A new campaign for “kindness” is making an impact in Owensboro thanks to the initiative of a Daviess County educator. Amber Thompson, a lifelong resident of Owensboro and library media specialist, decided to challenge the community by creating Hello Owensboro, a social media movement that encourages random acts of kindness.
In the first week, the group had over 700 likes and followers via social media.
“Being kind has always been important to me. I think we’ve all had our moments when we wish we could turn back time and been kinder to someone,” Thompson said. “We hope to inspire more kindness in our community through random acts of kindness, by sharing positive stories and by getting involved in our community to increase awareness of acceptance, kindness and compassion for all walks of life no matter how different we are.”
The Hello Owensboro movement was inspired by Thompson’s childhood and her outgoing personality.
“As a child, I would always say hello to people I came into contact with,” Thompson said. “Whether it be at the grocery store or on the street. I never met a stranger.”
One way the group has challenged the community to join in is by incorporating the “daily nice.” A simple gesture was one of the first “nice” challenges encouraged.
“One small way to show kindness is to say hello. It’s a simple greeting, but its power is profound,” Thompson said. “Studies have shown that social interaction can help us live healthier, happier, stronger lives.”
Jill Thompson, co-spokesman of Hello Owensboro has high hopes herself for the impact of the movement.
“The world has so much negativity. You mainly only see, hear or read about the bad things happening,” Jill said. “No one knows what other people are going through. Each person has their own story. It’s not our job to know what makes people the way they are. It’s our job to lift others up. If we can reach even one person a day, we’ve accomplished our goal.”
The Hello Owensboro campaign creators have a vision and a hope for the future and would like to get involved with various organizations within the community.
“We want to showcase organizations that spread kindness for all people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.,” Amber said. “We want to encourage our community to embrace and have compassion for all people.”
Amber Thompson is confident that there is plenty of “local love” to give, and that Owensboro is the perfect place to launch such an initiative.
“We are blessed to live in an amazing community full of kindness and caring for our neighbors,” Amber said. “Just like in sports or learning to play a new instrument, we can always improve our craft with practice.”