Students Around the Country Are Taking Random Acts of Kindness to a New Level
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
A random act of kindness goes a long way. Just ask the founders of the Great Kindness Challenge, a program hoping to spread joy and generosity around the country.
Jill McManigal first thought of the Great Kindness Challenge while she was hanging out with her kids and their friends in her backyard. McManigal and her kids wanted to find a way to make the world a better place. Slowly, they formed “Kids for Peace,” which later spiraled into the Great Kindness Challenge.
According to their website, the Great Kindness Challenge “is the simple belief that kindness is strength.”
“My inspiration is creating a world where everyone is loved and cared for and happy,” McManigal told ABC News. “The mission of the Great Kindness Challenge is to create a school environments where all students thrive.”
McManigal took her inspiration to three local schools, where she was able to get the challenge up and running. The next year, the challenge had 263 students involved.
“We want all children and all students to recognize the goodness in others, and this gives them the platform to do that,” McManigal said to ABC News.
So, how does the Great Kindness Challenge work?
Students are given a checklist with 50 different acts they can complete. The acts range from a simple smile to recycling trash.
Along with getting the students involved in good deeds, the challenge also gives schools a more positive vibe.
“The Great Kindness Challenge provided an opportunity for our students to care for each other in ways that went above and beyond their normal interactions,” Chad Lund, Elementary Principal of GKC Pilot School, shared on the Great Kindness Challenge website. “As a result, we noticed a real impact on the school’s culture with a decrease in bullying and an increase in compassion, unity and respect.”
The teachers are the initiative’s biggest supporters, as it makes the school a better “learning environment.”
“I see that everyone is just a bit more or a lot more happier,” McManigal said to ABC News. “There is such a power in doing for others, and also from receiving.”
— Kathleen McEleney (@MissMcEleneyK) January 23, 2017
Overall, the students hope to complete their goal “to create a culture of kindness for all.”
“The kids are performing kind act after kind act after kind act and that makes kindness a habit and as kindness becomes a habit that makes peace possible,” McManigal told Florida television station WJXT.
Currently, over 5 million students in 8,000 school distracts have performed over 250 million acts of kindness. The initiative has also spread to 61 countries.
“We are thrilled that the world is embracing The Great Kindness Challenge!” a representative from the Great Kindness Challenge wrote to Your Daily Dish. “With over ten million students participating, the world is definitely eager and ready for a massive dose of kindness.”
So, does the Great Kindness Challenge have a favorite random act of kindness?
“All kindness is our favorite kindness! But, if we have to choose, we’d say an authentic smile can truly shift a moment and brighten a day,” The Great Kindness Challenge wrote to Your Daily Dish.
The Great Kindness Challenge takes place from January 23-27. Check out more on the Great Kindness Challenge website.