While it started as a local initiative in Vancouver, The Kindness Patrol has spread across North America.
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the annual event will coincide with World Kindness Day, and encourages kids to go out into their communities and do random acts of kindness. While there isn’t one over-arching goal, the event encourages youth to inspire joy and kindness all around them.
Created in 2015 by Clinical Psychologists Dr. Carla Fry and Dr. Lisa Ferrari from Vancouver Psychology Centre and Clinically Happy, they believed the movement could jump-start the generation’s belief in the power of a kind word or gesture.
“We started it to show kids that kindness has its own rewards and that there is real value in being nice to other people," says Dr. Carla Fry.
“In our work we have found that a smile, a kind word, holding the door open for someone, all those things go a long way in boosting the mood of the giver, the receiver and even observers.”
Seaforth Elementary in Burnaby and Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts are two schools that have already joined the kindness brigade.
“There will be visits to seniors homes, handing out flowers with kindness messages to strangers, making bookmarks for children in need, collecting [pop can tabs] for spina bifida foundation to help raise money for wheelchairs, and cookies to thank staff and other adults who help in the school," says Seaforth Principal Wendel Hiltz.
“It’s important that students know that they can make a difference in someone’s life.”
World Kindness Day was created by the World Kindness Movement in 1998. The organization now includes over 28 countries, including Canada, Australia, Japan, Nigeria, the UK and the United States.
Find out more information about the movement go here.
This story has been updated since first published.