Cornwall, Ontario – As many Cornwall locals may have spent the weekend wondering who paid for their recent hit of caffeinated kindness, the ‘mysterious benefactor’ of Ontario’s first Common Kindness Day has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the event and crown Ontario’s kindest community of ‘pay it forward’ enthusiasts.
Local home and auto insurance company The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group is now revealing themselves as the benefactors behind Common Kindness Day celebrated across Ontario last week on Tuesday, January 10.
The Commonwell sponsored ten cafes across Ontario, including The Grind Cafe in Cornwall, to give away 100 coffees to the first patrons through the door with just one catch: each person to receive a free coffee was asked to pay the kindness forward to another local. The insurance company founded the unofficial holiday as a way to bolster community spirit, encouraging locals to “dig deep and pay it forward… because the world could use a little extra kindness (and caffeine).”
With the support of local media and the public, Common Kindness Day quickly became a viral news story and inspired random acts of kindness across the province with the hashtag #CommonKindnessDay trending at #1 on Twitter in Toronto for most of the day.
“Common Kindness Day went very well,” said Sue Martin, owner of The Grind Cafe in Cornwall. “The customers were very enthusiastic about it and thought it was an excellent idea. Many wished to thank the initial benefactor for the heartwarming gesture.”
And Ontario’s Kindest Town Is… The results from Ontario’s first Common Kindness Day are in and, based on public donations made by locals ‘paying it forward’, Ontario’s kindest town is Belleville where 106 people donated money to pay for at least 101 additional coffees at The Brake Room.
Ontario-Wide ‘Pay It Forward’ Results:
Alexandria – The Quirky Carrot 40 coffees paid forward by 60 customers
Barrie – Bean Counter 50 coffees paid forward by 50 customers
Belleville – The Brake Room 101 coffees paid forward by 106 customers
Cornwall – The Grind Café 60 coffees paid forward by 73 customers
Lindsay – Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault 82 coffees paid forward by 90 customers
Midland – Grounded Coffee 44 coffees paid forward by 42 customers
Ottawa – Origin Trade Café 21 coffees paid forward by 41 customers
Perth – Coutts Coffee 69 coffees paid forward by 62 customers
Peterborough – Kyoto Coffee 12 coffees paid forward by 30 customers
Whitby – 3 Steps Up Cafe 24 coffees paid forward by 50 customers
“We created Common Kindness Day because we believe in the importance of strong community bonds, and those bonds are achieved through face-to-face interaction and doing things for others in a selfless way,” said Tim Shauf, President and CEO of The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group. “We started the ball rolling by paying for coffees across the province and the public’s response was overwhelming. It far exceeded our wildest expectations. The ‘pay it forward’ donations from generous locals kept the free coffee pouring for several days, so much so that Common Kindness Day became a week-long celebration.”
“As we prepare for next year’s event, our team now issues a challenge to other local businesses across Ontario to find a way to pay it forward in the great communities that they serve.”
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