Why an Activist for Kindness?
After Gabriella wrote her first book, With All My Might, which chronicles her many personal and hurtful experiences with bullying, she was invited to appear on TV shows across the US as an anti-bullying expert. Later in 2012, Gabriella heard the devastating news of a seven-year-old boy who had committed suicide due to bullying. Her compassion and desire to help those suffering from isolation, bullying, and feeling as if they did not belong intensified. In that moment, she decided she would become an activist for kindness.
On national TV and at school assemblies across the US, Gabriella says, “Let’s pick up our standards. Let’s pick up our values.” Her slogan is: “We as a society have dropped the ball on Human Kindness®. Will you help me pick it up?” #DareToBeKind
The Ball of Kindness in Gabriella’s Life
This story is about a British couple living in Pakistan, Helen and Harvey, and a small toddler who lived nearby in a Catholic orphanage.
Harvey was an architect, and Helen volunteered at the orphanage.
One day, Helen came home and told Harvey all about the 50 orphaned children needing clothes and blankets, and specifically about one little girl she wanted to help.
Gabriella was too young to remember how it happened, but this couple decided to love a perfect stranger and help her get to her adoptive family waiting in the Netherlands.
As an orphan, she didn’t have papers, which made things very difficult for Helen and Harvey! But they did not give up, and so the ball of Kindness® was thrown her way…
Without their determination, she would have never made it to her new family.
You, too, know of one person who took one moment to perform one kindness to BE the difference in your life.
The Journey of Kindness Continues
Activist for kindness advocate Gabriella van Rij is that voice who helps individuals find happiness and confidence in who they are and their place in the world.
Instead of harping on all the many social issues that beset our schools and communities, Gabriella empowers children, parents, educators, and the workforce with a deceivingly simple solution: One moment, one person, one kindness, is all it takes to BE the difference.
• Gabriella has been pivotal in instigating change through talks given at school assemblies, communities, and corporations. Gabriella directed and produced Our Silence Is Complicity (2014), a documentary on the devastating effects of bullying. She also ensures that a diverse array of voices are heard through videos and audios. Learn more on “Be Heard.”
• Make Kindness Your Choice 4-Step Program is a revelatory presentation that is given at school assemblies to teach students how to own their uniqueness, stand up for themselves, and become a positive force in their school. Bring Gabriella to your school today!
• The Kindness Map is an initiative by Gabriella van Rij to spread and promote the Kindness movement. Readers post stories of their kindness experiences, whether as a recipient or as an ambassador. Hearing stories of how kindness has touched and changed lives will encourage countless others to choose kindness. As Gabriella often says, “Kindness only grows more kindness!” Download the Kindness Map school assignment that can be given to grades 4 to 12 as part of an English class assignment or community awareness assignment.