SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
As part of this year’s #GivingTuesdayMilitary campaign, members of Team Scott helped to perform 3,500 acts of kindness on Dec. 3, a day dedicated to “giving back.”
Giving Tuesday, which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was created seven years ago as a way to encourage people to donate to charities. To add to this effort, an Air Force spouse stationed here and a team of friends generated a new viral effort called #GivingTuesdayMilitary.
The hashtag was created and used all day on Dec. 3 to track how many acts of kindness were performed by over 100 chapters around the world.
Kadena Air Base, Japan, had 18,000 acts of kindness by the time Dec. 3 even started in the states. A group in Washington planned a ‘storm the hill with kindness’ event which involved thanking senators, representatives and staff members for their work.
“We wanted to showcase our military community and say, ‘Look how this one percent of the population can spread kindness,’ like if we can do this, the rest of the world can too,” said Catherine Vandament, Scott’s Armed Forces Insurance military spouse of the year 2019.
One of the acts of kindness from the Scott AFB community was placing donation boxes in the communities surrounding the base, which collected 1,825 items, such as backpacks, gloves, hats, winter socks, toiletries and non-perishable snacks for homeless veterans in the area. Military members who also belong to local churches helped count, sort and bag all of the donated items so they would be ready to deliver on Giving Tuesday.
“The biggest take-away from this effort is that that it doesn’t have to be grand, it just has to be something we practice every day, and when we do practice it every day even our lives are a little bit better,” said Vandament. “It just feels good. It feels right, and I think everyone has that innate kindness somewhere inside.”
Vandament added that she hopes the event will inspire every Tuesday to become a Giving Tuesday.
“It was neat to watch the overall impact that it had, and I can’t wait for 2020!”