In November 2008 The Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) embarked on a mission to help create empathy in their community. Out of a strategic planning session came the idea of a day in which thousands of people would be involved in an initiative where kindness could explode in their community.
After a successful year with Random Acts of Kindness Day, the KWCF decided to spread the kindness and get other Community Foundations involved. The idea to “go national” has had a ripple effect, seeing over 15 community Foundations partner since 2009.
With The KWCF’s focus on creating a more empathetic and connected community, Random Act of Kindness Day® was born. And the rest, as they say, is history.
“I was in the checkout line at Sobey’s, putting my groceries on the conveyor belt. The disheveled woman in front of me was about to pay for her groceries. She said to the cashier that she was sorry, but she had to give an item back. It was a bag of grapes, because she didn’t have enough money.
I noticed that her cart was filled with healthy, reduced price items. While the packer was bagging her groceries, I asked the cashier how much the grapes were. She told me the cost, and asked me if I wanted them. I said ‘No, but please let me pay for them and put them in the woman’s bag.”
The cashier asked me if I was doing an act of kindness being that it was Random Act of Kindness Day. To be honest, that never occurred to me, but I said yes anyway. The cashier proceeded to put the grapes in the woman’s bag, but the woman said that she hadn’t paid for them. The cashier said that I was acting out of kindness, and encourage the woman to pay it forward. When the woman looked at me, she had tears in her eyes, and mouthed the words ‘thank you’ and said ‘I will pay it forward, I will…’ The woman began to leave the store and turned her head and mouthed ‘thank you’ once again.
The cashier and I were both in tears, before I could leave the store, the cashier abandoned her line up to give me a big hug. I quietly mouthed the words ‘thank you.’
I walked away with something very special that day, an understanding that we shouldn’t be acting out of kindness on a specific day, but make it a priority every day.
I will never look at a bag of grapes the same way, nor do I think that the woman or the cashier will either.” ~ Anonymous
Stories are the most powerful ways we can share the impacts of Random Acts of Kindness. Help us tell the stories that will bring our community together. #GoBeKind