Think of Kindness, Act with Kindness

It’s proven that if you’re thinking about kindness, you become a kinder person. That is what the Spreading Kindness Campaign is based on. 

Spreading Kindness to the Unhoused

Recently, the Spreading Kindness Campaign has led the creation of the Eugene Religions Community Information Exchange – bringing faith groups together every three months to have a conversation with city and county government. Their meeting on June 5th focused on the unhoused. The group came up with suggestions for how congregations can support the unhoused and unsheltered during these times. The mayor was exceedingly grateful.

Causes of Homelessness

Multiple studies have shown that the major cause of homelessness is the gap between income and rent prices. The average income in Lane County is $12.90/hr, and in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, you need to make $17.10. Beds have also been lost at The Mission and other facilities because of COVID restrictions.

Three specific things that congregations (and in some cases Rotarians) can do:

· Provide Space. Allowing 6-12 tents, for instance, as well as parking spaces for those living in their vehicles.

· Fund and support camps that need to be created.

· Volunteer.

Alternative Ways to Address Mental Health Issues

It’s not humane or cost-effective for police to deal with mental health issues. Cahoots has been a beneficial alternative. There will be training provided for congregations and volunteers for how to help expand this program.

Creating and Distributing Kindness Posters

Another initiative of the Spreading Kindness Campaign that is happening is the creation and distribution of posters.Choose Kindness in an Unjust World Poster

The “Choose Kindness in an Unjust World” poster is initially supported by the NAACPPeaceHealth and Eugene Chamber of Commerce. These groups are in support of the message and/or will be distributing the posters to use internally.

The idea of putting up these posters in our community is for folks to have kindness on their minds. They serve as reminders of small and simple ways to be kind in our day to day lives. By acting kindly in these small ways each day, we can help soften the harshness and stress around us.

Rotary’s Kindness Posters and Messages

Others, including Rotary, will be supporting variations of this poster in smaller formats and additional messages. They also plan to distribute these messages around town and to homes. 

Choose Kindness Cards for Food Boxes

There are some small cards in the works to include with Rotary’s food boxes. On one side these cards include “We’re thinking of you during these times,” and on the other side, “Choose Kindness.” The cards are printed in both Spanish and English. Among other efforts, these cards will serve as small reminders to choose kindness during these stressful times.

Creating a Kindness Culture in Schools

Working in schools is key to creating a kindness culture. A group of students at Fairfield Elementary is working on a Kindness Project to distribute Kindness bracelets when school starts up again. 

Partnering with Local and National Organizations

The Spreading Kindness Campaign is also partnered with the Center on Positive Behavioral, Interventions & Supports to expand the work they do to include a focus on kindness. They work with around 6,000 schools in the United States. The Spreading Kindness Campaign has also started work with Everyone Belongs, providing funding to schools that Rotary works with.

To learn more about the health benefits of choosing kindness, check out this poster from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

To read more about Rotary’s partnerships in the community, please check out our other blog posts.