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CBC Saskatchewan: Regina group celebrates unsuspecting do-gooders with 100 Acts of Kindness campaign

Regina group celebrates unsuspecting do-gooders with 100 Acts of Kindness campaign

Creative Options Regina spent winter months handing out gifts, helping community members

By Samanda Brace, CBC News Posted: Mar 21, 2018 4:00 PM CTLast Updated: Mar 21, 2018 4:00 PM CT

Ecole Connaught secretary Janine Jackson is given some baking after being nominated through Creative Options Regina's 100 Acts of Kindness campaign, which recognizes people for their work and contributions.

Ecole Connaught secretary Janine Jackson is given some baking after being nominated through Creative Options Regina’s 100 Acts of Kindness campaign, which recognizes people for their work and contributions. (CBC News)

Parking enforcement officers, drive-thru cashiers and university students are just a few of the people who have been recognized by a Regina group for the often unheralded work they do.

“It gets kind of heavy during the winter months and what better way to lift people up than recognize the significant things they may not realize they are doing,” said Ben Morris, director of storytelling for Creative Options Regina.

The non-profit organization, which offers support services and programs for people with disabilities, has been celebrating people in the city with its 100 Acts of Kindness campaign.

Morris and his team have sneaked into schools, community centres and onto city buses to surprise people and thank them for their work with small gifts like baking and T-shirts.

“You don’t actually have to know the person, or know the ins and outs of their life to recognize they have value,” he said.

Dr. Chin

Dr. Gordon Chin at the Victoria East Medical Clinic was another recipient of the 100 Acts of Kindness campaign. (CBC News)

The group finds some of its recipients through nominations on its website from people who want to show their appreciation for others who brighten their day, doing 10 acts per week through the campaign since in began in late January.

Feels good to give

Jesse, one of the people supported by COR, volunteered his own time before work for the 100 Acts of Kindness street team.

“It’s pretty fun bringing the T-shirts and cookies to people,” he said.

“It makes them happy.”

Morris and his team surprised Shea Beaudry, a COR support worker, with a nomination during Week 7 of the campaign. As Beaudry drove up to a client’s home, Morris and his team were waiting in the driveway.

Shea Beaudry

Shea Beaudry, a COR support worker, says she was shocked to be acknowledged for her work. (CBC News)

Morris handed Beaudry a T-shirt, a button, stickers and home baking, and read out her nomination.

“When I felt alone, down and not worthy, Shea was there to fill me up and lift me up,” Morris read from the nomination by Maria Koback.

“Shea is one of the most empowering people in this world and I am so thankful to have met her.”

Beaudry was shocked by the acknowledgement.

“It just makes you feel better for doing what you do normally and being yourself,” she said.

The campaign will wrap up once the 100 acts are complete but Morris says he hopes it will inspire others.

 

Link to the CBC Saskatchewan article. 

Watch our 100 Acts of Kindness videos here!

COR is not like any other job that I have had in the past!

I heart my job at CORWhen joining the team at Creative Options Regina (COR) I had no idea what I was getting involved in.

Everything I knew about COR consisted of knowing I would be working with individuals with intellectual disabilities, that I would be there to help improve their quality of life and to help these individuals through their day as a support person. After six months at COR I have realized that this kind of work goes well beyond what I initially believed I would be getting into. As stated by COR itself, we as support workers follow two ideals: “first, giving each person a sense of feeling safe and loved with their caregivers as companions, and second, helping individuals to express love to others, both in the COR community and in the greater community.”

COR is not like any other job that I have had in the past.

Working other jobs, such as retail or customer service, I was able to distance myself as an individual after I left work; with COR this is not the case. The individuals I support in COR have taken on a role in my life, as well as I have theirs. When I am not supporting the individuals I am usually with, I often find myself wondering what they are doing that day, how their day is going and even missing spending time with them. This kind of relationship goes far beyond that of a working relationship. It becomes a friendship. As with any kind of friend you want to see them lead a good life, make good choices, and improve as an individual; these are all qualities closely related to the ideals followed by Gentle Teaching.

It is because of the friendship I have developed with the individuals I support that I believe I maintain a culture of gentleness. I treat the individuals I support the same way I would treat anyone in my life; with patience, tolerance, compassion and happiness. I am able to joke around and have fun with the individuals I support the same way I interact with my friends outside of COR. This is a special relationship that helps us create a healthy environment for these individuals to thrive and grow. Being able to view the individuals within COR in this light is what makes us different from other organizations that use physical restraints, consequences, and the use of reward and punishment for behavioural interventions.   If we used these traditional practices it would hamper the kind of friendship that develops over time with the practice of Gentle Teaching and I would not be a capable support person or friend to the individuals I spend time with. It is because of the Gentle Teaching philosophy that I have come to love my time with COR and look forward to the time I spend with the people I support.

Kelly, COR Support

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