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Langford elementary school students help community through 'Kindness Ninja' missions


It all began with the unexpected arrival of a big box at the beginning of the school year, which was filled with red headbands and an an invitation to become a "Kindness Ninja."

“I had always wanted to be a Kindness Ninja,” Piper Robertson says. “We go on a bunch of missions.”

But before that, the students in the Grade 3/4 class at Millstream Elementary had to make a pledge.

“That we will never do anything mean,” Olivier Borysiak says.

And always do everything you can do be kind.

“Our class motto is, ‘Be kind before everything,’” Quinn Gardiner adds.

After all the kids agreed to take on the responsibility, they donned the headbands in the box that their teacher Jenny Belanger-Borysiak had created, and she encouraged them to begin brainstorming kindness missions.

“When you make it theirs, and it comes from their heart, they really leave with so much more than a lesson,” Jenny says. “The feeling stays with them so much longer.”

The ninjas started small — making beaded bracelets to give as random gifts to brighten people’s day, volunteering to tidy up the school grounds, and creating cards that they’d hide in other classrooms to show their appreciation for others.

“And then they were like, ‘Madame, we want to go outside the school,'” Jenny recalls with a smile.

So the kindness ninjas started making Valentine's cards to deliver to veterans, and constructed crafts to sell at a fundraising market, so they could afford to hire a bus to travel to a long-term care facility and entertain the elderly around the holidays.

“We sang and told jokes,” Quinn smiles.

“I really liked seeing the smiles on their faces,” Piper says. “And seeing how much they appreciated us going there.”

The Kindness Ninjas felt so energized by the experience, they decided to focus their next big mission on helping the unhoused, and pledged to raise $10 each, for a total of $210.

Nolan Kerr single-handely surpassed the group’s goal by donating all the money he got for his birthday — $250.

“I want to be nice to people and stuff,” Nolan explains.

Others Ninjas went above and beyond too.

“We ended up raising $3,671,” Jenny smiles. “I still get chills just talking about it.”

The Ninjas then gathered on a weekend to participate in a five-kilometre walk-a-thon in support of a pair of organizations that help the hungry and homeless.

“We were tired. We were cold and hungry,” Oliver says of the two hour walk. “But we didn’t give up."

And as they grow-up, these kids say they‘ll never stop cultivating kindness in their community, because being a Kindness Ninja just feels so good.

“It’s like a wave. You be kind to someone and they will be kind to someone else,” Piper says. “And that could lead to a better world.” Top Stories

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