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Mysterious, blue signs urge acts of kindness

Signs encouraging random acts of kindness have been sprinkled throughout the region. It's a local effort by the CHI St. Joseph's Health violence prevention program. (Lorie Skarpness/Enterprise)

One hundred little, blue signs are reminders of the importance of kindness.

They are located on street corners and yards in Park Rapids, Nevis, Walker, Wolf Lake, Detroit Lakes and Frazee.

The signs were placed by volunteers from the violence prevention program at CHI St. Joseph's Health.

"We asked people to put the signs up and the signs flew out the door," said Violence Prevention Coordinator Kristen Partlow. "Those volunteering to put the signs up in their communities were the first ripple of kindness. When you see them, make note of the message: "Every Act of Kindness Creates A Ripple. Spread it Today!" Take it upon yourself to do at least one kind act, or share at least a few kind words, or a smile or two throughout the course of your day. Chances are very good that in doing so, you're creating a sea of kindness."

Since the signs went up in October, pictures of the signs and positive comments have been showing up on Facebook. Partlow created the page "Helping Others Positively Every Day-HOPE" with FATHER Project Coordinator Joe Johnson. Area residents who have experienced a kindness can share their positive experiences on the Facebook page.

"Opening a door for someone or sharing a compliment or smile can change a person's day," Partlow said. "The ripple effect of kindness goes far beyond the effort involved."

Free "kindness coupons" will be available at the violence prevention booth at Saturday's (today) Holiday Showcase at Armory Square. There is a place for the giver to write what kindness they will do for the recipient — anything from doing chores to giving a free hug. Coupons are also available by calling Partlow at 218-507-1869.

"In addition to the offer of kindness coupons as Christmas gifts, I would also like to offer a prize for sharing examples of how our signs have impacted readers," Partlow said. "They can submit information to us via the Facebook page, by phone, or by emailing kristenpartlow@catholichealth.net."

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