Springdale fills whole week with random acts of kindness

You're likely to see a few more free coffees, flowers and gift baskets in Springdale this week.

Town brings back week devoted to saying 'thanks' after it was a big hit last year

Indian River High school students and teachers are enthusiastically participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Indian River High/Twitter)

You're likely to see a few more free coffees, flowers and gift baskets handed out in Springdale this week.

The town is holding its second-ever Random Acts of Kindness Week, which encourages residents to give to a neighbour, coworker or classmate as a way of saying thanks.

The event started last year, kicked off by some fruit trays sent by the Town of Springdale to a local group. Recreation director Shauna Hewlett says it grew from there.

"When we started it, it was like a wave," she told CBC Radio's Central Morning.

"Others did the same, bring somebody muffins, shoveled somebody's driveway. In the school we had kids holding doors for one another, bringing their teachers flowers," she said. "It became a really big hit, and it really became popular as the week went on." 

Hewlett said the town worked with the local 50-plus group, and Violence Prevention South and Central to bring the event to residents.

The week started Saturday, the same day that's recognized as Random Act of Kindness Day.

"We … thought, 'Why don't we just add it to a whole week, and give everybody an opportunity to pass it on a little bit longer than 24 hours." 

Hewlett says the town's schools have bought in with events for the week, and some teachers have been placing motivational notes on lockers or bringing in treats for students.

Indian River Academy has put up a tree in their school, according to Hewlett, which is decorated with one heart for every act of kindness.

"It's just something for our community to rally around and bond together about," she said.

The town encourages people who've benefited from a random act of kindness to pay it forward, and to fill out a ballot with the donor's name.

The names will be entered into a draw to win prizes at the end of the week. The town used grant money to buy gift cards from local businesses as prizes.

"It worked really well last year, it was better than we expected. And that's, I guess, to do with the people here in our community, and Newfoundlanders — especially rural Newfoundland … people want to be kind," she told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

"We're hoping for more kindness, you know, pass it on," she said.  "Pay it forward. it doesn't have to be just next week. Hopefully it goes into the whole year."

With files from the Central Morning Show and the Corner Brook Morning Show