Beyond Borders Circle of Change (BBCOC) is getting ready to spread kindness throughout the community.
The organization is giving out Kindness Wins grants to schools in Lloydminster to promote kindness during February. Melissa Plamondon, Chairperson for the BBCOC Committee, says every school in the city applies to the grants.
“We get the joy of reading through all these grants and they’re super diverse. There’s everything from a grandparents dance to at Holy Rosary High School there’s a kindness van that delivers hot chocolate and cookies to anyone and everyone in the community.”
Different kindness initiatives will be occurring at all the schools throughout the month. The grants are partially funded through the Lloydminster & Region Co-op’s Kindness Wins t-shirt and hoodie sales.
“We use that money to fund our grant programs and help support our Red Cross teams for the training and expenses that occur through that. We’re super grateful for the partnership because it does provide us with some funds that we need to do all the things we’re doing.”
BBCOC helps train students volunteer for their Red Cross teams at both high schools. The teams travel to all the Elementary schools in the city and give bullying prevention and healthy relationship presentations. Leanne Melnechenko, Counselor at Lloydminster Composite High School, says the experience the students get from the program is invaluable.
“Some of the students who had that experience went on to become teachers, social workers and other occupations that were opened up to them through this experience.”
Melnechenko says now is the best time to promote kindness in the community and to the youth.
“We live in a culture where sometimes that message is missed. Looking at the media, often it’s reporting on violence, bad news and all the things that happen and kids really need to buy-in to that spread of kindness.”
The positive ticketing campaign is another initiative by the BBCOC. They also bring in anti-bullying speakers to both school districts.
“It’s nice to be able to encourage them and support the teachers that have all these great initiatives and ideas,” says Plamondon. “We know that bullying can’t get rooted in a community that’s all about nurturing and fostering kindness.”
BBCOC is a community coalition with representation from LPSD, LCSD, SHA, AHS, Lloydminster Community Youth Centre, Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services and the Canadian Red Cross. It is dedicated to creating a culture of a safe and caring community.