Be a sport – pay it forward

Repay the good deeds you have received by helping families participate in sport.

Play It Forward is an event organized by Interior Community Services (ICS) and Aberdeen Mall to collect used sporting goods and equipment for local families in need.

The first collection last year netted 60 pairs of ice skates that were donated to students at John Tod elementary, and provided more than 100 families with sporting equipment.

It started two years ago when a group from Victoria, the Extreme Kindness Crew, visited the Tournament Capital to promote random acts of kindness, said ICS community development manager Karen Rosenke.

Their visit inspired the City of Kamloops to proclaim Oct. 2 to 7 It’s Cool to be Kind Week, and encouraged a partnership between ICS and Aberdeen Mall.

The “ripple effect,” as Rosenke refers to it, led to the province proclaiming Feb. 11 to Feb. 17 Random Acts of Kindness Week.

“Kindness is contagious,” she said, noting there are many families who can’t afford sporting equipment, preventing them from participating in healthy physical activities.

“We’re just asking people if they’ve got new, used or outgrown sports equipment, just to pay it forward, and we’ll find families who are in need that can use it.”

Cash donations will not be accepted and any items not useable will be recycled.

Donations will be accepted Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Aberdeen Mall upper-mall entrance.

Mall marketing manager Lisa Peatt said the shopping centre’s contribution of space and support is the least it can do.

Last year alone, the corporate citizen gave away more than $43,000 in space and gift-certificate donations to the community, said Peatt, but it’s all part of its strong community-support commitment.

“Between the space and gift certificates, we give away an astronomical amount of value,” she said, “but so does the community. They come and shop at our tenants, so it’s the least we can do.”

Peatt added the mall wanted to work with ICS on this project because it benefits many community members.

ICS is the largest non-profit organization in Kamloops, providing 33 programs in the Interior amounting to support services for approximately 1,100 people every day.

For more information, call Rosenke at 554-3134.

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