Small acts of kindness are never wasted

March 5, 2019
PeaceHealth caregivers hold chain of kindness
Caregiver shares valuable lesson from humanitarian friend

"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard" -- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol" 

With a new twist on a “chain forged in life” from the famous tale A Christmas Carol, caregivers at PeaceHealth in Longview, Washington created a paper chain to celebrate acts of kindness during the holidays. 

On each red and green paper link, the team in the call center jotted down all the caring, selfless moments they heard about or event witnessed. Following are just a sample of what they recorded: 

  • Assisted neighbor to carry groceries in 

  • Let cars merge ahead of me 

  • Offered my umbrella to a stranger during a rain storm 

  • Bought coffee for the car behind me 

  • Donated to clothes closet 

  • Assisted patient by getting her a wheelchair 

  • Helped a neighbor jumpstart her car 

  • Bought flowers for a friend who was sick 

  • Gave neighbor a ride to the store 

  • Donated to the local food pantry 

  • Gave to Salvation Army 

  • Picked up and gave my son’s friend with a broken leg in a wheelchair a ride to school 

  • Took donuts to the warming shelter 

Heather Welty, the team lead, said the kindness chain was one of many amazing ideas that her co-worker Shannon Stennick started to celebrate the season. 

Every time an act was done, we wrote it on a paper and a chain was created,” says Heather.  mitten tree

It was awesome to see the things that people would do. Shannon took it upon herself to give out gifts for those of us that added to the chain and with each gift she left a quote: ‘No act of kindness however small is ever wasted.’ 

In addition to the chain, Shannon set up a “mitten tree,” inviting passersby to hang on the tree new or lightly used gloves and mittens to be donated to the Longview School District for homeless students. 

Shannon says her inspiration comes from someone who taught her the value of giving a few years ago. Her friend, Jen Kohl, would say: When you aren’t feeling good or having a bad day…do something kind for someone.” 

She notes that Jen lost her 10-year-old daughter, Avery, in a tragic accident last May. Avery wanted to be a humanitarianlike her Mom. Avery’s Dream Foundation was formed and Jen and her family are living what they have taught.”