By: Annalisa Ciro, Follow South Jersey
Editor’s Note: Follow South Jersey is a subsidiary of Hopeloft.
BRIDGETON, N.J. — Kicking off the new school year with some kindness, Bridgeton nonprofit Hopeloft is partnering with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation for its third annual #BeKind21 campaign. The three-week campaign, which culminates on the U.N. International Day of Peace, aims to inspire compassion and establish a habit of kindness across schools, corporations, nonprofits, and individuals alike.
#BeKind21 draws upon the idea that habits are formed from repeating a behavior for 21 successive days, with the ultimate goal of transforming individual acts of kindness into lifelong habits. Participants can sign up for #BeKind21 on the Born This Way Foundation’s website. Once they have pledged to be kind, they are encouraged to create calendars detailing one act of kindness per day for 21 days, sharing their acts of kindness every day on social media.
Each year, the campaign garners masses of individual participants and teams of partners ranging from large corporations like Starbucks to global institutions like the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. Last year, the campaign boasted more than 7,000 participants, more than 130 partners — including school districts, cities, nonprofits, and corporations — more than 330,000 “Kindness Team” members, more than 17,500 posts on social media, and pledges to commit more than 41 million acts of kindness globally.
In its second year participating in this global movement, local nonprofit Hopeloft is eager to encourage kindness both within their organization and in their surrounding community of Cumberland County.
“I think it’s important that we all aspire to be kind in everything we do,” Hillary Nichols, Event and Outreach Coordinator at Hopeloft, said. “You never know how your actions can affect someone’s day. Something as simple as showing appreciation or paying it forward can really turn someone’s life around. That’s why I do what I do–in hopes that giving back to the community will spark kindness in others and make someone’s day a little brighter.”
Hopeloft, located in downtown Bridgeton, NJ, is home to a network of more than 30 members and organizations dedicated to solving serious social challenges. The Hopeloft team shares a set of collective goals and collaborates to improve the lives of local community members, promoting kindness in everything they do–from training teams of volunteer advocates to speak up for abused and neglected children in court to organizing monthly service projects that benefit hundreds of South Jersey residents in need.
The Bridgeton nonprofit drew upon its day-to-day community impact to create the 21 Days of Kindness Calendar for the #BeKind21 campaign. The calendar lists 21 actions to take, including picking up litter in your community and buying groceries for a local family, and Hopeloft is encouraging both its staff and the community to join them.
“Together, we can change the world,” Nichols said.
Follow along with Hopeloft’s 21 Days of Kindness Calendar here and watch the nonprofit spread kindness in the community by following it on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about #BeKind21, visit Born This Way Foundation’s website. Pledge to create a habit of kindness by signing up for Born The Way Foundation’s #BeKind21 campaign here.
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