By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – During the week of April 7-14, the Westborough community will come together with special events throughout the town to include speakers, crafts, games, intergenerational activities, treats and so much more as part of Westborough Connects Kindness Week. The “Kickoff to Kindness Week” event Sunday, April 7, will be held at the Mill Pond School, 6 Olde Hickory Path, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Author, lecturer and activist Meghan Murphy is the creator of The Kindness Rocks Project. “Meghan’s presentation will stress the importance of kindness and how it helps connect and impact so many, said Kelley Petralia, who chairs the event with Meghan Gavalis and Laura Cerniglia. “Participants will take part in a painting workshop where they will decorate rocks that will then be hidden throughout the town and inspire those who find them.”
Other activities at this event will include themed activities, a knitting circle to benefit the Youth & Family Services Holiday Store, making “kindness cards” for those in need, a drum circle featuring Dave “Drumhead” Curry, and refreshments donated by Uhlman’s Ice Cream and Yummy Mummy.
“At the end of this kickoff, participants will leave with three things: a luminary to decorate and display at their homes, a Kindness Bingo card to help keep track of their acts of kindness, and a map identifying the five locations for the QR Code Kindness Challenge. I want people to really think about how do we, as a community, band together,” said Petralia.
Westborough Connects is an emerging organization in town with a mission to build connections and kindness in the community so that everyone has the feeling that they belong. It is volunteer-based and is in the process of filing with the state for its nonprofit standing.
“I believe that Westborough Connects reaches into the heart of the community and pulls out all of its most amazing qualities to highlight, strengthen and share,” Gavalis said. “Westborough is a special town and I’ve never believed that more than when I witness the positive impact Westborough Connects is having on the people that live here.”
“Kindness really is at the root of what we do as an organization. We named it about 18 months ago and learned about a similar nonprofit in Natick called ‘Spark Kindness.’ They have been doing this work for about 10 years. Some people from Westborough approached Spark and asked them to bring it to Westborough. They are a wonderful organization and have been mentors for me,” said Petralia.
Throughout the week of this event, schools, businesses, local library, and town departments are all encouraged to find ways to host small events and kindness-themed programs.
Among the events planned so far, Release Well-Being Center will host a free Kindness Meditation session; Yummy Mummy will offer free mini treats; the Westborough Public Library will display kindness-themed books for all ages; the Sugar Shack will host free hugs and kisses, and the Westborough Police Department is planning “coffee with the cops.”
The film, “Wonder,” will be shown at the Mill Pond School Friday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to bring his or her bingo card that will be exchanged for a Kindness Week token. The luminaries will also be collected that evening so that they can be displayed.
On April 13, the last day of the Kindness Week, the Westborough Community Land Trust’s town-wide Earth Day cleanup will take place throughout the town. They are encouraging all to participate.
Westborough Connects is grateful to the generous contributions from Westborough’s 2018 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service offering and SPARK Kindness of Natick.
“This event is the result of a programming committee’s brainstorming. Celebrating kindness in our community is very important,” said Petralia.
“I truly believe that kindness is contagious, so I’m excited for the beneficial impact I believe this week will have on the residents of our town,” said Cerniglia.
For more information visit www.westboroughconnects.org.