It has been suggested that timing is everything. 

Such is the case with Random Act of Kindness Day®. 

Step back to early 2008.  At a strategic planning meeting for board and staff, a board member suggested that The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) help create empathy in our community.  This suggestion contributed to the overall vision and strategy for The KWCF in its planning for upcoming years.

A few short months later, a volunteer of The KWCF brought the idea of Random Act of Kindness Day® forward to then CEO, Rosemary Smith.  The volunteer experienced an epiphany when, out of the blue one day, she had rushed to a meeting in downtown Kitchener.  As she got out of her car to pay for parking, she was approached by a stranger.  This stranger offered her a full day parking pass.  Apparently his meeting had been cancelled and he didn't think the parking pass should go to waste.  The KWCF volunteer took the parking pass thankfully.  Later, when her meeting was over, the volunteer vowed that she would return the 'random act of kindness' to someone else. 

Reflecting on the incident, the volunteer felt good about what she had done.  However, it wasn't until a week or two later when she watched the movie 'Pay it Forward' that the volunteer had her 'aha' moment.  She thought about how she had 'paid it forward' with the parking pass and how good she felt afterwards.  She wondered if she could help others feel the same way by creating a celebration of kindness in her community. 

With The KWCF's focus on creating a more empathetic and connected community, Random Act of Kindness Day® was born.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

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