In perhaps the most dramatic example of kindness day, Isabella Sweet, 6, a kindergartener at Ruffing Montessori School, decided to have her hair cut on the spot and to donate it to Wigs for Kids April 7 at Family Kindness Day.
Sweet patiently sat in the director’s chair while Contessa Michel, owner of ExecuStyle in Broadview Heights, carefully cut her long dark hair, preserving the locks for further use.
About 200 children and adults gathered at Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood to learn about family volunteering opportunities and to engage in other acts of kindness on the spot.
Seven children who have found creative ways to use their talents to help others presented their projects at tables set on the edge of Stonehill Auditorium and spoke of their efforts in a video at the event. Representatives from about a dozen organizations also manned tables, explaining to children and adults possibilities for volunteering as a family.
Dr. Shelly Senders, of Senders Pediatrics in South Euclid, co-sponsored the event with the JCC and said his practice has recently adopted a “kindness curriculum.”
Christopher Milo, a pianist, entrepreneur and author, engaged the children and adults gathered with his piano playing, gifts of his book and CD and with conversations.
Later in the evening, psychologist Stephen Post spoke of the importance of kindness within families.
Post, who wrote the book, “Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happy Life by the Simple Act of Giving,” said research shows kindness is an important element in success.
“It is the strongest predictor of flourishing,” he said. “It’s just so protective.”
Post recommends families form mission statements together and use them to discuss important issues.
He spoke, too, of the importance of families volunteering together.
And, he said, although 97 percent of parents admit they do it, “Parents have to stop screaming.”