Saskatoon Random Acts of Kindness Day 2017

Saskatoon Random Acts of Kindness Day 2017

The SaskTel Pioneers bring random acts of kindness back to downtown Saskatoon

That great feeling you get from receiving a random act of kindness is something the Saskatoon Community Foundation and the SaskTel Pioneers wanted everyone in Saskatoon to share during Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day on November 3, 2017, in Saskatoon.

As SaskTel’s employee driven volunteer organization, the SaskTel Pioneers have joined in the goodwill spirit of the day over the past four years by launching campaigns to spread random acts of kindness. This year, members of the SaskTel Pioneers Bridge City Club got together to give out scarves and mitts paired with $5 Tim Horton’s Gift Cards that were purchased with funds raised by the club.

The day proved to be a rewarding experience for the volunteers. “I sometimes forget how big a difference a simple pair of gloves or a toque can make in someone’s life, or how cold my own fingers can get in 15 mins,” said Judy Forest. “[But,] I came away with three god-bless you’s; one of those from a teary eyed 30 something young man that will stick with me for a long time.”

Five of the volunteers got started the night before by setting out 50 pairs of scarves and Tim Horton’s gift cards in downtown Saskatoon with a RAK Day note asking whoever found them to pay the act of kindness forward. The group scouted around the next day and were pleased to find that all the scarves and gift cards had been claimed.

Over a cold noon hour on RAK day, a group of 14 volunteers used their lunch time to hand out an average of six pairs of mitts and six $5 Tim Horton’s gift cards each; giving away 100 pairs of mittens and gift cards. They also had one extra special surprise for a Rider fan waiting for the bus who they surprised with a signed Naaman Roosevelt jersey!

Despite their overall success, the day wasn’t without its challenges. “It was interesting in that we kind of had to explain what we were doing because people’s first reaction tended to be ‘I don’t want to buy anything or I’m good’,” said Giselle Howard, Quality Assurance Manager at SaskTel and the Pioneer’s liaison with the Saskatoon RAK Day Organizing Committee.

“Part of the reluctance for many of the people we approached seemed down to the fact that acts of kindness may not be as common as we’d all like to think,” said Giselle. “But, they are beginning to happen more often. You see it in small things like people holding a door or someone paying for the person’s coffee in line behind them.”

As one of the Thursday night five who also took part in the next day’s activities, Mark Grambo, Manager of SaskTel’s Proposal Office, hopes that their efforts spark a chain reaction of positive actions and feelings for people in the community. “The most rewarding part of an initiative like this is to help people who don’t expect it. It’s about community spirit and positivity,” said Mark. “Having the belief that those people will then pay it forward in some way to someone else makes the process even more rewarding.”

With all the good will and positivity created by all the groups participating in RAK Day 2017, a kinder world may be just one step closer.

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