Meet Maya Enista Smith, the Executive Director of Born This Way Foundation, trailblazer and kindness connoisseur.
Maya’s son Hunter started kindergarten this year, which prompted her idea of developing a campaign to promote acts of kindness on school campuses and in our communities. While Maya developed this campaign with Hunter and his new elementary school in mind, it evolved into something much bigger.
Born This Way Foundation launched #BeKind21, a 21-day kindness challenge, encouraging people all over the world to share their daily acts of kindness on social media. There’s science behind this campaign, too. Did you know that research shows that it takes 21 days to begin to form a new habit? Sure, that new habit requires some attention and effort to maintain over time, but consistency for 21 days gets you started down the path to changing a behavior. #BeKind21 encouraged people to be kind, not only for 21 days, but to make kindness a long-lasting habit in their daily lives to make the world a kinder, braver place to live. Pretty cool, huh?
Take a look at 21 of my favorite acts of kindness from #BeKind21:
1. Born This Way Foundation’s co-founder and fearless leader, Lady Gaga, jotted down a few of her acts of kindness.
2. The Fibromyalgia Care Society of America made self-care baskets.
3. Third graders at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School in Louisville, KY, spread kindness at school.
4. Jordan donated a boxed set of her favorite books to a high school English teacher.
5. @jacksmominatx and her son Jack showed kindness through compliments.
6. Coffee Culture Revival in Blossvale, NY, showed kindness through coffee and ice cream.
7. @calcormier supported the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
8. Mercy High School Burlingame in Burlingame, CA, shared a great, yet simple, idea about how to spread kindness.
9. Dusty Vincent took time to thank someone that was kind to his family.
10. @gabibrancheau showed extra love to the kids she works with.
11. Channel Kindness reporter Ash López shared a touching, unexpected story of kindness in her community.
12. @tapastars students and staff in Providence, RI, shared their favorite games with each other.
13. A brother and sister shared a big hug at school.
14. Staff at @PonderosaPride in Anaheim, CA, promoted kindness both in and outside the classroom.
15. @ravenclawrising created a bulletin board for staff and students to share what they are thankful for.
16. One of @cantongalvayac’s students shared flowers and positivity with teachers at school.
17. The city of Anaheim, CA, shared an image of Mayor Tom Tait spending time with students at Revere Elementary School, learning how they spread kindness.
18. First graders at Model Elementary School in Goshen, Indiana, left each other sweet notes.
19. Yasmin Merold volunteered on Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA, to help homeless individuals improve their hygiene and build confidence.
20. @lyndie.s.corder was kind to the environment and picked up trash during her afternoon stroll.
21. Oh, remember Maya? She didn’t just develop #BeKind21 – she participated, too. She created 634 lunch bags for Kids’ Food Basket, an organization that works to combat childhood hunger.
Good work, kindness crew! Our combined 8 million acts of kindness throughout #BeKind21 made the world a bit stronger, a bit brighter, and definitely a bit kinder.
Click here to participate in Born This Way Foundation’s next challenge!