The Smithers community is being challenged to live up to its generous reputation by performing 3,000 acts of kindness during Pay It Forward Day today.
More than 8,000 “Pay It Forward” cards are circulating in the Bulkley Valley to encourage people to do good deeds for others.
With each act of kindness, the card is marked and passed along to the recipient to continue the chain.
Buying a stranger a coffee, giving a gift or refusing to charge a client for work are some of the suggested acts of kindness.
The event is being organized by the Smithers Proton Foundation, whose goals include promoting positive social action.
Director Mark DeHoog said Pay It Forward Day was a simple way to inspire people to help others.
“Part of it is to spark people to think that way,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be just one day a year, it can be one day a week, or every day for that matter.
“But it’s just a matter of getting people to think ‘What is an act of kindness that I can do for someone else today?’ ”
The event is the first of its kind in Smithers. Organizers printed 10,000 cards, including 8,000 which were distributed at businesses, schools and posted to every mailbox in Smithers before the event.
Cards are also available at the Town of Smithers office, Dan’s Source for Sports and Dawn2Dusk.
DeHoog said Smithers was already a giving community, so he was confident it could reach its goal of 3,000 good deeds today.
He hoped the event would have a long-lasting impact on the community.
“Our hope is that those type of things begin to move towards greater things for people to engage in, in terms of making long-term change in the areas they live in,” he said.