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What is Leap of Kindness Day?

On Saturday, February 29, 2020, we all have one additional day in this #LeapYear.

We believe the best way to use this one extra day is to do something kind for someone else. We call this Leap of Kindness Day.

Leap of Kindness Day was invented in 2016. That Leap Year, on February 29th, all across Saratoga County, employers, employees, individuals and families took action and did something kind for someone else.

There were contributions of food, clothing and money to area impact sector organizations. Special meals were prepared and delivered to first responders, police, fire, and health care workers. Gift cards were donated to US Navy Sailors stationed in Saratoga County. Flowers and socks were brought to residents of local nursing homes and children in area pediatric units received coloring books and toys.

The 2016 Leap of Kindness Day initiative was invented and managed in Saratoga County by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. But the idea spread within the Chamber community and ultimately we believe there were more than 50 chambers of commerce in 30 states that organized their own Leap of Kindness Day events.

So as the 2020 Leap Year approaches, we are inviting everyone in Saratoga County (and beyond) to celebrate February 29, 2020, as Leap of Kindness Day.

You can join our #leapofkindnessday celebration simply by doing something kind for someone else and if someone else on does something kind for you then pay it forward. You can band together with your coworkers and organize a food or clothing drive. You can champion your own community's celebration of Leap of Kindness Day.

However you choose to participate, we're here to help. So what will you do with your extra day in 2020?

The video above was created in 2016 to help us explain Leap of Kindness Day.

Saratoga County Chamber pushes for kindness on Leap Day

Chamber plans for Leap Day to be a time to give back and show kindness

By Saratogian Staff, on Twitter

Friday, February 19, 2016

SARATOGA COUNTY >> One local chamber has opted to use its “extra day” this month, to help out others within the community.

The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce is preparing to celebrate the first-ever Leap of Kindness Day, on Monday, Feb. 29 by organizing a series of well thought out acts of kindness to benefit local individuals and organizations as well as encouraging community members to participate with their own random acts of kindness on that day.

Chamber president Todd Shimkus explained in a press release, “2016 is a Leap Year. As a result, Monday, Feb. 29 is an extra day.” He continued, “We thought the best way to use this extra day was to encourage our members and our community to do something kind for someone else. Rather than simply asking people to do random acts of kindness, we launched this effort 30 days in advance and have worked diligently to connect organizations looking to make a big impact with others in the community who could benefit from a simple thank you or a donation of some kind.”

Several local businesses have already planned acts of kindness to take place on Leap of Kindness Day.

One local company is preparing to provide sailors at the U.S. Navy Training Center, in Ballston Spa with gift cards to thank them for their service.

Another local company will visit the residents at the Wesley Community and Saratoga Hospital Nursing Home to deliver flowers.

Another is collecting pet supplies and food to help patients at the Saratoga Hospital’s Community Health Center to care for their pets.

A local charitable organization is planning to deliver home baked goodies to their major sponsors.

One company plans to prepare breakfast for its local fire department.

Area schools are preparing to hold school-wide events that may include penny drives, parents sending thank you notes to their child’s teacher, and special contests.

A local organization is collecting supplies for the Code Blue Shelter in Saratoga Springs while another is collecting supplies for Operation Adopt A Soldier, and many businesses are organizing food drives to support local food pantries across Saratoga County.

The chamber created a website at where local organizations and individuals can get ideas on what they could do on their own or with their co-workers on Feb. 29 to join the Leap of Kindness Day celebration.

Individuals are being invited to tip big, to make a donation to a local charity, or to simply send a thank you card to someone that means a lot to them on this extra day in 2016.

Everyone is encouraged to share with their friends on social media the act of kindness they do on this day using the hashtag #leapofkindnessday, so that others might be inspired to follow their lead.

