Kindness Circles

What is a Kindness Circle? Many people ask us how they can encourage kindness in their local contexts Some examples include teachers in classrooms, managers at companies, volunteers at churches, and neighbors in the community. Our response is based on three things: share stories, live your values, and hold circles. Many times, those three things are done in different spaces at different times, but when these elements converge in an offline space, a Kindness Circle emerges.

A Kindness Circle can take many shapes and forms, but it typically involves engaging experienced volunteers who help to facilitate a dialogue around kindness, a group reflection where all are encouraged to share inspiring stories and songs of kindness, and a kindness experiment where individuals get to put these ideas into action! The day usually finishes with a group share of reflections learned from the day. It’s simple, and yet, we’ve seen that the mere act of holding space, doing kind acts, and sharing stories creates a beautiful opportunity for authentic connection to emerge, and has a transformative effect on the lives of both children and adults.

What are some examples of Kindness Circles? Anne has experimented with doing Kindness Days at high schools, Nimo and Audrey held 100+ events last summer during a music tour around these values; Pancho has hosted local groups at Casa de Paz; Bradley, Jane, and Kozo have hosted kindness drives at schools; Birju has hosted 21-Day Challenges with more than a dozen businesses. So many individuals have held events from Miles of Smiles to Free Hugs to creative offshoots like Walking in the Shoes of Another Brother.

“I want to encourage kindness, but I don’t know how.” So many communities want more kindness, but don't have the time, capacity, or resources to create such circles. Teachers, for instance, deeply recognize the need for this in schools where bullying and narcissism are at all-time highs - but don’t have the bandwidth, resources, or support needed to implement these ideas in their classrooms. To remedy that, we propose building local Kindness Crews.

What is a Kindness Crew? It's like a kindness swat team. If someone requests a Kindness Circle in their local community, we would begin by assembling a group of experienced volunteers who want to help hold space and spread kindness. Together, this Kindness Crew would be equipped with relevant stories, ideas and materials for local activities, and best-practices for holding a circle.

If I'm a classroom teacher, how can I request a Kindness Circle? First, you'd fill out a request form -- with your inspiration and basic information about your class/school. Your responses would help us post a volunteer listing to create a Kindness Crew, who would then interact with you to finalize the logistics of a community event. After the event, the hope is that (a) teachers are thrilled to have had a kindness infusion; (b) children are enthused by their experience of practicing kindness; (c) volunteers are grateful to have an opportunity to be of service. Post-event stories and photos would be shared online (like this and this), so others can see the possibilities and keep the cycles spinning.

Great, how do we get started with this vision?

  • Build a process guide, gleaning ideas and best-practices for experienced Kindness Circle holders.

  • Identify few educators who'd like to pilot the idea of bringing in a Kindness Crew to their classroom or school.

  • After some pilots, create a website where educators can post requests and volunteers can signup.

  • Ultimately, broaden to go beyond schools and into other communities and also explore local KindSpring chapters around the globe.


How can I help? Drop us a note at circles@kindspring.org