The Value of Kindness
Karen and Jay share thoughts on the value of ‘kindness.
Kindness, and being a kind person, is so very important and so very much appreciated. Yet, in the rush of our daily lives, it’s so very easy to overlook. Simple acts of kindness – when authentic and from the heart - can have a profound affect. Kindness obviously benefits the recipient of the kindness. But, at least as important, it helps the giver. When we are kind to another person, we know that we are doing a right and honorable thing. There is a sense of virtue and fulfillment.
You may have heard the saying "A little bit of kindness goes a long way.” Well, it’s more than just an expression, it’s in fact scientifically proven that performing acts of kindness is beneficial for everyone involved. When you do a good deed, your body releases "feel good" hormones like serotonin which help reduce anxiety. And, while we know that we should be kind to everyone, sometimes we forget to treat others with compassion when things get hectic. Yet we all want a friendlier and kinder world.
It doesn’t take much to be kind, yet it’s often sometimes hard to come by. We each have the ability to be a difference maker, and it starts simply by taking action. It’s as simple as getting to know someone new at school or at work or calling a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in a while. Or, we can demonstrate kindness through generosity. Just this past week, I’ve heard countless stories about the generosity of people from all over the world helping displaced Ukrainians whose lives have been uprooted by a tragic war. One story in particular came from Poland, where one woman has welcomed over six families into her home, providing them with food, shelter, and clothing. Another one comes from right here in New Hampshire where a local businessman in Auburn is raising $100,000 to support displaced families. In the most difficult moments, it’s this generosity that reminds us that where there is kindness, there is good in the world.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out.” When faced with the choice of being kind or being mean, it’s important to remember that it is in fact a choice. And by choosing kindness, we choose to bring some light into this sometimes, chaotic world. So, I urge you this week, try choosing kindness, even when it might be difficult. What are three specific things you can do in the coming week to bring kindness to someone else? Please give it a try. We’ll all be better because of it.
The Sunshine Initiative is all about helping to revitalize our small towns and communities. About inspiring positivity and stimulating active engagement. With this in mind, we are delighted to be welcoming and introducing our partner, ‘Project Happy,’ as a vital part of our efforts at The Sunshine Initiative. Simply put, Project Happy offers an easy, user-friendly way for high school and college students to engage in the community – matching their interests with worthwhile causes to volunteer their time, track their efforts – and more. And as we can all appreciate, this kind of engagement on the part of teens and young adults is so very vital for our communities and for our future.
Here is the issue that Project Happy seeks to address: Studies show that 96 percent of people who volunteer say it enriches their sense of purpose in life, and 94 percent also say it improves their mood. Yet, only one quarter of students volunteer in their community and far less volunteer consistently.
Enter Jack Potvin and Project Happy. Jack is one of the three UNH seniors who have founded Project Happy and are determined to change the current arc of the above numbers. Jack is also one of the most positive and energetic people that you will ever meet! Project Happy aims to offer a positive community technology resource to every public high school and university student in NH (and beyond), within the next two years.
Already, Project Happy’s community software solution is currently in pilot with five New Hampshire high schools and at UNH. It makes it easy for young people to do local good by meeting students where they are with technology (an app), by directly eliminating the existing barriers that currently discourage young people from consistent community involvement and volunteering. Based on this simple formula, the ultimate vision for Project Happy is to build a suite of complementary positive technologies that contribute to solving adolescent unhappiness and disconnectedness in American youth – i.e. inspiring engagement! Making volunteering an easy to do, fun and socially ‘cool’ thing to do.
How it works…simply type in your NH zip code and input how far you are willing to travel to find great organizations looking for volunteers. Organizations that have been vetted appear on the screen. Once you select the organization, a calendar pops up that allows you to see what days they could use your help. Sign up for a time and you’re done. It’s that easy!
What’s really great is that Project Happy is always ‘on’ as it is delivered virtually. It’s an incredible ‘app’ - using positive technology for good!
Thank you, Jack and Project Happy!
Chad ‘Battle of the Badges’ – Taking the Ice!
This weekend kicks off one of coolest events in the Granite State. It’s the 14th CHaD ‘Battle of the Badges’ hockey game taking place at the SNHU arena in Manchester. Both Fire Fighters and Police Officers will take to the ice in true competitive spirit all the while supporting the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.
The game started back in 2008 and was founded by WMUR sports director Jamie Staton. In the first year of this action-packed game, the two squads raised a collective $77,000 all for the kids at CHaD. Today, the total take from the 14 games played including the first one is closing in on $3 million dollars raised. I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of these players and their buddies (patients of CHaD who are paired with players). Each player is required to raise $1500 to take the ice and the amounts they end up raising far exceed that. These players work a full shift keeping us safe and then train for months while raising money for CHaD. Once again, they show they are true heroes.
One player in particular is my good friend, Manchester Police Officer Kyle Daly. I first got to know Kyle back in 2018. Since then, Karen and I have supported his efforts year after year while watching him score goals in these games. Importantly, Kyle is only the 2nd player in the game to reach the $100,000 mark and is the first player to do so in 5 years. Well done and congratulations, Kyle!
So, if you’re free this Sunday, gather up the family, head to the SNHU arena, and cheer on Team Fire or Team Police as they take to the ice for one of the coolest games around all while doing it in support of the kids at CHaD.
Positive Profile of the Week: Steve Negron
We are delighted this week to highlight a great friend and selfless contributor to the community, Steve Negron.
With a smile that lights up a room, Steve Negron of Nashua, New Hampshire, is the embodiment of a kind soul. He is a friend to everyone who meets him. He is a teacher, mentor, coach, community and church leader, and if you get to know Steve, you will also know that he is always looking to help friends and family with projects and more.
Steve grew up in both Texas and Puerto Rico and is proud of his Puerto Rican heritage. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and then earned an MBA from Western New England College with an emphasis on Federal Acquisition and Contracting.
Serving in the US Air Force, Steve retired as a Major in 1998. His family comes from a long line of military service, with 111 years of cumulative service. In fact, he met his wife Terry while they both were in the service. They have been married for thirty-one years and have three children.
In 2005, Steve started his own business in Nashua, Integron, LLC, which works with the Department of Defense on acquisitions and engineering support. A former State Representative and a two-time nominee for US Congress, he still manages to be active in a number of Nashua area volunteer programs. These include the World Academy, Immaculate Conception Parish, Boy Scouts Troop 410, Knights of Columbus Council 13904, Paul Revere Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA), North Suburban Chamber of Commerce, Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School, and the Nashua South Cal Ripken League (Little League).
Because of Steve’s generosity and positive spirit, you always feel that you are a better person after talking or meeting with him. We are grateful for his service to the community, to our state, and to our country. Thank you, Steve!
Quotes of the Week: Kindness
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ― Mark Twain
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James
“Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu