Polite Canada Logo

Greater Victoria embraces Random Acts of Kindness Week to spread positivity

Random Acts of Kindness Day (RAK Day) originated in New Zealand in 2004, encouraging individuals to perform acts of kindness without expecting anything in return, but rather inspiring recipients to pay it forward. These acts need not be extravagant but should promote kindness within the community.

Since 2015, the Victoria Foundation has embraced RAK Day, fostering participation among local businesses and non-profits. This year, the RAK Day was extended to a week-long event, running from February 12 to 17, 2024, encouraging even more acts of kindness. This initiative, spearheaded by the Victoria Foundation, aims to foster a culture of kindness and compassion throughout the community.

Random Acts of Kindness Week encourages individuals to engage in acts of kindness without expecting anything in return, except for the recipient to ‘pay it forward’ with their own act of kindness. Residents of Greater Victoria were encouraged to participate in RAK Week by engaging in simple acts of kindness, such as:

  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Raise or donate money to a local charity
  • Phone a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Leave a 5-star review for your favourite local business
  • Buy coffee for the person in line behind you
  • Send flowers to someone
  • Run an errand for someone
  • Donate books to a little library
  • Pick up trash at the beach or park

The RAK week encouraged the youngsters in the community to:

  • Help with chores around the house
  • Leave a kind letter in a library book
  • Call your grandparents to catch up
  • Pick up litter (wear gloves!)
  • Hold the door for your classmates at lunch or recess
  • Donate clothes or toys you’ve outgrown

Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation, emphasizes the importance of small acts of kindness in building a more welcoming and empathetic community. “No act of kindness is wasted,” she states. “When we approach people with empathy, patience, and a willingness to listen and learn, our community can be a much more welcoming place.”

Shelly D’Mello, CEO of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, highlights the significance of kindness in helping newcomers feel welcome and included in their new environment.

RAK Week, established in Canada in 2008, has been celebrated in Greater Victoria since 2015 encouraging local businesses and non-profits to participate, with the goal of showcasing the positive impact of kindness on all aspects of community life.

Individuals were encouraged to share their experiences by using the hashtag #RAKweekYYJ on social media and tag @victoriafoundation for a chance to have their posts shared. As Greater Victoria came together to spread kindness and positivity, RAK Week serves as a reminder of the profound impact that small gestures of kindness can have on individuals and communities alike.

Source: Times Colonist, Victoria Foundation