Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year, with thousands of schools across the globe celebrating Kindness Week by empowering students to create a culture of kindness.

The Youth Advisory Council, a companion group to the Marietta Community Foundation, invites us all to join in spreading random acts of kindness this month.

“Doing random acts of kindness tends to have at least some sort of trickle-down effect, some instances being more powerful than others,” said Leah Seaman, a Marietta College freshman interning with the Marietta Community Foundation this semester to work with the Youth Advisory Council. “Sometimes a random act of kindness for a stranger can simply make their day a little bit better, which in turn causes them to treat those around them with a little more joy and positivity. Or it can go so far as to inspire others to do greater acts of kindness for the people around them. By spreading random acts of kindness, seeds of joy, love, and a little bit more happiness are sown in this world.”

So what is a random act of kindness?

It could be as simple as letting a car go in front of you during rush hour, or holding the door open for a shopper with their hands full of groceries. Perhaps it’s asking someone how their day is going, or picking up the tab for a stranger’s meal or coffee. You could call someone who you haven’t talked to in a while who needs a friend, or make a donation to your local food pantry. Volunteer with a service group, or simply to babysit for a friend. Whatever you do, you are certain to make someone else’s day that much brighter.

“I would encourage others to participate in this trend not only for the benefits it brings to those around them, but also just for the benefits they themselves receive.” said Leah. “When we do good for other people, we tend to receive more rewarding feelings from the experience than we give. Being kind to others is also being kind to one’s self. It also encourages people to try to think more outside of themselves.”

The great thing about kindness is that it is not limited to a single week, or month – kindness can be shared a million different ways, every single day. How can you pay it forward this month and spread a little extra kindness around the Mid-Ohio Valley?

Share your random acts of kindness with the YAC by tagging #MCFYAC on Facebook!