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Community Kindness Committees

AOK Maine is launching an initiative to create “Community Kindness Committees” in towns and cities throughout Maine to foster greater community cohesion, quality of life, and a sense of belonging.

Who Can Be A Member? Local residents and representatives of libraries, businesses, non-profits, schools, adult learning programs, food pantries, community gardens, faith institutions, city/town government and others.


Why Kindness Committees? These are difficult times: loneliness is epidemic; political differences are straining family and community ties; drug overdoses, suicide, depression and anxiety are at record levels; and the future seems increasingly uncertain, and for many people, bleak.


In these trying times, kindness toward one another is needed more than ever. But kindness does not always arise spontaneously. We all might want to show more kindness, and want more kindness shown towards us, but opposing forces get in the way.


Kindness Committees can serve as catalysts to counter the forces arrayed against kindness. By kindness, we don’t just mean giving cookies to one’s neighbor or shoveling their driveway (although these small gestures can actually mean a lot in people’s lives). We see kindness as the foundation for broad social change, social justice, bringing meaning to people’s lives and much more.      


What Will These Committees Do? The following are the types of activities Kindness Committees can organize:

  • Support for isolated residents, particularly those who are older or have special needs.

  • Youth kindness activities (in coordination with local schools and other groups).

  • Support for former inmates, housing insecure individuals, and others facing special challenges.

  • Maintaining a roster of community volunteers to help fellow residents with specific needs, such as professional advice, conflict resolution, household repairs, and any other assistance volunteers might have to offer.

  • Mutual aid activities for emergencies such as storm events.

  • Kindness book clubs, film nights, social events, discussion groups and adult learning courses.

  • Hosting forums for discussion of difficult community issues.  

  • Monthly “Kindness Cafes”: breakfast or evening get-togethers in a restaurant, coffee shop or public venue for people to connect socially, share stories of kindness, share life stories, etc.  

  • Promoting involvement in local civic activities.

Are you interested in helping start a Community Kindness Committee in your town or city? Contact us at  We will help you get your committee underway, including helping you recruit members, organize activities, and whatever needs you might have. We are creating a statewide network to enable Community Kindness Committees to share information with each other and collaborate.

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