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Winner of Awesome Foundation idea launching goodwill project along South Shore

Ellen Fancy, centre, is a woman on a mission: to spread kindness throughout the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Fancy was the recipient of a $1,000 prize from the Awesome Foundation South Shore. - John McCarthy
Ellen Fancy, centre, is a woman on a mission: to spread kindness throughout the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Fancy was the recipient of a $1,000 prize from the Awesome Foundation South Shore. - John McCarthy

Throwing down the gauntlet for kindness

Brandon Young 

Showing goodwill towards neighbours is a way of life in Nova Scotia, so it comes as no surprise that a day dedicated to random acts of kindness is being created by a Nova Scotian.

South Shore resident Ellen Fancy recently won a $1,000 grant from The Awesome Foundation South Shore for an idea she pitched in September. Up against tough competition, her proposal for an event to challenge community members to do random acts of kindness was the winner of the monthly prize.

Now, Fancy has an upcoming event to plan for, and aptly titled The Kindness Challenge, it's very true to her heart.

"When I turned 36-years-old, I decided instead of people giving me presents, that I would do 36 acts of kindness with my two best friends," says Fancy. "We headed out one afternoon, and by the time we were done, we were poofed—but it felt amazing."

Winning the hearts of The Awesome Foundation's trustees, she's giving others in her community the opportunity to be as generous as they can be. Fresh off her win, she's busy preparing for the Kindness Challenge, which she hopes to organize for mid-February of 2020.

The event will see eight teams perform as many random acts of kindness as possible with two hours and $100 in hand. Meanwhile, Fancy and her Kindness Crew will await the teams' return at the Kindness Headquarters, where community members can take part in creating thank you cards, face painting, and creating kindness rocks.

When the teams return, their acts of kindness will be tallied up, and the winning team will be announced — although Fancy truly believes everyone who participates in the event will feel like a winner.

"To be the person doing the act of kindness and seeing the impact that it's having on the individual you're sharing with is a warm and fuzzy feeling," says Fancy. "I think we're a very kind community, and this is a great way to highlight that."

Fancy hopes her event will be a success and receives attention from generous community members, organizations and businesses—making her $1,000 investment go a lot further.

"If we knock this out of the park, perhaps when we report on how many acts of kindness we've done in one day, a generous business will maybe say 'hey, we don't want this to stop at this year,' and will fund us to do it the next year," says Fancy.

"That's my end goal because I can only do this once—unless I win the lottery, then I'll continue to do it."

And she's already taking steps to ensure the continuation of her message of kindness and civility within the community. By creating her initiative, Spread Kindness South Shore, she hopes the spirit of compassion carries on beyond her two-hour event.

"I didn't want to just create a Facebook event page for it because I think it's going to live on beyond the event," says Fancy. "I needed to come up with a name to give it more of an umbrella focus, so when the event over, we can continue with the acts of kindness and sharing things."

Fancy is currently in the process of planning and ensuring her $1,000 stretches to create an unforgettable community moment. Searching for volunteers, partners and businesses, she no doubt has community support. Overall, she hopes her event serves as a display of the kindness and love in her community—highlighting a spirit of selfless generosity she knows has always existed in her hometown.

"The support and encouragement I received just on the win itself has been phenomenal," says Fancy. "You never know what kind of battle somebody is facing — so any chance we have to be kind, let's do it! That's my mindset."

For more info, visit facebook.com/spreadkindnesssouthshore/

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