Groups out to encourage random acts of kindness

Kevin Barclay
Anna Stout

Organizations and businesses in the Grand Valley have joined in an effort to encourage random acts of kindness as part of Mental Health Awareness Month in October.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on the Western Slope, 2-1-1 and the Western Colorado Community Foundation are among those involved.

“If we can engage our community moving forward using random acts of kindness, it’s amazing how we can change our community,” said Kevin Barclay, executive director of NAMI Western Slope. “We are calling out to everyone asking, imploring, encouraging them to reach out and do something just a little different. If we see and share with 2-1-1 and publish these things, it’ll feed on itself.”

NAMI Western Slope has small cards available that read “You’ve been RAK’d” and encourage recipients to call 2-1-1 or send an email to to share their stories of kindness.

Recipients can then use those cards to pass along to someone else when performing a random act of kindness. Community members are also encouraged to share their stories on social media using the hashtags #RAKGJ, #RAKMesaCounty and #SeeShareCare.

Organizations and businesses are also encouraged to engage their employees and pledge to take part in random acts of kindness throughout the month.

Anna Stout, executive director of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society, said the animal shelter and adoption center plans to perform pet-related random acts, such as sending employees out to walk dogs for homebound residents and randomly handing out pet care packages at the dog park.

“Compassion is one of our values, so our team jumped on the opportunity to spread some extra kindness throughout our community, especially right now when things feel so divided,” Stout said.

For more information, to obtain “You’ve been RAK’d” cards or pledge business support, call 812-0010 or send an email: