Fayetteville to Participate in Compassion Games

Fayetteville to Participate in Compassion Games
The Compassion Games "Survival of the Kindest" 2014 will be held from Sept. 11 to Sept. 21.

The Compassion Games “Survival of the Kindest” 2014 will be held from Sept. 11 to Sept. 21.

A year ago this week, acts of kindness were being reported by citizens of Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas area like crazy.

For example, a son cashed all of his piggy bank’s money to buy his dad a new helmet because he was concerned that his dad’s old helmet wasn’t safe anymore. Another woman with twins helped another woman find her car keys she had lost in the parking lot. A group of students on campus gave out “free hugs” for a day. A pediatric clinic’s food drive collected 100 cans of food for Meals on Wheels, and a secretary met a patient in the parking lot in their car so the patient wouldn’t have to walk to another building to fill out a form. That’s just a few of them.

Why? From Sept. 11 to Sept. 21 of last year, the City of Fayetteville participated in The Compassion Games, an international movement where cities are encouraged through cooperative competition to try to get the most random acts of kindness, volunteerism and money donated to charity.

“The idea is to get everybody to do as many great deeds, service projects, donations — all kinds of stuff to raise the level of compassion everywhere,” said Nancy Harris, Compassion Fayetteville’s team leader for The Compassion Games.

Now, The Compassion Games have started again, and Fayetteville is the reigning champion for its numerous reports of acts of kindness at 285 last year. Twenty cities participated in the international “coopetition” including Seattle, Louisville, Ky., Montreal, and Los Angeles. The games will be held from Sept. 11 through Sept. 21.

“What is satisfying for me is that it’s not only that I’m making a contribution to Fayetteville, The Compassion Games are connected to an international movement for compassion, and it’s something our world needs so much,” said Pattie Williams, a co-founder of Compassion Fayetteville. “It takes our community beyond Arkansas and the United States.”

Fayetteville received fifth place for reporting 1,485 volunteers and 5,569 volunteer hours each. In the 11 game days, the city also reported 5,235 people served and $2,393 in donations.

Some large contributors were Life Source International, Feed Fayetteville, Washington Regional Hospital and St.Paul’s Community Meals, each of which accrued points in the games for number of volunteers, volunteer hours worked, people they served and dollars donated.

Courtesy Photo Students at Little Village hold up Compassion torches as a part of the Compassion relays that lead up to the September games. The torches symbolize carrying the spirit of compassion, similar to the olympic torch relays.

Courtesy Photo
Students at Little Village hold up Compassion torches as a part of the Compassion relays that lead up to the September games. The torches symbolize carrying the spirit of compassion, similar to the olympic torch relays.

Box Ox Moving Company became a “poster child” for The Compassion Games when they took it upon themselves to do daily acts of kindness after reading about Compassion Fayetteville on Facebook in February.

“They orchestrated their own movement, and I just thought that was so neat,” Williams said.

Their acts included taping free bags of popcorn to Redbox machines for people to take home with them, donating old frisbees to dog parks, leaving a $5 giftcard for gas at Walmart (which the guy who got it jumped up and down when he saw it) and adding change to expired parking meters downtown.

“It’s the little things like that can make someone’s day,” said Cobi Cogbill, co-owner of Box Ox Moving Company. “You wouldn’t think an extra .25 cents would do much, but it makes some people feel like they won the lottery. We wanted to make it where everybody could realize that you don’t have to put in a lot of money or time to do these things and anybody can do it anytime, anywhere.”

The company has already completed the first leg of compassionate acts for the Compassion Relays, which are mini-movements that lead up to The Compassion Games.

“I think it’s awesome. I think that’s what we need the way things are today,” Cogbill said. “I think it makes us a much more attractive community, and that’s what we want, more people to come celebrate this community with us.”

Several sponsors of Compassion Fayetteville including Adventure Subaru, Ozark Literacy Council, Northwest Arkansas Center For Equality, and Terra Studios have been called upon to carry out service projects.

CompassionFayettevilleTo report an act of kindness witnessed or completed by yourself, go online to report the act athttps://compassiongames.crowdmap.com/reports/submit. Also, be sure to “like” Compassion Fayetteville on Facebook to follow the events planned for the week.

Throughout the week, there will be a “Canpassion” food drive, brought on by a joint effort of the City of Fayetteville and Compassion Fayetteville. Canned foods can be dropped off at Fayetteville Public Library lobby and the lobby of City Hall. The food collected will go to local food banks, such as Feed Fayetteville, to feed the hungry.

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Williams — a licensed counselor — will host a self-compassion session at the OMNI Center in Fayetteville for developing empathy for oneself.

On the final day, Sunday, Sept. 21, there will be the All Children’s Fair at Walker Park from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. At the fair will be children’s activities, food, music featuring Jules Taylor with Shaky Bugs, Adam Cox, Papa Rap, and Candy Lee, and speakers with information about the children on the border issue, Harris said. The event is sponsored by the Coalition to Stand with All the Children.

Compassion Games International is a year-round non-profit initiative that is sponsored by the Compassionate Action Network. The Compassion Games came about from a community challenge issued in 2012 from Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Ky., to Seattle, Wash., to see who could have a more compassionate city while also helping each other.

Fischer challenged his city to do 50,000 acts of compassion, and ended up with 90,000 acts by the end of the week. As a result, he declared Louisville “The Most Compassionate City in the World.”

In response to the challenge, the “Compassion Games” and “coopetition” (cooperative competition) was born. In a few short years, the Games have engaged cities, community groups, families and individuals in several countries. There are now more than 130 teams, or community groups, who have signed up to participate as well as 30 cities internationally.

The Four First Principles of Compassion

1. To cultivate a dispostion of loving-kindness and respect in ourselves.

2. To exhibit that in how we approach each human we interact with.

3. To commit to the services of others — in our neighborhood, in our country, and even across the world

4. To adopt an open-mindedness and generative, generous spirit that leads to creatitivy to soliving the world’s challenges.

Source: compassiongames.org

Categories: Cover Story