our staff at the foundation see this daily, working with organizations who ask the simple question of how they can help their community.

Whether it’s asking how they can help bring food to those who need it, provide shelter, or get children involved in sports and fitness, their work and impact spread throughout the community. It all starts with “throwing the stone” and asking a simple question.

Look no further than in 2013, when the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs asked the question of where the next meal was coming from for many Greater Victorians. Food security was a pressing issue.

Through years of community collaboration, organizations like the Mustard Seed Street Church’s Food Distribution Centre have stepped forward to answer that question. And the ripple in the pond continues, with many organizations across our region working to improve access to healthy food for everyone.

So, I encourage you to mark Feb. 17 on your calendar, as Random Acts of Kindness Day can remind us of kindness’ power. Small gestures have a big impact and can turn around someone’s day.

The day reminds us that we are kind, whether we realize it or not, and our actions can create a ripple that resonates through our communities. Turn on your kindness power!