By Ali Nicole

City of Salisbury Secretary of Kindness Grace Foxwell Murdock is once again working hard to spread kindness throughout the area for Random Acts of Kindness Week 2021. In partnership with the city of Salisbury, the kindSBY initiative continues to thrive as Murdock begins the safety-conscious kindness campaign this February.

“COVID-19 has not stopped kindness. Kindness doesn’t rest. We are active all the time thinking and living kindness in Salisbury and Wicomico County,” Murdock explains, referencing the continued efforts to keep Salisbury and surrounding areas focused on kind living.

Shown is a sticker that will be placed on a Russell Stover’s Candy Bar in honor of kindness week.

Random Acts of Kindness Week will be locally celebrated from the Feb. 14 through Feb. 20. Throughout the week, each day locals are presented with a different suggestion for how to be actively kind—while also being safe during the pandemic. In the middle of this week, National Random Acts of Kindness day will be observed on Feb. 17. Additionally, in partnership with MAC, Inc.’s Meals on Wheels program, kindness bags will be distributed to local seniors during the month of February. 

The campaign will kick off the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, during which time Murdock and acting Salisbury City Mayor Julia Glanz will pass out items to invite and encourage participation in the week’s kind festivities. Those out and about in Salisbury during the lead up week might be in for a sweet surprise. The “kindness token,” Murdock explains, will be, “a kinder reminder,” to be ready to practice kindness.

When Random Acts of Kindness Week begins, locals can join in the fun by following “kindSBY” on social media and taking part in the daily suggested activities. Murdock shared the week’s schedule with the Salisbury Star so readers can be prepared to take part. “What we’re looking for is people to model kindness that incentivizes others to be kind,” she says.

On Feb. 14, those taking part in the campaign will be called to honor their valentines. The next day, on the 15th, locals can make others feel seen with a wave and on the 16th, send a thank you to an inspiring or helpful person via hand-written note or on social media. On the official National Random Acts of Kindness Day, the 17th, locals are being asked to go above and beyond for first responders and frontline workers by delivering packaged (rather than homemade, for safety) treats to their offices/stations. Sharing a photo on social media of the delivery is a great way to model kindness.

Continuing through the week, on the 18th, kind community members can post suggestions for a movie, book, or app that promotes positive mental health. On the 19th, post a funny meme to encourage laughter and end the week of kindness on the 20th by paying it forward. Suggestions made by kindSBY for paying it forward include paying for the person behind you in line, making a donation to a non-profit, and patronizing a local business.

A major part of this kindness initiative in February will be the kindness bags passed out through Meals on Wheels. The 500 bags that will be delivered to local seniors will include items such as adult coloring books and pencils, word searches, kind messages, and items from sponsors who’ve supported this campaign. Murdock followed up by saying, “it is #kindSBY’s vision to engage our entire community with kindness and have kindness be the norm of our everyday lives.”

Spreading kindness is a continuous journey for Grace Foxwell Murdock and the city of Salisbury. The city’s celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week falls on the heels of a visit from James Alan Thompson and Paul Chavez in January as they wrapped up their Walk For Peace. The walk promoted acceptance and kindness, which took them across the country from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., and they chose to visit Salisbury due to its kindness efforts relating to their mission.

Connecting with the rest of the nation and the world through kindness is something Grace Foxwell Murdock does unceasingly and Random Acts of Kindness Week is just another way she hopes to engage others in doing the same. “I want other cities to do this, do some of the things Salisbury has done,” she shares. She also emphasizes that, “kindness helps us live a longer, happier, and healthier lives. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and others.”