A Community Campaign of Kindness to Launch in Williamsburg, James City County and York County

For Immediate Release

A Community Campaign of Kindness to Launch in Williamsburg, James City County and York County

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Jan. 14, 2019) – The current class of LEAD Greater Williamsburg, a leadership community immersion program sponsored by the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, announces its newest campaign—WMBGkind. The initiative is designed to inspire meaningful change in the region’s schools, local governments, businesses and neighborhoods through both random and intentional acts of kindness.

The group’s efforts are already gaining traction on social media and even have the stamp of approval from Richmond. Gov. Ralph Northam recently issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 10

– 16, 2019 International Random Acts of Kindness Week across the Commonwealth.

“We are so excited to have the support of the governor and his administration in our efforts to promote a culture where Virginia’s schools, localities, businesses, organizations and citizens can come together to encourage acts of kindness in the Commonwealth. The most simplistic act of kindness can create a ripple effect that exponentially impacts those directly and indirectly involved in a very positive and lasting way,” says Heather Hall, 2019 LEAD ambassador for community engagement.

The WMBGkind initiative is mirrored after a similar program created in Anaheim, Ca. in 2010. Mayoral candidate Tom Tait ran for election on a platform of kindness and won by a large margin. During his two consecutive terms in office, he implemented several neighborhood programs and initiated a challenge within the city’s elementary schools to perform A Million Acts of Kindness. According to the superintendent, the direct result was almost a fifty percent decrease in disciplinary actions.

Tait’s efforts garnered international attention when he was invited to speak to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India about how a more connected community was addressing the root causes of social issues in his city such as bullying in schools, drug abuse in families and elder neglect.

Tait will be a guest speaker during a kick-off event in Williamsburg on February 1 at Legacy Hall in New Town. He has been an invaluable resource and mentor for LEAD organizers as they

prepare to officially launch the campaign for Greater Williamsburg. Steven S. Kast, President and CEO of the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, has also been an advocate of the program and will speak at the event.

WHRO Executive Producer and Host of Another View Barbara Hamm Lee will act as the Mistress of Ceremonies. More than 200 local leaders from various organizations have been invited to participate and learn more about implementing the campaign in their respective industries. The media is also invited to attend.

“We are inviting leaders within the community including education, non-profit, businesses, government officials, civic and faith-based leaders to help make the Greater Williamsburg area the next City of Kindness,” says Matthew Williams, 2019 LEAD Class President.

After the kick-off event, representatives from LEAD will spend the next several months speaking at community events, canvassing neighborhoods to meet with citizens and spreading acts of kindness through their social media channels using #WMBGkind. After the class’ graduation in May, the United Way has agreed to assume responsibilities for the program. It will continue to promote the initiative, which aligns with their mission, to further bring the community together. 

Connect with WMBGkind:

Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @wmbgkind #WMBGkind

Media Contact: Jessica Wauhop (757.890.3562) LEADclass2019@gmail.com 

LEAD is a program of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance that provides opportunities for recognized and emergent leaders to collaborate on issues of importance to the region.