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Buffalo Kindness

Over the past decade, National Random Acts of Kindness Day is a fun, unofficial “holiday” on February 17th that has been steadily gaining traction. Originating in New Zealand, the day is meant to celebrate doing small, selfless acts for others such as holding a door, complimenting a co-worker, or even something as simple as offering a complete stranger a smile as you pass them by.

Acts of kindness aren’t purely limited to February though, as there is nothing to stop anyone from making a stranger’s day year-round. Research shows that kindness has a number of benefits, including a better sense of well-being, reducing isolation, and allowing us to put things into perspective. While giving us the opportunity to be more social, kind acts also help improve our self-esteem with lasting impacts.

“A homeless man was quietly standing, humbly, and just looked beaten down and sad. I turned around and gave him a $ bill he probably doesn’t get often. He was surprised and grateful. I’ll never forget his smile and what I think was a little sparkle.” – Ann S.

Kindness Buffalo was created for Kimberly Borkowski in light of her leukemia diagnosis, stating that “[her] friends and family couldn’t do a lot for [her] but could do a lot for others.”

Borkowski was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in June 2021. After sharing the news with her family and friends, they created a Facebook group called “Kindness Buffalo.” This group was honored to perform random acts of kindness, but also wanted to share it with both her and the Buffalo community. What they didn’t know was that it would grow to more than 1,400 people.

“Kim is a ray of sunshine and everyone who knows her has been touched by her generous spirit,” said Trish Hudson, friend, colleague, and co-founder of Kindness Buffalo.

“I’m not one to think of what other people think of me, but what other people think of me is what my kids are going to hear after I’m gone,” Borkowski said, referring to her three children: Alyssa, Savannah, and Henry. “That’s my legacy and I wanted that legacy to be kindness.”

If you visit their Facebook group, you’ll find that it’s a place for kindness and positivity in honor of Borkowski. The purpose of the group is two-fold: to perform an act of kindness and not only share your cause for group members to see, but to create somewhat of a diary for Borkowski to read when she’s feeling blue or during her treatments.

At first, some members of the group didn’t want to go online just to brag about the kind act they just performed. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not just sharing your kindness for you, but to inspire others and remind Borkowski just how far her request for kindness has truly gone. Kindness Buffalo has become somewhat of a hub for the Buffalo community to share opportunities as well, as small acts of kindness for strangers have ripple effects.

In her own words, Borkowski is proud to report that her health is going “as good as it can be.” Truly living her legacy, Borkowski and her children handed out 100 carnations following her 100 days post-transplant, and on her 1-year “transplantaversary” she performed 365 acts of kindness–with help from her family and friends, of course.

In honor of one Buffalo woman turning life-changing news into something so incredibly light, fun, and kind, it is only fair to celebrate Kim, Trish, her children, her co-workers, and all of the members of Kindness Buffalo who make an impactful difference for those around them.

“As I was doing my 7:00 a.m. run to the grocery store this morning in preparation for stormy weather, I stopped at the café in Tops to pick up a large coffee. While I was there I bought coffee for everyone working in the café. It was a great way to start my day.” – Mary Beth A.

365 Acts of Kindness

Since Kim was restricted from most public places due to being immunosuppressed, her friend Krista Lipczynski executed the 365 Acts of Kindness on her one-year “transplantaversary” while Kim drove. They left quarters at the laundromat, took donuts to the police station, took hot dogs and washcloths to the SPCA, handed out lunches to homeless people, and passed out gift cards to Roswell’s cafeteria to patient families. They also dropped off bags, crayons, coloring books, socks, toothbrushes, and underwear to child and family services, and stocked the Buffalo community fridge with canned goods and feminine hygiene products.

Krista Lipczynski talks 365 Acts

How did you come up with the ideas?

Kim is the most incredible person I have ever known. She planned the random acts of kindness in their entirety and I was lucky enough to be the sidekick!

What emotions did you feel that day?

I can’t really explain the feeling. Grateful… I am so grateful she’s here for me to do things with her. Inspired… that she still chooses to find the light and help others even though dealt an unfortunate hand. Everyone we interacted with that day was so grateful and so kind.

What was your favorite act of kindness that day?

Walking through Roswell and passing out the gift cards was what hit me the most. Not too long ago she was there being treated for what seemed like an eternity and I couldn’t even see her. That day we were walking the halls and trying to put a smile on someone’s face. I was so happy to be next to her, and, again, so grateful for that time and to Roswell and to her donor for making it that way. I’ve thought about it every day since.


Join the Kindness Buffalo Facebook group for more acts of kindness & to share your own!

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