While the local chamber is focusing its efforts on connecting people and organizations together in Saratoga County, it has shared its Leap of Kindness Day idea and logo with chambers of commerce in more than a dozen states from Texas, to North Dakota, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island. The Leap of Kindness logo was designed so that it could be used by anyone anywhere that wanted to participate.

“That is one of the ways we are paying it forward hoping that other chambers in other communities will also want to use this extra day to do something kind for someone else,” added Shimkus in the release.

For more information about the chamber and Leap of Kindness Day visit the chamber’s website.

Taking the big leap - How to participate!

In 2016, the following list describes some of the suggestions from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce offered to encourage people to  help us celebrate Leap of Kindness Day:

  1. Collect and deliver items that will be sent to troops stationed overseas by Operation Adopt a Soldier.
  2. Local nursing homes have hundreds of residents who would love to receive flowers and/or new socks.
  3. By Feb. 29, many local pantries will be in desperate need of food. Your organization can collect and deliver food to a local food pantry on Leap Day.
  4. On Feb. 29, when you get your daily cup of coffee, dine out for lunch or dinner or patronize any local business where tips are accepted, tip big as a way of doing something kind for those who serve you on this special day.
  5. Send a note of gratitude to your child's teacher.
  6. Before Feb. 29, employers could host a staff meeting to solicit ideas to do something together as a team at the start of the day, at lunch or after work.
  7. Leap of Kindness Day offers everyone a great opportunity to thank our first responders — police, fire and EMS. Contact your local department to see if they'd accept a small token of thanks from your organization.
  8. Consider doing something nice for those who work in health care and/or their patients.
  9. Call your local senior center to ask if there is something you can do to help them.
  10. Donate coupons for free coffee, a free ice cream cone, movie passes or something else as a way of saying thank you to Navy sailors as they complete their training to operate the fleet's nuclear propulsion systems and their families. Call the chamber at 584-3255 and they will arrange for the delivery of your act of kindness.
  11. Consider it your extra day to write a thank-you note to a co-worker or to bring someone in your organization a cup of coffee or to take them out to lunch. If you do this, invite them to "pay it forward" and you might see your workplace at its best on this extra day.
  12. Make an online donation to a charity or nonprofit of your choice.

In 2016, here are some of the ways people and organizations participated in #LeapOfKindnessDay:

