Emily Buckley, editor in chief
The Family Place invites residents in Utah to participate in their Be Kind Utah campaign to increase and build an awareness of acts of kindness throughout the state. Be Kind Utah seeks “1 million ways in 40 days,” and they are asking the community to help them achieve 1 million acts of kindness from now to June 16, 2019 in conjunction with Utah Family Month.
The purpose of the campaign is to:
- Build connections between people
- Increase compassion in Utah’s communities
- Support Utah’s efforts to become a trauma-informed state by bolstering emotional resilience
- Strengthen community bonds by developing, empathy, respect and humanity among community members
- Provide community members with support by providing information about community resources
“We already live in such a caring community,” Esterlee Molyneux, executive director of The Family Place said. “We are excited to recognize Utah residents making an increased effort to perform acts of kindness to achieve one million ways in 40 days. We recently learned of a family in our community whose loved one had attempted suicide. Overwhelmed and in shock, they went to breakfast to decompress and try and figure out their next steps. Their waitress approached them and told them someone had paid for their meal. The person that performed that act of kindness had no idea what that family was going through, but it brought light to them in one of their most challenging moments. With tears in their eyes they explained the power of the light anonymously shared with them during a very dark time. We never know what a person has gone through. We are advocating that our initial responses are empathy, compassion and kindness. That’s what we are hoping to achieve.”
Community members can report their acts of kindness by sharing them on social media platforms with the hashtag #BeKindUT2019 and tagging The Family Place Utah. They can also visit The Family Place to write acts of kindness on paper hearts which will be displayed at each of their locations. Schools and businesses have committed to have filling our hearts and displaying them in their respective spaces. Examples of acts of kindness may include giving someone a compliment, helping others with chores, picking up trash, holding the door open for someone, or leaving a generous tip.
“It includes any act that shows gratitude or consideration for others,” said Esterlee. “We’re hoping that this kindness movement will start in families’ homes and then work its way into the broader community. Kindness builds connections. Connections build resilience.”
The Family Place, is a non-profit family support center in northern Utah with locations in Logan, Hyrum, and Smithfield, Utah. The integral services offered by The Family Place include the Starfish Children’s Shelter, emergency and scheduled child care in their Kid’s Place, counseling, educational workshops, and trauma interventions. Last year, The Family Place served over 14,200 individuals. For more information about Be Kind Utah and The Family Place, please contact The Family Place at (435)725-8880 or visit www.TheFamilyPlaceUtah.org.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we can work together to record one million acts of kindness,” Esterlee said. “We invite and encourage everyone to participate — children, parents, families, youth groups. We hope people will really support this movement and get creative in how they can increase kindness and resiliency in our state.”