By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – In 2019, the nonprofit group, Westborough Connects, organized a weeklong initiative, inviting the community at large to participate in activities that focused on bringing residents a sense of hope and community spirit.
“Kindness Week,” as it was dubbed, was wildly successful, so much so, that the organizers had great hopes for this year’s week, which was scheduled for March 28 to April 3.
Then the coronoavirus pandemic struck, changing everything.
Kelley Petralia, the group’s executive director, and Laura Cerniglia and Meghan Gavalis, co-chairs of the Programming Committee, decided to still hold the event.
“In spite of what is going on right now, we felt it was really important to still move forward with the week’s events with the understanding that things might have to be done a little differently this year. We shifted gears quickly,” said Cerniglia.
Each day, a daily communication was sent out to a mailing list with a theme of the day along with suggested activities and links to children’s books and activities and more. The group also posted information on their Facebook page.
Residents of all ages enjoyed the activities, several of which were “hosted” by local businesses. Town departments, themselves facing a strange new world, also took time to participate, including the Westborough Fire Department, who posted messages on their doors, thanking residents for their support.
“Kindness Week is important every day. The week amplifies and brings people together. It’s an amazing thing to think that the community is all coming together and it is a bit of a positive distraction, which we could all certainly use right now,” said Petralia.