Kindness has been spreading faster than COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago over the last few months.
This is the observation of Karina Jardine-Scott, chairperson of Kids In Need of Direction (KIND). With the world preparing to celebrate World Kindness Day on Friday, Jardine-Scott said her organisation is doing so with elation as there has been an increase in people coming forward to volunteer and donate since the beginning of restriction measures in March.
“In Trinidad and Tobago people come out to help those in need because that is who we are and it is all over the world but it is just that sometimes we need to come a little closer to see it,” she told Guardian Media during an interview.
“COVID has brought a lot of negativity, an increase in anxiety and depression, we also have an increase in the suicide rate and it is a very difficult time,” Jardine-Scott said.
However, she emphasised that every problem presents an opportunity.
“If it is one thing that COVID has done is brought every single one of us to the same platform and with that, it does not matter your wealth, age, gender, ethnicity but the fact is we all need to sit and pause,” she noted.
KIND has been in existence since 1998 and aims to assist at-risk children in society. To date, KIND has helped over 15,000 children.
Jardine-Scott admitted since the beginning of the pandemic, the organisation has been in overdrive to assist families who have been struggling to make ends meet, distributing over $2 million worth of food to over 18,000 families.
She told us about the story of a woman who has been receiving hampers from the organisation for several months but recently took on a part-time job and decided to give back by donating a case of milk, two boxes of pampers and other grocery items to the organisation. Jardine-Scott said she was overjoyed by the woman’s gesture. This was just one of the many random acts of kindness Jardine-Scott said she has witnessed from people in recent time, especially those who are financially strapped.
She is hoping more people will be inspired to do random acts of kindness not just on Friday but every day.
Doing so can improve one’s health, according to Psychologist and immediate past president of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists, Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor.
She explained doing something nice for others boosts a person’s serotonin level, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. It also eases anxiety, Dr Nakhid-Chatoor further advised.
World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of kindness NGOs from several nations. This year, KIND will be commemorating the day by hosting the “Raise the volume on KINDNESS” virtual benefit concert.