Vineyard recognized as ‘Certified City of Kindness’ by One Kind Act a Day
Vineyard has been awarded the title of “Certified City of Kindness” by the One Kind Act a Day organization. A ceremony was held Jan. 29, with Vineyard being the first city to receive such an award.
Utah first lady Abby Cox and Orem City Council member LaNae Millet were at the ceremony as Vineyard was presented with the award.
“Kindness is the catalyst for safe communities,” Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer said in a press release. “It serves as the bedrock for leadership in a well-educated society. It is a formidable barrier against homelessness, and it nurtures the growth of small businesses in a community. It yields tangible health benefits, and it empowers people to live fulfilling lives. It is a simple, free act that safeguards our personal freedoms and creates bonds of unity in our communities.”
A “City of Kindness Proclamation” was signed by Cox, Fullmer and Khosrow Semnani, the founder of One Kind Act a Day. That proclamation acknowledged Vineyard for its week of kindness in November and called on other municipalities, organizations and individuals to promote kindness.
“Vineyard has long cherished the spirit of kindness,” Fullmer said. “From the beginning of this community … there was a culture of kindness … that brought the community together and allowed it to grow and become what it is today.”
At the end of the ceremony, Utah County Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner accepted Vineyard’s challenge to promote kindness in the county.
“Utah is proud to be No. 1 in economy, and we’re proud to be No. 1 in business development,” Powers Gardner said, according to the press release. “We’re No. 1 in time given to service, and we absolutely need to be No. 1 in kindness for our children.”
Curtis Bennett, the executive director of One Kind Act a Day, said he was first approached by Fullmer at an event, asking to speak with him about the city’s kindness initiative.
Fullmer proposed that the city partner with Bennett’s organization to help promote kindness in the community during the Vineyard’s week of kindness.
During that kindness week, Vineyard hosted events such as a donation drive, making “heart attack” kits of paper hearts and treats for neighbors and school activities.
“Vineyard is kind of the trailblazer for us, in terms of this certified City of Kindness,” Bennett said. “They are receiving the very first ever certified city because they were the ones that approached us, came to us, wanted to partner with us.”
Bennett said they sat done with the mayor and city staff to discuss how to promote kindness in Vineyard and came up with some events and initiatives they wanted to do.
Bennett said the Utah nonprofit believes community leaders, including city leaders, have a responsibility to “amplify, advocate and exemplify the whole value of kindness,” and the organization works to help with that goal.
“We’re getting ready to enter into, for example, what promises to be, what’s likely going to be a very contentious election cycle,” he said. “And we don’t believe that it has to be that way. And what we like, and what we appreciate, is when we have city leaders and business leaders and educational leaders who say, ‘We agree, and we’re willing to get involved and be a part of this.'”
Since the nonprofit has partnered with Vineyard, Bennett said they have been in contact with other cities, like Provo and Orem, to discuss how they can begin kindness initiatives in those municipalities.