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Selfless promotions set to spread city with compassion

(Kendall Walters, 24 Hours)


Random acts of kindness are about to get a little bit less random this November, when the Pass It On: Kindness campaign, World Kindness Concert and 30 Days of Kindness hit Vancouver.


The Pass It On: Kindness campaign – the brainchild of four Vancouver Film School students – will be the easiest to spot: it kicks off Friday at noon with volunteers handing out 50 yellow umbrellas, emblazoned with the phrase “Pass It On,” a gentle visual reminder for Vancouverites to be kind.


According to psychologist Joti Samra, host of OWN’s Million Dollar Neighbourhood, these acts of kindness – a positive social behaviour – could be contagious.


“As human beings we really gravitate to things that make us feel good emotionally,” she said, adding that acts of kindness benefit both the giver and the recipient.


“We truly feel better when we do things for other people.”


The campaign comes in advance of the World Kindness Concert on Nov. 16, which it’s intended to raise awareness for.


The numbered umbrellas will make their way out into the city encouraging those who carry them to commit random acts of kindness – the most obvious of which is passing along the umbrella itself – and share their experiences online.


“The idea is for them to pass on the acts of kindness and pass on the umbrella,” said World Kindness Concert producer Jeanette O’Keeffe. “There’s a lot of symbolism with an umbrella. Sheltering someone from the rain is such a symbol of kindness.”


Not long after the umbrellas start to spread across the city, Marc Smith – the man who made a name for himself earlier this year with 30 Days of Adventure – kicks off 30 Days of Kindness, Nov. 5.


Not long after, Marc Smith – the man who made a name for himself earlier this year with 30 Days of Adventure, where he challenged himself to do something exciting every day for 30 days – kicks off 30 Days of Kindness, Nov. 5.


This time he’s getting groups, organizations and companies involved as well as individuals. Those who sign up pick one of the 30 days between Nov. 5 and Dec. 17 to perform a random act of kindness, helped along and documented by Smith.


“Some of these kind acts are quite large, but some of them are quite small,” Smith said.


He’s kicking the event off with a little help from Yelp. The morning of Nov. 5, Smith and Yelp will be giving away free cups of coffee to the first 100 people at a coffee shop downtown. The catch? He’s not announcing which coffee shop until the morning of.


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