Nebraskan City Celebrates 20th Acts of Kindness Week

Patricia Howard | June 15th, 2019

With a population of just over 50,000 individuals, the city of Grand Island, Nebraska isn’t a renowned location by any means. Though it may be small when compared to other cities in the United States, the Grand Island is still the fourth largest city in Nebraska, and is known in the surrounding areas as a central hub for retail and entertainment. But this week, Grand Island is celebrating one of the things that makes it a truly unique and noteworthy community.

It’s called Acts of Kindness Week. Started 20 years ago by Grand Island resident Gloria Wolbach, the week celebrates expressions of selflessness and kindness within the community for one week every year. Gloria started the tradition after hearing former General Colin Powell speak on the importance of volunteering in communities across the nation. So Gloria, along with 50 of her like-minded community loving girlfriends, began the first Acts of Kindness week back in October of 1997.

The benevolent celebration became an officially recognized community event in 1999. In fact, it eventually led to Mayor Ken Gnadt formally changing the city’s official motto from “Grand Island, the Third City” to “Grand Island, City of Kindness” in 2002. The Governor of Nebraska even recognized the change with a formal proclamation acknowledging the city’s new motto.

For the past 20 years, Gloria and her band of merry volunteers – since coined the Acts of Kindness (AOK) Ladies – have worked hard to make Acts of Kindness week a success, though they actively promote the practice and perform good deeds themselves all throughout the year.

Central Nebraska Human Society, Facebook

In addition to the personal acts that will no doubt be performed by countless community members, several Grand Island businesses will also be partaking of the vent. For example, the local Arby’s and Starbucks will select random customers to receive free lunches and beverages throughout the week. The Grand Island Library has vowed to forgive late book fees for overdue books returned during the week, and the Sutter Deli will be passing out cards encouraging randomly selected customers to pass on a free lunch. Even the Police Department and Hall County Sheriff’s Department will be joining in on the fun by handing out pink “Acts of Kindness Citations” whenever they see someone lending a helping hand to another.

Grand Island and its Acts of Kindness Week are a testament to the power of kindness and positive action. The community serves as a shining example of how powerful and inspirational the simple act of helping another without provocation or reward can snowball into a movement that can change the world.

Next Article
  • Fried Chicken Rescues Officers from Certain Hunger

    A car accident is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you on the way home. Whether you’re in the accident yourself or are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic while you wait for a wreck to be cleared, it can definitely put a damper on your day. And for first responders, these situations...

    Read More
  • Nebraskan City Celebrates 20th Acts of Kindness Week

    With a population of just over 50,000 individuals, the city of Grand Island, Nebraska isn’t a renowned location by any means. Though it may be small when compared to other cities in the United States, the Grand Island is still the fourth largest city in Nebraska, and is known in the surrounding areas as a...

    Read More
  • How One Non-Profit is Using Photography to Inspire Hope

    With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, digital photos and videos have rapidly replaced the traditional photo album and home movies. In an age where it’s as easy to snap a photo and send it out without a second thought, the value of professional portraits is being forgotten. That’s why a...

    Read More
  • Redskins Players Buy Xbox for Young Fan

    When 10-year-old Jaden Watt walked into his local GameStop one day last week, he wasn’t expecting to purchase anything. The boy was actually killing time while his grandmother got her makeup done at one of the other shops in the Dulles 28 Centre shopping center in Sterling, Virginia where the GameStop was located. But as...

    Read More
  • How Technology is Changing How Kids with Cancer Experience Chemotherapy

    It’s safe to say that nobody enjoys being poked with needs. Whether or not you’re afraid of them, having a vein tapped is far from a comfortable experience. And for patients with cancer, there’s no shortage of needles in store. For some children fighting cancer, the needles involved in administering their chemotherapy treatments can be...

    Read More