Random Acts of Kindness Day, or RAKD, was created in 1995 in Denver, Colorado. Celebrated every year on February 17, the day is all about practicing kindness and paying it forward when you can. The idea behind this day is more important than ever as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact people’s lives, resulting in often overwhelming feelings of isolation and loneliness.

In fact, through all the work we do at PICS Society, a non-profit organization that has been serving the community since 1987, we have found that connecting with people and/or community decreases feelings of loneliness, depression, social anxiety, and financial concerns. Little acts of kindness do go a long way towards making communities and the world at larger a better place.

In the spirit of this day, we’re sharing some heartwarming anecdotes about kind people and their acts of kindness.

Manjit Gill, a selfless philanthropist

She has been making a significant difference in the community for 50 years since immigrating from India. Her philanthropic philosophy is rooted in her love of giving selflessly which was instilled in her from an early age.

Manjit is an excellent example of what it means to be philanthropic. Her commitment to volunteerism is exemplified by the countless hours she has devoted over the past 25+ years by sitting on multiple committees, charities, clubs and boards. She remains a positive and dedicated member of her community in Langley and the larger Multicultural community in Lower Mainland.

Paul Dosanjh, an inspirational and dedicated volunteer

Paul Dosanjh has proven to be an inspirational leader and exemplary role model having volunteered approximately 34,000 hours by working 40 hours per week with PICS Society. His lengthy volunteer history includes serving PICS Society since 2002. He has supported the residents at its Seniors Housing Assisted and Independent Living facilities in Surrey.

One of Paul’s greatest attributes is that he cares deeply about the well-being of others and has gained the trust of the seniors who regularly confide in him. Listening with a kind and sympathetic ear, he enthusiastically assists, educates and encourages the seniors to make their own life choices and to voice their opinions, including the care they receive. Many seniors deal with the issue of feeling that their voices aren’t being heard and helping them to stand up for themselves and take an interest to improve upon their welfare is something he is passionate about.

As a senior mentor, Paul was also able to help the young volunteer adults and seniors develop healthier attitudes about aging. Paul shared his wisdom with the young adults allowing them to learn from his life experiences. This led to a new appreciation between the generations as it helped reduce ageism and loneliness that both groups can experience. He has helped build up these groups by creating a healthy environment of cooperation and understanding. Paul’s kind and caring nature has made a tremendous impact in the lives of many seniors and young adults alike.

Adopt a street to keep our neighborhood clean

PICS Society has adopted a street as part of City of Surrey’s Street Cleaning Grant Program. Every month, you’ll see volunteers cleaning up 80th avenue (from 128th to 120th street). These volunteers play an integral part in keeping our city clean, vibrant and thriving.

Generous donation for local food bank in Surrey

For each item donated by employees at Applied Industrial Technologies, the company doubled the donation. Clay and Terence from Applied Technologies came to hand-deliver these essential food items along with a monetary donation to PICS Society. This donation was distributed among Guru Nanak Food Bank in Surrey, which plays a pivotal role in serving the community in times of need.

Josephine Chauhan spreads cheer and happiness among many women and children at PICS Harmony House

Josephine Chauhan, spread cheer and happiness by organising and collecting donations for many women and children at PICS Harmony House. Josephine started this donation drive amongst her co-workers, neighbours, friends and family and was able to quickly collect toiletries, canned goods, clothing, Christmas gifts for children and teenagers, and other essential items for women. A lot of people stepped up to help as Josephine made it extremely easy for them to know what, where and how to donate.

Harmony House is a second stage transition home for women that are escaping domestically abusive environments. The house aims to provide women and their children a safe, secure and healing environment that is culturally sensitive and linguistically available.

Thanks to many generous donations, those at Harmony House celebrated a warm, safe, and merry Christmas this holiday season.