Lend a helping hand: Community gears up for third annual Random Acts of Kindness | TheUnion.com

Lend a helping hand: Community gears up for third annual Random Acts of Kindness

People strolling down the streets of western Nevada County on Oct. 1 might encounter troops of volunteers armed with brushes, gloves, garbage bags, and rags, seeking to make the community a better place through the third annual Random Acts of Kindness day organized by Anew Day.

“I think we are a very altruistic community,” said Lori Nunnink-Taylor, executive director of the Nevada City-based organization. “This is one more opportunity for us to show the community, and demonstrate what it truly means to be a community, what it is like to give without expecting a return.”

The Random Acts of Kindness Event, or RAKE, started as a team fundraiser for Anew Day, a nonprofit that offers free counseling sessions and support services for people dealing with emotional struggles. Through RAKE, the nonprofit hopes to spread kindness as well as bring attention to the services that it provides.

“As a nonprofit, we are always trying to find avenues for increasing our revenues as well as impact the community in significant ways,” Nunnink-Taylor said. “This is a way to just create visibility, generate revenue and just get out there and help people.”

Registration cost is $25 per person. The fees cover a T-shirt and an after-event barbecue. According to Nunnink-Taylor, around $16 of that will be donated to Anew Day.

Interested participants can sign up by visiting http://therakeevent.com/ and navigate to the “Projects and Registration” tab, or call Anew Day at 530-470-9111.

Between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Saturday, 20 groups of volunteers will disperse to various parking lots, parks, senior homes, nonprofits, and individuals’ homes within the community. Under the leadership of project managers, volunteers will engage in a simple acts of kindness such as delivering firewood to seniors, picking up debris from downtown streets, carrying groceries, and helping people with garden chores.

The busy day will wrap up with a barbecue at Anew Place, the organization’s thrift and resource center located at 745 South Auburn St., in Grass Valley.

According to Nunnink-Taylor, the RAKE concept was derived from the national movement of the same name. In addition to sprucing up streets and neighborhoods, organizers also try to identify individuals in the community who are in needs of a helping hand.

“It’s just all about doing whatever needs to be done in the community; there are really no limits to what we will do,” said Nunnink-Taylor. “We just want to be able to be a resource for folks, who just need some help temporarily.”

She has a special goal in mind with this year’s event ­— to stimulate youths with a simple message of kindness.

“We are hoping the youth understand that concept and really grasp that concept, youth and adults alike, but really the goal is to just get our voice out there and say that we are really here to help,” Nunnink-Taylor said.

The event saw 280 participants in 2014, its inaugural year; by 2015, the number of volunteers grew to 320. Nunnink-Taylor hopes RAKE will bring 350 people together this year.

“Each year has increased in participation as well as revenue generated,” Nunnink-Taylor said. “So we are hoping this year is a record-breaker as well for us.”

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email tliu@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4236.

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