Amid this chaotic week of division and uncertainty, a small city in Nevada is focusing on kindness.
Henderson, Nevada, located between Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada, has declared November as “Be Kind” month.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department began this initiative in 2019 and encourages residents to spread kindness with acts of service throughout the community.
During the month, a local individual is honored with the “Heart of the City” award – winners have positive morale, a great spirit of cooperation, and enrich the city in many ways with their thoughtful nature and acts of kindness.
Henderson, Nevada’s Parks and Recreation department even compiled a list of tips that could help residents to be kind to one another! They include:
- Giving someone a book you think they’d like
- Trying to make every person in a group conversation feel included
- Complimenting someone in front of others
- Listening intently
- Holding the elevator
All of these kind actions may not be the things you think of when you think about kindness. You might think of kindness as a grand gesture: sending someone flowers, driving them to the airport, or even counseling a friend through a problem in their life.
However, the city of Henderson recognizes that being a kind person consists of little actions that add up over time. If all of the city’s residents took time to be kind in one small way, the overall happiness of the community could increase many times over.
We don’t all have the time to volunteer at a food bank or a nursing home. But if we can take just a moment out of our busy days to pick up a piece of litter, return a shopping cart, or ask someone carrying groceries if they need our help, our worlds can change for the better.
This year’s “Heart of the City” winner
This year, Henderson honored resident Debbie Gardner with the 2020 Heart of the City award. In an exceptionally difficult year, Debbie went above and beyond in her community. She volunteered countless hours of her time helping senior citizens afford groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic, and dedicated her life to helping others.
According to KTNV Las Vegas, Gardner volunteered at the City of Henderson’s Heritage Park Senior Facility Mini Mart, where up to 175 seniors visited every Friday.
Gardner is an immense testament to the power that just one individual can have. She puts food on people’s tables without ever asking for thanks or reward. Gardner’s dedication to her work is admirable, and it doesn’t stop there.
When she’s not volunteering as a shopper for the Senior Mini Mart, Gardner frequently donates to Meals on Wheels, and asks businesses to donate school supplies to local students when the schools cannot afford them.
Henderson, Nevada is one of the first cities to declare a kindness month, but that doesn’t mean it can’t become a worldwide trend. In your city or hometown, talk to your friends and local officials about starting a kindness program right where you live. There’s a good chance they’ll want to join in!
Today, try to think like Debbie. Think about how you can help other people – even those you don’t know – in any way possible.