Powering Kindness is a simple initiative ran by Electric Ireland, which took place from Saturday January 17th to Friday January 23rd 2015. It started in 2012 and has grown bigger and better each year.
Powering Kindness was designed to encourage people to do random acts of kindness. You were able to submit your kindness online which transformed into a donation of €130,000 for three Irish charities. The charities that were involved in 2015 were ;
- ISPCC Childline (@ISPCCChildline)
- Irish Heart Foundation (@IrishHeart_ie)
- Marie Keating Foundation. (@MarieKeating)
Acts of kindness can be as simple as making tea for your friend, giving up your seat to a stranger on the train, calling into a neighbour for a chat, paying for coffee for the person behind you, offering an umbrella to someone being soaked by the rain…..the list is endless!
Last year on my final Teaching Placement, which was for the month of January, I was teaching my Third Year Religious Education class about Morality. When I was coming to school one morning, I heard on Spin 1038 radio about the Powering Kindness campaign. I researched it further on the Electric Ireland website and decided that I would incorporate it into my lessons with the Third Years.
I introduced the topic by recapping on what we had learned previously about Morality in class and what kindness was truly all about. We discussed how we all felt when somebody was kind to us,how we felt when we did something nice for somebody else and who inspires us to be kind.
I also explained the three charities involved to the students through a Powerpoint Presentation.
Some of the students had already heard about the initiative and really wanted to get involved.Firstly,I planned out how long this would take and what the outcome would be. As a class group, the students decided that they would all do individual random acts of kindness and then a whole class act of kindness in school.
I showed the students some short video clips to encourage them and all the students were really motivated about the campaign.
The students made a poster about Powering Kindness week and wrote all of their individual random acts of kindness on star surrounding it.
I tweeted Childline (who we nominated our whole class kindness to) and they replied ;
The students were absolutely delighted and it was mentioned on the intercom and the students said they were telling all of their friends to do a random act of kindness and go on and nominate their kindness to one of the three charities on the site.
It was a fantastic class project and everyone was involved and it was a nice conclusion to the topic of morality.
Some of the acts of kindness during Powering Kindness Week 2015 included a young girl donating her pocket money to a homeless person, commuters leaving change in ticket machines for the next person; and motorists stopping and helping others with flat tyres or who’d run out of fuel.
With all of the good deeds and random acts of kindness in 2015, Childline received €60,000 from Electric Ireland. A further €40,000 was donated to The Marie Keating Foundation, and The Irish Heart Foundation received €30,000.
Powering Kindness hosted all of the details during that week including ;
- Some inspiration with a list of suggested good deeds.
- What good deeds have been logged to date.
- An update on how each charity is doing and how many deeds are assigned to them.
- A deed tracker to show where kind deeds are happening – around Ireland and around the world.
- A Twitter feed and everyone submitting their kindness.
According to Dr Maureen Gaffney, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Society at University College Dublin;
“When someone performs an act of kindness, it makes them feel good about themselves. Importantly it also gives them a sense of control, allowing them to feel that they can make a change to the lives of those around them. Both parties involved in the act of kindness benefit and the research really brings this to life.”
At the moment, the Powering Kindness website is temporarily unavailable and I cannot find out if the campaign is running this January 2016. The campaign is always hosted through http://www.poweringkindness.ie/.
You can also follow Powering Kindness through the Electric Ireland Facebook and Twitter (@electricireland) and #poweringkindness.
Although the campaign has not been confirmed for 2016 as of yet, as a welcome back to school initiative for students, an idea would be to set up your own random acts of kindness with your class group, weather it is CSPE, Religious Education, SPHE or maybe a Tutor group you may have!
You could also make a Kindness board in your classroom with kindness quotes (similar to the ones used in this blog post!) or have students write about what kindness means to them!
A little act of kindness goes a long way! 🙂