Valentine’s Day Kindness Challenge

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spread love to everyone, says Project Kindness.

Tyler Dunne

The Valentine’s Day Kindness Challenge is asking people around the world to share their compassion by writing anonymous cards for those who might not be expecting much this holiday.

Hasan Hai is the founder of Project Kindness, a group engaging the northeast Avalon community through events such as the Kindness Challenge. The challenge is an initiative for donating Valentine’s Day cards carrying thoughtful messages to local charities and community groups.

Supplies to make cards can be found inside participating restaurants. Tyler Dunne/Kicker
Supplies to make cards can be found in participating restaurants such as Bad Bones Ramen. Tyler Dunne/Kicker

“February is not the brightest time of the year, for many reasons,” said Hai. “So it can be a message about caring, that someone in the universe cares about this person enough that they wanted to donate a card and that they matter.”

There are about 20-30 volunteers organizing the event as well as over a dozen businesses involved, with more joining regularly. These businesses are acting as drop-off points, putting off their own events and challenging their customers to take part.

“The amazing thing about this is that it is less about me doing it and it’s more about people saying, ‘Hey, that’s a great idea. I’m going to invest my energy and make it an even better thing,’” said Hai.

Local businesses joining in

One business taking part in the Valentine’s Day Kindness Challenge is Jack Axes.

Tiffany Rose, a Jack Axes’ employee, told Kicker that people have been hearing about the donation box and are glad to take part. Some have been drawing cartoon characters on the cards with positive messages tucked inside.

“Oh man, it’s great,” she said. “We’re making lots of cards and having customers coming in while throwing axes and drawing up some really cool things on cards as well.”

The Valentine’s Day Kindness Challenge is one way Project Kindness is trying to “inspire and promote acts of kindness and charity across Newfoundland and Labrador,” their Facebook page reads.

Hai started Project Kindness in 2016 after realizing how much good could be achieved through simple acts of kindness.

Drop boxes are located at several businesses in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. Tyler Dunne/Kicker

“I have a firm belief that people are inherently good and we can do a lot of great things but often our potential to do good is unrealized. We are like batteries that are never used,” said Hai.

His goal is for the group to start becoming a movement, bringing the community together to have a meaningful impact through compassion and charity.

Hai and Project Kindness are no strangers to performing good deeds in the province. They have collected shoeboxes filled with stocking stuffers for the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland, got scaley and scandalous for the Merb’ys calendar, a fundraiser for Spirit House NL and, most recently, Hai dressed up as #DarkElfOnAShelf, a take on Elf on the Shelf where Hai was fundraising for the Community Food Sharing Association.

Donating cards will be possible up until Monday, Feb. 12, at any of the businesses acting as drop-off locations as listed within a post on the campaignFacebook page.

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