KINDNESS IN ACTION
AOK Maine is excited to launch a full array of activities to put kindness into action in everyday life:
AOK for Inclusion: A working group will be formed to develop ways to use kindness as the lens through which to address issues of racial equity; welcoming of New Americans; and other aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion.
AOK in the Schools: Participating schools will be assisted in forming AOK clubs, in which students will develop AOK programs for their school, including: 1) Acts of Kindness among students, teachers and staff within the schools; 2) Acts of Kindness for students to perform in the community; 3) ways for students to play leadership roles in community AOK activities. Kindness could be a platform for dialogue among students on difficult issues. Teaching modules on kindness that are available from existing organizations, such as Learn Kind, The Department of Kindness, and the Do Good Crew, will be offered to teachers, and additional modules will be developed, as appropriate.
AOK at Home: A promotional campaign will be launched within the community to promote the Acts of Kindness within the home. The project team will work with local nonprofits and agencies to create ways that the campaign can target problems such as domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, etc.
AOK in the Nonprofit Sector: The project team will work with the Maine Association of Nonprofits to develop workshops and other activities for Portland-area nonprofits to explore how to weave kindness into their work.
AOK in Politics: A working group will be formed to develop and promote ways to bring Acts of Kindness into political campaigns, city council meetings, public forums, and the like.
AOK in Public Health: Loneliness, isolation and disconnection are now recognized as some of the most serious public health crises of our time: “The crisis of loneliness poses as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse.” (2017, Aspen Ideas Festival). The Loneliness Pandemic: The psychology and social costs of isolation in everyday life (Harvard Magazine, 2021). Millennials And The Loneliness Epidemic (Forbes, 2019). We will work with leaders in the public health arena to help develop activities that use kindness, compassion, and connection as antidotes to these problems.
AOK Online: We will be launching discussion groups, both online and in person, to brainstorm “Acts of Kindness “ that can be easily performed in social media.
AOK Business Council: A council of business leaders will be formed to develop ways that local businesses can be involved, such as forming employee Kindness Teams, kindness messaging in stores, sponsorship of activities, kind business practices, etc.
AOK in Neighborhoods: The project team will meet with the more than twenty neighborhood associations in the City of Portland to develop neighborhood kindness programs.
AOK Home Parties: Community members will be encouraged to host parties for friends and family to explore how they, as a group, would like to give to the community, such as through group volunteer work, group donations, etc. Engaging with the community together as a group not only builds connection with the greater community, but it provides a way for friends and family to feel greater connection and meaning with each other.
AOK in Faith Communities: Churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith communities are particularly well-suited to be engaged in the AOK campaign. Outreach will be done to individual faith organizations to develop ways they will be involved. We see faith communities as a prime way to bring together segments of the community across racial, ethnic, political, and other divides.
Quarterly AOK Days: Every quarter, we will organize, in partnership with various community organizations, a day on which community members are invited to come together to engage in community improvement projects; participate in dialogues to increase understanding on challenging community issues; and participate in activities to celebrate the diverse cultural aspects of the community.