Good Deeds

From Sacramento to Senegal: This Website Tracks Acts Of Kindness Around The Globe

A couple of college students wanted to show that despite the tragedy, there are good things happening all the time.

Every once in a while, a story or an idea comes along that seems to make perfect sense.

That was my thought when I heard about a website that some students at Florida State University came up with to track acts of kindness around the world.

Students Gabby Cintron and Vinita Akula, who attend the FSU College of Medicine, recently launched the site "Kindness Amid The Coronavirus," where they log positive news stories from around the world. The results populate an interactive map, creating clickable pins in the locations where the kindness acts took place.

The students created the map after seeing the John Hopkins version that tracks confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide.

"Seeing the Johns Hopkins map that has just the data points to show what's going on with the virus," Cintron told WCTV. "Just being able to see a map like that and see the mirroring and say, 'Ok, there's alot of bad that's spreading but there's also a lot of good as a result.'"

The students modeled their idea after the Johns Hopkins map tracking the Covid-19 virus. Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

People can submit acts of kindness to be included on the map, an action the students hope will inspire others to do their own good deeds, even while sheltering-in-place.

"From our computer screen we hope to help inspire that kindness," Akula said. "To help encourage people to take action and to show that they can do kind things just from their home."

Cintron and Akula recognize that while, in "normal" times, people tend to commit acts of kindness within their own social circles, when there is a catastrophe (like the coronavirus epidemic) the effects are more far-reaching.

"People tend to be kind to their own group, right? We do good acts for our own groups," Akula said. "But, however, in times of crisis, our group widens. And this is a global pandemic, so really, our group is global."

FSU students Vinita Akula (L) and Gabby Cintron (R) started the Kindness Amid the Coronavirus site to spread positivity during the pandemic. WCTV

The map already has had submissions from the United States, Africa, Australia, Europe and Canada.

The acts can be small, like a community food drive to help underprivileged families in Ghana, to larger efforts, such as the LEGO Group using their factories in Denmark to produce thousands of protective face visors for healthcare workers. Each act gets a heart-shaped marker on the map.

The site also offers a list of links to various fundraisers seeking donations to support various causes during the pandemic.

While the students created the site to show all of the good that's taking place while the world is hunkered down due to the coronavirus, they're hoping the submissions will keep coming in even after the pandemic is over.

"That idea of spreading kindness should never be just because we're in a time of crisis," Cintron said. "It should be an everyday thing."

We at Sparkt couldn't agree more!

How can you start something good?

You can submit your own good news story on the Kindness Amid Coronavirus website.

Just click the 'Submit Here' button on the homepage. You can submit an act of kindness you performed, or one that you heard about in the media. You can even submit a Sparkt story that inspired you!

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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