It was a polite idea.
To help Canada celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017, Armstrong-based Kindale Developmental Association came up with the brainstorm to have North Okanagan and Shuswap residents complete 150 random acts of kindness in the year.
They, um, slightly miscalculated the politeness of Canadians.
The grand total of random acts of kindness reported – reported – to Kindale in 2017 was 36,672.
“We are over the moon excited with this total,” said Kindale development officer Cindy Masters. “We started at the beginning of January 2017 with the intention of completing 150 random acts of kindness and together with the communities we serve, we have far surpassed the expectation. Thus proving once again that together we do make a difference.”
The stories of random acts of kindness – anything from buying someone a cup of coffee to mowing lawns and shovelling driveways – were shared through social media. A lot of acts, said Masters, went unreported because shy, polite Canadians requested anonymity.
Small monthly prizes were awarded through a random draw from among the stories that were submitted, leading up to the 12 Days of Kindness finale over Christmas, where one prize was given away on Day 1, two on Day 2 up to 12 on Day 12.
Vernon gym 9Round Fitness came through with 13 prizes for a 13th Day of Kindness.
Asked if there was one particular act of kindness that stood out for her, Masters didn’t hesitate.
“The acts of kindness done for people that meant the most,” she said. “Some of the stories were just tearjerkers.”
Masters couldn’t elaborate as those were some of the stories that asked for anonymity.
Kindale, itself, was flooded with random acts of kindness after its thrift store in Armstrong was severely damaged due to spring flooding.
“If anything, this project really helped us become more conscious and aware of how kind people can be,” said Masters.
Exceeding their target by more than 36,500 acts showed that kindness Canadians are noted for.
“Historically, I think Canadians say ‘we’re sorry’ and we get teased on many stages,” said Masters. “But we are very kind and we are very polite.”