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Local's Facebook page for Kindness Day creates global interest
A local resident has started up a Facebook page to help bring people together to honour kind acts. The page, which honours Dec. 21 as Kindness Day, already has more than 12,750 members and another 95,000 people have been invited.
"I was inspired by all the dark stuff I'd been reading about online regarding doomsday prophecies with the Mayan calendar, the Amanda Todd case with bullying and the massacre in Connecticut," said Holly Smee, who started up the page and maintains it. "The morning I started it I thought, wouldn't it be great to create something on Facebook that started some movement and awareness. I thought about having a day to pay forward acts of loving, random and unexpected kindness to humans, animals or even the environment."
Smee, a Castlegar native, started the event page up thinking she would mostly just get her Facebook friends and maybe a few others.
"To my surprise literally within hours we had like 5,000 people invited and from there it just grew and grew and grew," she said. "I started it Sunday morning and by Friday morning we had over 12,000 people who had confirmed they would participate by being the change they wanted to see in the world and demonstrating random acts of kindness all over their community."
Although the event was originally set for Dec. 21 of 2012, Smee has changed it to 2013 and hopes to make it an annual event.
The page has participants from every continent except for Antarctica.
"I really feel it just exploded," she said. "We had peopIe around the world going out and trying to propagate this message and do random acts of kindness. I was hearing really neat things from people. Someone contacted me from Tim Horton's saying they had a kindness chain of 20 or 30 cars, where every car was buying the coffee or meal for the car behind and it was just passing along. I thought that was pretty neat."
Smee certainly would like to see people be kind every day, but likes the idea of a set day each year to recognize kindness.
"If this philosophy was something that everybody believed in and practiced or was more mindful of, I think it would have a huge impact," she said.
As a mental health worker, Smee sees the effects first hand of the negativity that the world can bring out in people.
"Working in mental health at the same time frame, I was aware that people were really struggling with the Christmas season and hearing sad stories everyday of things that are happening to people really makes me want to fight that with something positive," she said.
The Facebook page has several interesting posts about acts of kindness throughout the world.
"Lots of people have been posting really inspirational videos about anti-bullying and research articles and posts that talk about the movement," said Smee.
To see the Facebook page go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/234530483345681/?fref=ts