PROVO— Mayor Michelle Kaufusi thinks there are (at least a) couple kinds of kindness. One is the surface kind, she says, which is when “her kids take out the neighbors trash, or shovel their driveway.” But what Provo Kindness aims to do, is, in Kaufusi’s words, “go deeper.”
TAKING KINDNESS DEEPER
The mission statement on their website and social media is “To cultivate a community of understanding, empathy, connection, and respect.” Kaufusi says this is a critical time to do that because the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our mental health. She says, “Depression and anxiety rates right now with adults are 1 in 3. In January 2019 they were 1 in 10.” The Mayor says “the time is now, the need is now, to dig deeper. Be a little more understanding. Put ourselves out there. Show our kindness at a higher level.”
TIPS ON HOW TO “ENGAGE” KINDNESS
Kaufusi says their website, ProvoKindness.org, or facebook page is a great place to start. She says it gives examples and ways to begin changing your level of kindness within your family, then bridging out into neighborhoods and the community.
There is space on the website for “Kindness Challenges.” Kaufusi hopes as word gets out about Provo Kindness, people will share stories with them. “If people will tell their stories about how they are reaching out and finding ways to unify their community… We’ll take those stories, post them, and turn them into challenges. ‘Here’s an example… now what can you do.'”
Mayor Kaufusi says Provo Kindness is an ongoing process that was started by School Board member Jennifer Partridge. And with support from the Fredette Family Foundation, founded by 2011 BYU Basketball and Naismith Award Winner, Jimmer Fredette.