Kindness is the only currency we need.

I am addicted to social media and its power. That power comes in many forms, and I’m mostly addicted to Facebook. In 2015 when I decided to do the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, approximately 80% of the fundraising came from scheduled posts on Facebook.

In October 2015 I posted a request for 13 packages of Cashmere toilet paper for a local palliative care centre, and ended up with 4,114 rolls supplying them for a year.

Watching how quickly the message circulated was amazing as well as the ability to instantly thank those who donated was another great resource.

Next came turkeys for a food bank. Their goal was 200 and again through the power of Faceboook and people’s generosity the goal was surpassed. We then moved on to peanut butter for another food bank and yet again…well I think you get the picture.

TP - 2015

“Deb, what’s next?” That has been the recurring question since the last jar of peanut butter was dropped off. After talking to a couple of friends we determined it was time to take our pursuit to the next level. I was advised to keep my name involved drawing from the success of the above initiates. We came up with “Deb E.’s Kindness Connection”. I felt the “connection” of kindness when people near and far were clamouring to be part of our grass roots efforts. We had contributions ranging from the UK, San Francisco, Burlington, ON, Toronto, Ottawa and so many locally.

We set up a public Facebook page where anyone can “like, share comment” and remain current with what’s next. We also added a Twitter handle @kindlyconnect in order to share positivity and ideas.

Our aim is to bring people together through kindness either by posting random acts or initiating movements.

One friend had an idea of helping someone going through cancer treatments by running errands, taking them to appointments, free house cleaning, or whatever task we could meet that would alleviate some of their stress.

Upcoming initiatives will include sending high school students to their prom who might have otherwise forfeited it due to money constraints, paying for someone’s groceries, handing out “hot shots” to people waiting at bus stops in the frigid temperatures – the possibilities are endless. There is no finite end to kindness, it’s the only currency we need.

We also want to invite charities and organizations to ask us for specific items so we could put the call out to people who follow the “Kindness Connection”. The purchase of “goods” towards a cause seems more doable than asking for money. The proof was in the amounts of TP, turkey and PB!

Turkeys - 2015

The funny thing about social media is that while there are so many possibilities for positivity and encouragement, there’s that dark side; where insecurities suggest that there must be a catch or hidden agenda. It’s true that people should think kindly, but amidst all of the news of calculated acts of violence and the images that creep scarily close to home, we are wise to promote the good.

Random acts of kindness are getting a lot of attention, seen often as the kicker story on the news as a result of a video gone viral online. We used to rely solely on the local news to give us those stories, and now through social media there’s less chance of missing out on celebrating the goodness of kind acts. Sharing them on such a level shines a light on the good deed, but also hopefully within to inspire each of us.

The light --- 2016

It’s often just the nudge people need to know in which direction to channel their goodness. Generally people want to help but often don’t know how.

We want to make it as easy as possible. You can make the Kindness Connection by finding us on Facebook; kindly connect.

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