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Bethlehem plans first Kindness Day

An act of kindness a day can keep a bad conscience at bay.

But for those who are rushing to the next appointment after working long hours and living the typical hectic American lifestyle, a conscious effort to be kind to others may take a back seat to life's more pressing and immediate matters.

If this is the case, then you are in luck because you're not alone.

It's not necessarily that people are purposely mean and rude or don't want to be kind, said Glenmont resident Melody Burns. It's just that sometimes people forget the impact a simple gesture can have on everyday lives.

Burns is spearheading an event that has been christened Community Kindness Day on Saturday, Feb. 28, that will involve dozens of community groups and individuals around Bethlehem all in the name of kindness.

Supervisor Jack Cunningham is expected to make an official proclamation naming the last day of February an annual day of kindness. Unlike the first day of April, where you plan pranks and justify jest at others' expense, this day will require nothing more than a friendly gesture or an act of goodwill to another.

Those participating have plans that include donating to charities and raising money for those in need to simply letting someone in front of them in a supermarket or spending some time at a senior living facility.

Burns said she pitched the idea after hearing Pastor Frank Wray give a sermon on kindness at the Bethlehem Community Church.

"I went to church and heard Frank Wray give a great talk about kindness and how small acts can make an impact," Burns said, "Afterwards I couldn't get it out of my head. It's such a simple thing."

Burns said she then started talking to area groups like the Rotary Club and Bethlehem Sportsman Club and area fire departments about the possibility of making a day of it.

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