Local woman aims to spread kindness

Jennifer Downer, left, shows Kim Heath a Kindness Revolution bracelet.

One local business owner hopes to make a difference and spread cheer one bracelet at a time.

Jennifer Downer, an insurance agent with State Farm in Lenoir City, recently partnered with nonprofit group The Kindness Revolution as the exclusive area representative.

“There was a study that I read about, it was saying out of — and talking about elementary school — three acts of kindness per week that an elementary child would do would really cause that child to be mindful,” Downer said. “And that’s kind of what our goal is, for the kids to be mindful and be aware, and the kids that would perform three acts of kindness per week compared to the ones who did none were more socially acceptable as far as their peers. They were more empathetic.”

Downer will offer free bracelets to anyone who will stop by and ask.

“Basically what we’re doing is just trying to find — and it could be holding the door open for someone, but I think the younger we can get to, start young basically,” she said. “... We want them to be involved with us and we’re going to be supplying these bracelets that says the Kindness Revolution and — these are for the younger kids — it says, ‘It’s cool to be kind.’ ... Basically we’re just wanting to recognize kindness.”

Hopes are to also recognize first responders and utility workers.

“That’s a big part of it, too, thanking them for their service, and just anything positive that we can,” Downer said. “We feel like if we’ve helped one person by doing this then we believe it’s a success. There’s so much hate and discontent in the world. If doing this helps one, then I’m proud that we’re involved in it.”

Julie Tilley, North Middle School guidance counselor, is on board with the idea.

“We are so delighted to have a member of the business community partner with us to do this because we do focus so much on academics, but also in creating and fostering good citizenship and giving back to the community,” Tilley said.

The Kindness Revolution is a nonprofit marketing initiative founded more than 13 years ago.