Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today encouraged Lincoln residents to participate in the second annual Live Kind Lincoln campaign April 25 through May 2. The Community Health Endowment of Lincoln (CHE), the YMCA of Lincoln and CHI Health St. Elizabeth partnered on the first citywide kindness initiative a year ago as part of CHE's 20th anniversary. The three organizations are teaming up again on the campaign to encourage people to spread acts of kindness, sportsmanship, and good deeds.
Mayor Gaylor Baird said kindness is a simple yet powerful concept and one of the core values of her administration. "'Loving Kindness' represents the ideal that we serve with compassion toward ourselves and others, recognizing that we are interconnected," she said. "All of us face challenges - some that are easily recognized and others that go unseen - so it's important that we treat everyone with kindness and genuine concern for their well-being."
Residents are encouraged to commit or observe acts of kindness and post them on social media with the hashtag #LiveKindLNK. Last year, the campaign reached more than 40,000 people on social media. The organizing partners are seeking businesses, organizations, and individuals to get involved as Kindness Ambassadors. Those wanting to join the movement can visit LiveKindLNK.org to download and print materials, view kindness videos, and find out additional ways to take part in the week. Print materials must be ordered by March 30 and will be available to pick up at the YMCA's Health Kid's Day April 25 by appointment. Businesses and organizations that order materials will be contacted about pick up arrangements.
"Showing kindness has real health benefits and can help you live longer," said Lori Seibel, President/CEO of the Community Health Endowment. "And when other people see you being kind, they are more likely to be kind. We want Live Kind LNK to start that kind of chain reaction in our community."
CHI Health St. Elizabeth Taylor Barth said that helping sponsor Live Kind Lincoln is a natural fit for the organization., "Compassion is a core value for CHI Health St. Elizabeth," she said. "Research shows that developing a habit of kindness can not only reduce pain, stress, anxiety, and depression but also reduce blood pressure and improve overall heart health. This campaign helps us live out our values and encourage health in our community."
Mayor Gaylor Baird said recent research cited in Forbes magazine suggests that kindness is good for business. The research showed that employees of companies described as having kind cultures perform at 20 percent higher productivity levels, were 87 percent less likely to leave their jobs, and tended to make fewer errors. According to the research, companies with a culture of kindness had 16 percent higher profitability.
Live Kind Lincoln will kick off in conjunction with YMCA's annual Healthy Kids Day, a free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 at the Fallbrook YMCA. Live Kind Lincoln materials will be available during that event.
"Live Kind Lincoln is a way for all of us to remember we can always use a little more kindness in our lives," said Barb Bettin, President/CEO for the YMCA of Lincoln. "It may seem like a simple principle, but it never hurts to remind others that kindness matters. We hope people will participate and use some of these tips to reflect on ways in which we can treat others with respect and understanding in our lives each day."