Monday, July 22, 2024

17 ways Victorians can pay it forward on Random Acts of Kindness day

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Originally created in 2004, Random Acts of Kindness Day (RAK Day) encourages community members to do something nice for someone and ask for nothing in return, except that they “pay it forward” with an act of kindness.

The act doesn’t have to be big or expensive, though it should spread kindness in your community. 

This year’s theme is “make kindness the norm.”— a cause that’s all about showing appreciation for others, this is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day this Friday, February 17th, and every day going forward.

Whether big or small, these 17 random acts of kindness are sure to put a smile on a stranger’s face. 

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Donations and Volunteering:

Sandy Merriman House

Sandy Merriman provides emergency shelter for 25 women who are homeless. They welcome trans women, gender fluid and non-binary people.

Due to staff shortages and limited space, the staff at the Merriman House are only able to receive donations on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Where: Sandy Merriman House, 809 Burdett Avenue
  • When: Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank 

The Lions Food Bank accepts a variety of food donations and food hampers. 

Donation hours include Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food hamper donations can be accepted Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

  • Where: Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, 9586 Fifth Street
  • When: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anawim House

The Anawim house is a drop-in and transition house for the homeless and those living on the margins in Victoria.

The Anawim House is able to accept donations of perishable as well as non-perishable food items. Dry food goods as well as maintenance supplies are also gratefully accepted. 

If you have any questions about donations, please contact House Director Terry Edison Brown at (250) 382-0283 or e-mail info@anawimhouse.com.

  • Where: Anawim House, 973 Caledonia Avenue
  • When: Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. With the exception of Wednesdays. 

Victoria Community Fridge 

The fridge operates on a “take what you need, leave what you can” basis, as an exciting way to strengthen the community. 

Everyone is welcome to take whatever they need from the fridge, whenever. 

The fridge is open 24/7 and directly accessible from the sidewalk.

Acceptable donations to the community fridge and pantry items include:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Unopened or bulk dry goods (pasta, rice, legumes, baking supplies)
  • Sealed hygiene items (diapers, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, tampons, pads, and soaps)
  • Sealed pet food, and snacks (granola bars, crackers, etc.)

Accepted products with labelled expiry dates:

  • Bread and pastries
  • Fresh eggs
  • Dairy products or alternatives
  • Soy products and meat alternatives

What the community fridge does not accept:

  • Open or used items
  • Raw meat or seafood
  • Opened or half-eaten food (unless individually packaged)
  • Alcohol
  • Mouldy or seriously damaged bread or produce
  • Frozen food
  • Leftovers or premade meals*
  • Where: Victoria Community Fridge, 2725 Rock Bay Avenue
  • When: Open 24/7

The Soup Kitchen

The Soup Kitchen is staffed by volunteers and funded by community donations, for 40 years the Soup Kitchen has fed those in need.

The kitchen’s brown bagged meals are given out to over 30,000 diners annually. For many, this is their only meal of the day.

The Soup Kitchen gladly accepts sealed and fresh food donations, warm clothes and personal care products. Those donating are encouraged to call 778-440-7687 if you have any questions.

  • Where: The Soup Kitchen, 740 View Street
  • When: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Rainbow Kitchen

Founded in 2010, Rainbow Kitchen is a family-friendly community kitchen that specializes in providing delicious meals and connecting the community to resources.

The Rainbow Kitchen accepts pasta, rice, tomatoes, beans, canned vegetables, toiletries, cooking oils/sprays, coffees and teas, flour and sugar on a regular basis.

For those looking to donate fresh food products, the Rainbow Kitchen encourages people to contact them before dropping off items.

  • Where: Victoria Rainbow Kitchen, 500 Admirals Road 
  • When: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Our Place Society

Our Place Society has grown from a unique inner-city community centre to nine locations serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable, including people struggling with homelessness, mental health challenges, substance use issues, the working poor, and the impoverished elderly.

From community meals that rely on public donations, to gifts and warm clothing these are 13 ways our place society accepts donations from the public.

  • Where: Our Place Society, 919 Pandora Avenue
  • When: Monday to Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (food bank)

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul accepts anything from food donations, clothes, household items, and electronics including TVs and game consoles, to furniture, antique merchandise, and hundred-year-old literature!

All donations are now being accepted at the societies, 1010 Craflower Road, Esquimalt and 2784 Claude Road, Langford locations. 

  • Where: 
    • Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, 1010 Craigflower Road
      • Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
    • Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, 2784 Claude Road
      • Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Mustard Seed 

The Mustard Seed Street Church has helped fight hunger and restore faith to people living in harsh conditions in greater Victoria since 1975.

The Mustard Seed accepts food, clothing and Christmas hamper donations. 

  • Where: The Mustard Seed, 625 Queens Avenue
  • When: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Food bank hours are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

BC SPCA Victoria Pet Food Bank Program

If you are interested in supporting the Victoria BC SPCA Pet Food Bank program, the initiative accepts donations of unopened pet food and treats, gently used items, beds and carriers! 

Drop-off is available at reception during reception hours Tuesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Where: Victoria BC SPCA, 3150 Napier Lane
  • When: Every Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

For the special people in your life:

  • Send a gratitude email to a coworker who deserves more recognition.
  • Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included
  • Leave a note on someone’s car telling them how awesome they parked
  • Know parents who could use a night out? Offer to babysit for free
  • Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life
  • Run an errand for a family member who is busy
  • Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think about it, say it!

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