  • Students in the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School will be doing 4 different events (2 for Brave Will, Adopt a Soldier, breakfast for bus drivers).
  • The staff at Saratoga Arms will provide the Saratoga Chapter of Hospice a kindness bag, full of Saratoga Arms food, treats and amenities.
  • Senator Kathy Marchione is hosting a Leap of Kindness event with free coffee and donuts at the Mechicville-Stillwater Senior Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Monday. 
  • Specialty Silicones is collecting items to make a donation to Adopt-a-Soldier.
  • Sweet Mimi’s Cafe will be delivering 4 dozen of our signature chocolate chip cookies to the Saratoga Hospital Nursing home. Our cookies always inspire a smile!
  • Saratoga Family Dentistry will be participating in the Leap of Kindness Day by asking all 7 of our practice locations to donate items for the Saratoga County Animal Shelter. We are also asking patients of our Saratoga to help pool together donations as well.
  • Skidmore Dining Services is donating dinner to Code Blue and Skidmore students will deliver it!
  • CAP COM Federal Credit Union will be donating to the Respite Program at AIM Services Inc. and delivering breakfast to the NYS Troopers and the Malta-Stillwater EMS.
  • The ACTIVE Network is selling homemade breakfast items, appetizers, various foods and Mocktails in the office to collect donations.These donations will be used to pay it forward to our local CODE BLUE SARATOGA.
  • On February 10 -12 Alpine Sport Shop customers received travel mugs as gifts. Through the month of February, they could bring it to UnCommon Grounds, it was filled with coffee, and they received a bagel for free! This special promotion ends on February 29, Leap of Kindness Day. Alpine Sport Shop is also donating over $1000 to St. Baldrick's Foundation in honor of Leap of Kindness Day.
  • The Tunison Funeral Home will be dropping off socks for the residents and cookies for the staff at The Wesley Community.
  • ACO Property Advisors, Inc. will be donating canned goods to Franklin Community Center Food Pantry.
  • St. Clement’s religious education grade 8 girls plan to make a food donation to the St. Clement’s food pantry and make greeting cards for residents at Prestwick Chase.
  • Mrs. Nelsen's 4th grade class at Caroline Street School are making cards for the residents at Prestwick Chase.
  • NHS and NJHS students from Galway will be: playing monopoly at The Home of the Good Shepherd, making breakfast for CSEA employees, delivering baskets of snacks and cookies to EMS and firefighters, conducting a basketball clinic and making cards.
  • Roohan Realty is collecting snack items for the Franklin Community Center's Project Lift as well as items for Operation Adopt-a-Soldier. The firm is also hosting a dessert social for seniors at the Embury Apartments.
  • The Joint Clifton Park is collecting for the Shenendehowa Helping Hands Food Pantry. We have a list of items they are looking for. We are also going to pay it forward by giving a free adjustment card to patients who make a donation. (One card per patient, not per item.)
  • Hampton Inn and Suites is serving breakfast to the Saratoga Springs Fire Department.
  • The Adirondack Trust Company is delivering flowers to residents of two area nursing homes AND hosting a food drive in all of their branches.
  • US Foods is collecting food from their employees in Clifton Park and matching those donations as well as preparing food for two area shelters on that day.
  • First graders at Geyser Road Elementary are making spring banners and decorations for the nursing home at Saratoga Hopital.
  • Girl Scout brownie troop #3134 of Saratoga is doing a clothing food and hygiene product drive for the Franklin Community Center.
  • Polyset is serving breakfast and lunch to the Clifton Park - Halfmoon EMS.
  • GLOBALFOUNDRIES has invited its 18,000 employees across the world via email to do something kind for someone else on February 29th. Locally, Fab 8 employees are also encouraged to donate food items for distribution to area food pantries.
  • Chamber Board members have joined together to deliver some treats from The Iron Roost to the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department.
  • First National Bank of Scotia is collecting Books for Troops! at all of their branches.
  • DA Collins Company is collecting food for Shelters of Saratoga
  • The Saratoga Regional YMCA is collecting items in need for the Code Blue Shelter.
  • Bonacio Construction is collecting non-perishable items for the Franklin Community Center Food Pantry.
  • Saratoga National Bank is collecting pet food for patients at the Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center.
  • The Warren-Washington-Saratoga BOCES culinary arts program is making boxed lunches for the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
  • Bow Tie Cinemas is hosting a Rare Disease Day at the movies on February 29th to benefit several local nonprofits started by local families.
  • The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association is collecting white ankle high socks that will be donated to the residents at the Saratoga Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Home.
  • The Saratoga Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Home will pay it forward by bringing cookies to the Ballston Spa Fire and EMS departments.
  • The Saratoga Nursing Center will putting together a donation of items for Code Blue.
  • Saratoga Bridges is collecting Canned Kitten food & Toys, Children’s Toys, School Supplies and Plastic Shopping Bags to benefit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter & Saratoga Center for the Family.
  • The Chamber's Veterans Business Council is collecting items for the men's and women's Veterans Shelters in Saratoga County.
  • NBT Bank is hosting a food drive for local food pantries.
  • The Saratoga County Department of Public Health is collecting food for a local pantry and pet food for the Saratoga Hospital's Community Health Center.
  • Saratoga Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss Program are going to make a basket for the Naval Clinic in our building at 1 West and fill it with Coffee Mugs and Dunkin Donuts Cards to say Thank you for Your Service!
  • Fingerpaint Marketing is asking all of their employees in all of their locations around the US to pick from a list of a dozen acts of kindness that each person can do urging recipients to pay it forward.
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