Kindness in Real Life: Promoting good acts on Valentine's Day

Members of the Old Lyme is Kind Facebook group and the Town of Old Lyme Kindness Committee met this month to promote acts of kindness in the Old Lyme community for Valentine’s Day.

They arrived Feb. 13 at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School after school was over to decorate the kids’ lockers with positive, kindness-themed Post-It notes for the students to come in and read on Valentine’s Day. Notes giving messages such as: “It’s a good day 4 a good day”; “You are a good friend,” and “Follow Your Heart” occupied minimal space on each locker owned by a student around the school.

The kids came in the next day and upon reading the notes expressed feelings of shock, delight, gratitude and positivity. The Town of Old Lyme posted a video on its YouTube page of the students’ reactions.

“We wanted each student to feel good about themselves when they arrived at school and found a special kindness note on their locker,” Michelle Noehren, chair of the Kindness Committee, said in explaining the event’s purpose. “Middle school can be a very hard period of time so it’s really important to remind students that they are loved and that they matter.”

Notes included short snippets such as “follow your heart” and “you are a good friend” as well as longer sentiments such as “In case no one told you this today — I think you are brilliant and incredibly amazing.”

Noehren brought up the idea to the Board of Selectmen about forming the committee last October as a way to enhance and publicize kindness that currently exists in the Old Lyme community. The Facebook group Old Lyme is Kind was created after the meeting.

Feb. 14 was members’ first public act of kindness. Aside from this, they have started a week dedicated to suggesting acts of kindness called Random Acts of Kindness Week, which ended Feb. 18. The suggestions are posted on the Old Lyme CT Gov web page.

Members have also started a “community corner” in Old Lyme Town Hall where flyers from nonprofit groups can be shared, and people were given free “Be a good human” buttons.

The Kindness Committee does not stop at spreading kindness with this one event. It will continue implementing new ideas in the future.

After all, one act of kindness deserves another!

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To contribute, email times@theday.com.

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