Westborough – This year, for the third time, the town of Westborough will celebrate Kindness Week. The initiative, to be held Sunday, March 21 through Saturday, March 27, is a collaboration between the nonprofit group Westborough Connects, the Westborough Public Schools and nearly 40 local businesses and organizations.
As it was last year, Kindness Week will be held virtually due to the pandemic. In spite of that, there will be many fun activities for all age groups, according to the co-chairs Kelley Petralia, Laura Cerniglia and Meghan Gavalis.
“Kindness Week is a celebration of the kindness in our community. It is a time to shine a spotlight on the good and encourage people to amplify kindness through their own actions and notice positive things/people around Westborough,” the women noted.
“Kindness Week promotes community bonding around kindness and offers a visual demonstration of the goodness in our community. This aligns with the Westborough Connects mission of building a more connected and kind community where everyone feels like they belong.”
Kick off event
This year’s kick-off will feature a virtual presentation via Zoom by the nonprofit organization, Ben’s Bells on Saturday, March 21 at 1 p.m.
Based in Arizona, the organization was formed by Jeannette Maré after the sudden death of her son Ben, just before his third birthday. According to the website, bensbells.org, in the months following his death, Maré and her friends began making ceramic wind chimes in her backyard studio. They then decided to make hundreds more and distribute them as random acts of kindness. Since then, thousands of others have joined the movement, distributing their own bells.
Throughout the week
The Women’s Club will oversee a special “Chalk the Walks” where residents are encouraged to write notes of kindness and gratitude on local sidewalks. The Senior Center will feature a special Buy One Get One free lunch. The Westborough Public Library is providing a variety of ways to celebrate with take home activities for kids and teens as well as a zoom event for teens only.
Additional events will include yoga classes, meditation, and giveaways such as brownies at Yummy Mummy and daffodils at Mugford Flowers.
More details will be released soon on the website and Facebook page.
“Each day we will also be sending out an email communication letting everyone know what will be happening,” Petralia said.
Plans for the fall
After celebrating this spring, the group will move the annual Kindness Week celebration to November to coincide with World Kindness Day.
“But we really thought it was important to hold one this spring too,” Petralia said. “It has been a long year for everyone – this is a nice way to celebrate kindness again, even if we have to do it virtually.”
“The Public Schools have been a great partner to us in this,” she added. “We received a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council to pay for Ben’s Bells. And the Pastoral Counseling Center and Rotary Club also made donations.”
“We are very mindful of our small business and community organizations too. We didn’t want to overtax them,” Cerniglia noted. “But so many have already stepped up and said they want to be part of this. They are really galvanized by the idea.”