Winnipeg family promoting kindness, one Instagram post at a time

This story is part of a series by CBC Manitoba about acts of kindness in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was possible in part thanks to Manitobans who filled out CBC’s survey about acts of kindness they have initiated or experienced. 

A Winnipeg mom and her two sons have been doing random acts of kindness throughout the pandemic, and are encouraging others to do the same through their Instagram account. 

Rebecca McDermott and her sons, Lachlan and Noah, are behind the account Be Kind Winnipeg

There, they document not only their good deeds, but also share other examples of kindness in the community. 

Before the pandemic, McDermott and her sons had been making sandwiches for people who were homeless. 

When COVID-19 hit, McDermott said they wanted to do something to show that kindness and good deeds were still happening in the city even during such a difficult, dark time. 

“It’s just about … making sure that people know this is still happening and it’s something that’s in our city, and that we’re strong and we’ll get through this,” she said. 

The account features simple acts of kindness around the city, mostly by other kids. (be_kind_winnipeg/Instagram)

The page includes posts about Lachlan and Noah donating toys to the Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain initiative, a boy named Zack raising funds for Diabetes Canada, and a nurse who donated formula, diapers and groceries to a mother who was struggling financially. 

One of the boy’s acts of kindness was delivering letters and gift cards to nurses at the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg at the beginning of December — a way of acknowledging the nurse who had helped the mother in need.

It was sort of a full-circle moment, McDermott said, as Lachlan spent 17 days in that NICU after he was born. 

“So it was really interesting just how the universe works,” she said. 

For one of their acts of kindness, the boys delivered gift cards and letters for nurses working in the neonatal intensive care unit at the St. Boniface Hospital. (Submitted by Rebecca McDermott )

The acts of kindness featured on the page may not be huge gestures, or the kind of things that would typically make the 6 o’clock news, McDermott said. 

But the point is to show how small gestures can have a big impact. 

“I think that sometimes we think that we have to do big kind acts, but really a smile from someone on the street or a card you drop off to your neighbour, it just spreads so much joy and love,” McDermott said. 

“We know things are really hard, and I think we just want to continue this trend of being Winnipeg strong and showing kindness to others. That’s really our hope for this project.”

The account only has about a dozen posts so far, but the trio are hoping to collect and feature more stories on their page. You can find them on Instagram at @be_kind_winnipeg, and email them your story at bekindwinnipeg@gmail.com.

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