Fairfield celebrates Random Acts of Kindness

Veronica Mollica accepts a proclamation declaring Feb. 10-16, 2014, “Random Acts of Kindness Week” in Fairfield from  First Selectman Michael Tetreau, Selectman Kevin P. Kiley and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey. (Kendra Wingate Photo)

Veronica Mollica accepts a proclamation declaring Feb. 10-16, 2014, “Random Acts of Kindness Week” in Fairfield from First Selectman Michael Tetreau, Selectman Kevin P. Kiley and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey. (Kendra Wingate Photo)

A lesson a mother wanted to teach her children will be the focus of all of Fairfield next week.

The Board of Selectmen proclaimed Feb. 10-16, 2014, “Random Acts of Kindness Week.”

“I can think of nothing more appropriate in honor of our 375th anniversary celebration than participating in Random Acts of Kindness,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. “This makes our town a friendlier and more welcoming community. It is an act of giving, rather than receiving, which is in total keeping with Fairfield’s character and volunteer spirit.”

Resident Veronica Mollica spearheaded the idea in an effort to teach her two young children, Ryan, 8, who is in third grade, and Grace, 5, who is in kindergarten, “to remember on a moment-to-moment basis that everything we think, say and do makes a difference.”

Mollica explained that this special week is designed to raise awareness about the power of kindness and suggests people make a conscious decision to give and receive kindness on a daily basis.

“I believe kindness is the core of our emotional well-being and that while the recipient benefits from kindness, the person who is on the giving end benefits even more.”

Mollica’s children are students at North Stratfield School, where a Kindness Committee has been started. The school also has a Kindness Matters motto, a Kindness Zone, a Kindness Pledge, and more.

The Kindness Committee wants to use the special week to foster a “Community of Kindness,” encouraging residents, families, schools and workplaces to exercise kindness 365 days a year.

Mollica said kindness begins at home and that as parents “we are always modeling behavior to our kids, either positive or negative, so we hope to help parents remember to be conscious and aware of what they do and say with their kids.”

North Stratfield School kicked off its initiative by creating “Kindness Matters” stickers and flyers thanking favorite establishments, and making homemade cards and baked goods and delivering them on Kindness Excursions to the Police and Fire departments, the Department of Public Works, Town Hall employees, the Senior Center, The Carlton, and more.

“Name-calling, excluding, and bullying can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on a person’s emotional health,” Mollica said. “We need to be stewards of one another, look out for each other and reach out to others who are suffering, lonely or marginalized. We have that responsibility to one another.”

A Bus Driver Appreciation Day, a Custodian Appreciation Day, a Lunch Staff and Aide Appreciation Day, and a food drive are among the events planned by the North Stratfield School Kindness Committee.

“We hope to inspire others to try doing a random act of kindness by buying coffee for the person in line behind them, visiting or calling someone who is lonely, or writing a note to someone to tell them how much you appreciate them,” Mollica said. “We will continue with random acts of kindness all around town during the week — handing out balloons, stickers and hugs to anyone who will receive them!”

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