Concerned citizens and Township officials convened Saturday at the Maplewood Kindness Campaign Kickoff at Memorial Library. Organized by the Taskforce for Humanity Coalition, the 4-hour event featured presentations and discussion groups.
“I don’t want this to end today,” said Barbara Velazquez, Director of the Coalition. “Our organization does things within the community but we want to keep the discussion and action going.”
The day’s events included a welcome by Velazquez and opening remarks from Mayor Victor De Luca. Michele Hollow, who writes the Pet News and Views blog, made a presentation concerning kindness to animals. Doris Boyer, President of A Sense of Grace, gave a presentation titled "Think 3G: Grace Gratitude & Generosity." The Keynote address was provided by Jennifer De Mucci, Vice President of Meaningful World, an organization dedicated to fostering a peaceful and meaningful world.
Afterwards, participants broke into discussion groups to come up with ideas for promoting kindness in the community. Art Christensen, co-owner of Les Saisons Inn, offered to place Acts of Kindness posters in his wife’s salon and at the Maplewood train station. “We have 1,000 or more people a day who pass through the train station,” he said. “I think it’s an inspiring way to begin the day.” He also offered to house monthly kindness meetings at his bed and breakfast, so that community members will have a place to go to discuss ideas.
Other suggestions included teaching students to be more kind and finding ways to promote care for the community people live in. Ideas included going to local PTAs and school principals to ask to make presentations to children.
For more information or to discuss how you can help, log on to www.taskforceforhumanity.org.