Pam Taylor encourages citizens to commit to 3 acts of kindness
It's safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to make every day feel like Groundhog Day. Authority figures warn 'stay home, wash your hands, stay two metres away from all other human beings.' So, we do it - but it can feel very isolating, very quickly.
To help combat these feelings of isolation, The City of Calgary is asking City employees to commit to three simple acts of kindness. Wave to a senior, send a connection card to your neighbor, or deliver groceries to a friend who is self-isolating. Share your acts on social media and join community-led movements, like: #3Things4Neighbours, #AlbertaCares, #SupportLocalYYC, #yycHubs.
If you're anything like Pam Taylor, City employee and mom of two, you know the value of simple acts of kindness and staying connected.
"My boys and I have been going on daily walks around our neighbourhood," says Taylor, a City employee of over 25 years. "At first it was just to look at the fun signs and decorations on people's properties but over time, we started searching out window challenges and scavenger hunts - that's when we really started to get involved."
Taylor, a Business and Community Landscape Coordinator for The City's Parks department, says she became inspired by her neighbours and began planning a challenge of her own. She created the hashtag #doorchallenge2020 and one Facebook post later, her challenge had begun:
"My family is challenging everyone to some fun! Remember when you were a kid and at Christmas you would decorate your door! Well let's do that now! Let's make Sunday March 22, 2020 international Door Challenge Day!! The theme can be anything you can imagine! Use what you have around the house, like recyclables or craft supplies! Spend the next few days planning with your family and share this post with everyone so we can get this around the world! On Sunday March 22, 2020 post your photo and don't forget to use hashtag #doorchallenge2020."
Not only did Pam challenge her local circle of friends and family, but she took things a step further by tagging her community association, some local media outlets, and even the Mayor of Calgary.
"I really didn't except for the challenge to have the reach that it did," shared Taylor. "It was just something fun to do as a family."
Every evening for one week leading up to the challenge, Taylor and her family would meet at the dinner table to plan their door aesthetic. They landed on a 'nature' theme and each family member was responsible for one piece of the décor.
On Sunday, March 22, the Taylor family got to work, spending almost the entire morning executing their masterpiece.
By the end of the day, Pam got word that the challenge had been picked up by a radio station in Stoney Plain - more than three hours away! She was receiving photos of elaborately decorated doors from towns as far as Carseland and Red Deer.
"I was thrilled with the level of effort and participation," says Taylor. "There were no winners or losers, it was just a way to connect with our neighbours and bring the community together. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, human connections are so important - and even more so during times like these. Simple acts of kindness, like starting a door decorating challenge, can make all the difference."
Pam's husband Paul and son Crosby, 7, crafting.
Pam's son Dylan, 10, making his owl
Door before challenge
Door after challenge
Categories: Neighbours helping neighbours