When was the last time you did something nice for someone just to make them smile?
Canadians have a global reputation for being polite. A 2010 customer-service poll ranked Canada first out of 50 countries. While being polite can be a superficial attitude when interacting with friends and strangers, being “kind” to others generally requires a much greater effort and truly shows who you are as a person. So, how kind are Canadians?
In a national survey conducted by Environics Research for Coca-Cola Canada, on average Canadians have “shown kindness to others through random actions” an four times in the last four weeks. Examples of kindness include things as opening a door for a stranger, offering to carry heavy items or giving up your seat for someone else on public transit.
With millions acts of kindness happening every day, most Canadians polled felt kind folks deserved more recognition for their actions. Enter Coca-Cola Canada, who have decided to celebrate some very special individuals who make others happy with remarkable acts in their own communities. The goal is to share their stories to help inspire others to give a little kindness too.
“When it comes to kindness, seeing really is believing,” says Carolyn Harty, Senior Brand Manager, Coca-Cola. “More than half of Canadians are motivated to pay-it-forward themselves when they see others making a kind gesture. It is these small acts of kindness that make a larger difference and inspire and create happiness.”
Coca-Cola Canada searched the country looking for stories about Canadians who are on a serious mission to make the world a happier place. Of the many fantastic people out there, here are a few young Canadians making a difference:
It’s Your Birthday, Make a Wish!
Sixteen year-old Sheliza Kassam, from Calgary, decided on her thirteenth birthday that instead of gifts, she and her family would help feed families in need. Her one small gesture ballooned into a non-profit organization that Sheliza now runs to throw birthday parties for children living in shelters who otherwise would not be able to celebrate their special day.
What Are You Having for Lunch?
Winnipeg teen Nathan Unrau started out with a one-time school charity project that just couldn’t stop. With the support of his parents Lunches with Love has become a non-profit organization that makes and donates 450 paper bag lunches to Winnipeg’s homeless shelters every other Saturday.
Dancing is in his Roots.
Twenty-two year old Luke Watters from Halifax knew just how much dance could fuel a positive lifestyle. He now helps out with a special organization called Concrete Roots that helps teens get off the streets and find their outlet in dance, giving them the confidence to excel in something they love.
Inspiring Random Acts of Happiness
This summer, in an effort to inspire others and share happiness, Coca-Cola Canada will be giving Sheliza, Nathan, and Luke a helping hand with additional support and resources to make their act of kindness even bigger. Faze is constantly witnessing the wonderful things young people are doing across Canada, and we’d love to congratulate these three stars.
Even more acts of kindness have been documented by filmmakers from across the country and can be seen on www.youtube.com/openhappiness. The Open Happiness Project is a special program that provided 22 aspiring Canadian filmmakers with $2,000 or $3,000 grants to help inspire more kindness and inevitably happiness through their art. Coca-Cola is honoured to help showcase the diversity of voices through these films and shine a light on these young adult filmmakers’ work as they grow in their careers.
“We’re very impressed by the actions of these teens and the stories that these filmmakers from across Canada have created and chosen to tell, They truly inspire us all to think about how we can look at the world a little differently,” says Harty. “This summer, we hope every Canadian can experience how a little bit of kindness can make others happy.”
How Have Canadians Expressed Their Kindness In the Last Month?
- Holding a door open for other people is the most common act reported amongst Canadians (92 per cent)
- Forty-one per cent of Canadian teens (15-17) have donated money to a stranger in need or offered up their seat on public transit
- Approximately half of Canadians have helped someone lost find correct directions
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