Following the City’s annual Unity Week, community partners have come together to issue a community-wide Kindness Challenge kicking off February 8th.
Each year, the City of Spartanburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Week events offer an opportunity to reflect and consider how far we have truly come as a nation and as a community and how far we have yet to go in our pursuit of a world that is more kind, more just, and more fair.
This year, inspired by Dr. King’s notion of a “beloved community” and in understanding the power of kindness to foster the understanding and dialog essential for genuine systemic change, the City along with its partners Mary Black Foundation, Spartanburg County Foundation, and United Way of the Piedmont are issuing a “21 Days of Kindness” challenge to all Spartanburg residents beginning on February 8th.
The group of community organizations are launching the effort with the belief that being kind does not mean simply sitting back and allowing old systems to continue to divide us as a nation, but it is kindness that helps us to consider our neighbor’s perspective with empathy and respect instead of malice and resentment. Kindness alone cannot dismantle the barriers between communities, but a shared, reciprocal kindness can become a vehicle to help each of us recognize our shared humanity in the face of a coarsening civil discourse and disunity in our nation.
To promote this campaign, the City will begin sharing ideas and featuring examples of everyday kindness in our community through social media channels using #KindSpartanburg as well as the City’s website.
The city and its partners challenge you to join us in this effort to demonstrate the power of kindness and to live out the vision and aspirations of Dr. King’s “beloved community.” Please join us!
Acts of Kindness Examples
Community Kindness: Show kindness by doing something for the greater good
- Donate to a local nonprofit agency, and we don't just mean money! Donate needed items to a homeless shelter or food to a food pantry.
- Volunteer! Pick up trash at a park or trail, help an elderly citizen register for the COVID-19 vaccine, orconnect with your favorite nonprofit to see if they need any help.
- Neighborhood clean up - get some neighbors together to pickup litter or clean up common spaces.
- Show appreciation to essential workers like teachers, school faculty, healthcare workers, postalworkers, or delivery companies by purchasing their lunch, sending a note of appreciation, or leaving asmall snack.
- Start an art project. Draw a picture showing what kindness means to you.
Interpersonal Kindness: It’s the little things we might think don’t matter, but can actually put a smile on someone’s face (even though we can’t see it with a mask)
- You before me – is there something I can do for you? Assist a co-worker with a project, help a friend bydropping their child off at school, pick up a meal for family or friend.
- Pay it forward – purchase someone’s groceries or food when in line at the grocery store or drive-thru.
- Smile with your eyes above that mask, say hello to a stranger, hold the doorfor someone.
- Write a note of appreciation to someone special you haven't talked to in a long time like a teacher,relative, neighbor, or long distance friend.
- Get together virtually with family. Use Facebook Rooms, Zoom, Google Meet, or any of the other onlinetools available to play a game, watch a movie, or just hang out with a group.
Social Media/Online Kindness: We've all seen tensions and tempers rising online, let's try to be kind on and offline
- Add the #KindSpartanburg Facebook frame to your profile picture!
- Share a positive quote that's meaningful to you on social media.
- Update your email signature to include "'The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatestintention.' -Kahlil Gibra #KindSpartanburg"
- Say something nice on someone’s post
- Start a kindness group (group chat, community group)
- Share something positive from the news
Self Kindness: Sometimes we are so concerned with helping others that we forget about ourselves
- Treat yourself to dinner out or try a new recipe at home!
- Do something you enjoy but don't often have time for.
- Read a good book
- Do something outdoors - go to the park, ride a bike, go hiking, etc.
- Compliment yourself! Write down a few things you love about yourself!
- Give yourself a spa day! Make a home spa, get a facial, meditate, or just rest! You deserve it!
True kindness is not about recognition, but we do encourage everyone to share their acts of kindness on socialmedia with the tag #KindSpartanburg to spread awareness of kindness and encourage others to participate!