CHUCK KUEPFER, Staff Reporter
Local participation in the annual Random Act of Kindness Day continues to grow.
Two years ago, Michelle Krasovec put a team together in Elmira to piggyback off the regional initiative started by the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.
Last year, Krasovec co-ordinated several teams across the community to participate in the event.
"This year it's one step forward. Companies are getting involved, which is amazing," said Krasovec.
After going door-to-door to drum up support for RAK Day last year, this year Krasovec has been working behind the scenes, since Woolwich Township has taken a leadership role for local involvement in the event. She said the township is working with local business to support the initiative. Businesses involved this year will include Robin's Nest and McDonald's among others, while Foodlink Waterloo Region is also taking part.
The event, held in 30 communities across Canada, encourages citizens to engage in small acts of kindness and generosity.
"It's not a fundraising effort. It's not something that costs money. It's just a random act of kindness — and it's for all ages," said Krasovec. "You can hold the door open for somebody. It doesn't cost you anything, and it all comes down to just being aware of your actions, what you do that day."
This year's RAK Day is being held on Friday, Nov. 9. Teams of volunteers dubbed Kindness Krews will be spread throughout Woolwich Township to hand out Waterloo Region Records and spread the RAK day message.
A kick-off event was planned for Thursday, Nov. 8 from 7-8 p.m. at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
Kelly Meissner of Kate's Kause will be guest speaker at the kick-off, which will also be attended by KWCF's CEO Rosemary Smith, mayor Todd Cowan, and radio personality Angie Hill.
The event is free, and includes coffee and treats. The kick-off event aims to get the community into the RAK Day spirit, with its pay it forward message that's applicable year round.
"It's not just a one-day event that's happening," said Krasovec. "You need that once a year reminder."
Given her connection to the event, Krasovec is often approached by people who tell her about random acts of kindness experienced throughout the year, such as someone whose coffee was paid for by the person in front of them.
"It's that feeling of going to pay for something and having it already paid for," said Krasovec. "It's amazing how it just cheers up your day.
This year's marks the 5th year that RAK Day has been celebrated in the Waterloo Region. Cards will be distributed throughout the community encouraging the recipient to perform a simple act of kindness for somebody else.
For more information, visit www.kwcf.ca.