Kindness Challenge adapts to challenging times

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Brooke Nelson from Alomere Health received a donation of eight boxes of gloves from Simply Ceramics on behalf of the Alexandria Jaycees to fulfill the #HappyToHelp kindness challenge. (Contributed)

With the current state of the world, amid the stress, anxiety and fear surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Alexandria Jaycees are asking community members to take action and spread kindness as far and as wide as possible through the Kindness Rally.

Although the national Kindness Rally is coming to a close on April 15, the Alexandria Jaycees organization is running a local Kindness Rally from April 10 through May 8.

Steph Nelson from the Alexandria Jaycees brought the campaign to the group’s attention and has started a community Facebook page – Alexandria Virtual Kindness Rally .

“Our mission is to provide a fun way to inspire others to be kind while combating negativity with acts of positivity in our local community,” said Nelson.

Tammy Justin, another Jaycees member was thinking about the kindness challenge presented by Tim Urness from Thrivent Financial.


“I was driving by the currently closed Doolittles craving their chicken wild rice soup and I remembered Tim was buying lunch there for who completed his challenge,” said Justin. “I was thinking that if someone hadn’t completed the volunteer at a nursing home challenge, they can’t do it now because of COVID-19. Our Kindness Rally gives shelter in place alternatives.”

What is the rally?

The Kindness Rally is an international random act of kindness road rally that is typically held as an outdoor community event in September. Teams across the globe receive a list of kindness challenges to complete within a certain timeframe and the team with the most acts of kindness at the end of the challenge wins.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kindness Challenge was moved up and turned into a virtual challenge. For the local effort, because it is not being done in the same time frame as the national challenge, there won’t be any prizes given.

According to the Kindness Challenge website, , by completing virtual random acts of kindness challenges in communities, it is hoped a ripple effect of positivity can change lives. Even seemingly simple acts of kindness can help increase happiness, increase energy, make people feel good and even promote a longer life. Kindness also helps reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.

The website lists many different challenges with each challenge involving a random act of kindness or self-care practice, as people need to be kind to themselves as well. When people complete one of the challenges, they post pictures or videos to either Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag for that challenge. For instance, one of the challenges is to draw or color a picture and send it to your grandparents or a family member. When you complete that challenge, you post a pictures and use the hashtag #ArtSchool.

Justin said some of the challenges already completed locally include #ArtSchool, #ChalkYourWalk and #SnailMail.

The full list of challenges can be found on the Kindness Rally website.

Justin said that the Minnesota Jaycees does a Random Acts of Kindness challenge each year prior to each of its three conventions. She said members have taped money to a vending machine, colored a picture on a sidewalk using chalk, posted uplifting notes on peoples’ cars and posted uplifting messages on public bathroom mirrors.


“I know that many chapters want to keep that Jaycee spirit alive in any way they can,” she said.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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