Written by: Lesley Thorsell, Community Connector, inclusion Powell River Society
Seeing the Valentine’s Day wagon with paper hearts hanging off of it reminded me of when my family had moved to Powell River back in the 1970’s. My mum wanted to meet new people so she signed up to work for the “Welcome Wagon” – a free service that visited people who recently moved to Powell River and provided free samples and information on all the activities and businesses. Even back in the 1970’s it appears that community connecting was recognized as an important and necessary contribution that let people know they were appreciated and cared for.
Our “Heart Wagon,” to celebrate February 14th, was loaded with 120 free mini-cupcakes and 250 paper hearts with written quotes such as “Diversity is the spice of life” or “Be kind whenever possible, it’s always possible.” A very sweet way to build caring communities and develop community connections!
In the morning, Greg pulled the wagon along Marine Ave. and we scattered joy and kindness to all in our path – even the cars along the streets showcased a heart on their windshield. One focus was on people in the community service sector such as the RCMP, Regional District, the MLA office, and our own inclusion Powell River office.
Later in the afternoon, we had Derek with us and we descended upon the crowd lining up for the Powell River Film Festival. We then continued on by the Municipal Hall where we were able to give a heart and cupcake to the Mayor of Powell River as he was walking out of the building. Derek and the Mayor had their picture taken together with big smiles and Derek shouted out “Nice to see you Mr. Mayor!”
We had some great feedback and smiles from people in the community! One woman who was getting out of a car had a cast on her leg and picked a heart that said “When nothing goes right, go left.” She laughed and said that was the perfect heart for her under the circumstances. We went to the Service Canada office to give some cupcakes and hearts to the hard working staff there, where we met a former high school teacher of Derek’s in the waiting room. He was one of the original members of the “Kindness Crew” that traveled across Canada in 2003 for a whole year doing acts of Kindness. It was fun to see him on the receiving end of kindness.
One of the last places we delivered to was a business called Modern Windows. They all seemed excited to see us with our cupcakes and hearts, so much so that Gary, the owner, led us to all the offices so no one was missed. I heard later on in the week that they had talked about it for 3 days and thought it was an awesome event. So in six hours, 120 cupcakes and 250 hearts were scattered all over Powell River in the hopes of brightening someone’s day. When you take into consideration all the conversations created by this event, the expansion of kindness touched at least 1000 hearts. I would like to think this was “Mission Accomplished”.
Special thank you to Jenn, Derek, Loren and Greg for their time and energy towards making this happen!
Photo Credits: Jenn Morris