With Mayor Gary Soiseth’s a Million Acts of Kindness, the small stuff is no longer going unnoticed, both the small stuff and the smallest Turlockers are getting their time in the sun before the city council.
The Million Acts of Kindness Initiative, developed by Mayor Soiseth, helps promote a” kinder, stronger, and more welcoming community.” During the last city council meeting on May 24, some of the Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Department’s after school programs gave an update on how the mayor’s initiative was being seen in the programs.
The children participate in making kindness quilts, and Osborn Elementary School’s play program quilt emphasizes a kindness pledge.
The quilt reads, “I pledge to myself on this very day to try to be kind in every way, to every person big and small I will help them if they fall, when I love myself and others too, that is the best that I can do.”
In these kinds of programs and with the Million Acts of Kindness Initiative, children participate in the wrinkled heart project. Students learn that each word can leave a wrinkle in someone else’s heart, and sometimes, despite how hard it can be take them back, the effects can linger just like how the wrinkles in a paper heart can still be seen after trying to flatten the paper out.
The “Kindness Trees” located at all 13 District sites continue to flower with the acts of kindness these children act out every day.
Play program leaders recognized some of their students because of the outstanding kindness they had shown.
Alexander Vasquez was recognized for his kindness and awarded for being helpful, kind and respectful.
Site Manager for Walnut Education Center’s afterschool program Stephanie Reyes commented on Alexander Vasquez, “He is deserving of this award, because every day he displays kindness by being very respectful. He’s always willing to help.
“When Stephanie asks something, I will do it. No matter what it is. Every time she needs help with something I will help her, and, whenever someone needs help, I will help him or her… Anytime I can help someone, I will help them,” stated Alexander Vasquez.
Kaydence Braley, Hugo Perez, and Mia Peterson were also recognized from their respective after school programs for having their kindness to others and their remarkable character.
“You have been recognized for your friendliness, willingness to help others, forgiving nature, putting other before yourself, and being a great role model. Your remarkable character makes you an excellent choice as a Million Acts of Kindness award recipient,” Mayor Soiseth said of the reward recipients.
Each child represented the Million Acts of Kindness with their character and a bracelet representing the initiative. The kindness from the kids was infectious as even Councilmember Bill DeHart Jr. contributed to the Turlock’s goal of a million acts of kindness by giving the City Clerk a break from reading one of the day’s motions from the council agenda. Councilmember Amy Bublak rewarded Councilmembers DeHart’s kindness to the City Clerk with a Million Acts of Kindness bracelet.
Even though the Million Acts of Kindness Initiative began in February, students such as those at the after school programs are moving forward and possibly inspiring others to do so along the way.