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____ Thursday November 5, 2015 ____

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Random Act of Kindness

It's Time to slow down and be kind to one another.

Waterloo Region – If you’re like the majority of us in the community, you’re always on the go. A typical day has you working eight to ten hours, running your kids to hockey, piano, dance lessons, or whatever else you are involved in, plus you need to find the time to pick up groceries and dry cleaning. You’re moving so fast that you don’t have much time to acknowledge someone’s smile at you, much less what’s going on in your community.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to slow down, at least for one day, and notice the small things that make a difference? Or better yet, make a difference in someone else’s life?

In 2008, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (The KWCF) embarked on a journey that would turn into a simple, yet extremely meaningful new initiative called Random Act of Kindness Day® (RAK Day). The idea was brought forward by a Foundation volunteer who experienced her own random act of kindness, followed by a moment of inspiration while watching the movie Pay It Forward. After an exciting visit with The KWCF shortly thereafter, RAK Day was brought to life as a day set aside to celebrate those little niceties and encourage others to pay “acts of kindness” forward. The first Friday in November, is an invitation for individuals, schools, community groups, government offices, service clubs, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions and churches to join hearts and hands to celebrate the kind and friendly community in which we live.

The RAK Day movement has seen some exciting changes since its humble beginnings in 2008. This year 17 local organizations have stepped up to participate in RAK Day and there are likely many more that participate without officially registering.

On Friday, November 6th, RAK Day will once again be celebrated in Waterloo Region and across the country. What started as a local initiative has now grown coast to coast, and is being celebrated in over 260 communities from British Columbia across to Nova Scotia.

Rosemary Smith, CEO of The KWCF is thrilled that RAK Day has so much support locally and in communities across the country. “It truly speaks to how we as Canadians understand the importance of kindness, having empathy for one another and the impact that one simple act can have on someone else.” She adds, “Our dream would be to unite the country, to formally make the first Friday in November Random Act of Kindness Day®. At a time when negativity seems to be the focus of much of what we hear and see, why not take a day to celebrate the little things that mean so much?”

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