Danbury resident and co-founder of One a Week Boomer Perrault hopes his charity-like organization will promote positivity and mental health through random acts of kindness.
One a Week asks followers to perform one random act of kindness every week and post evidence of it on their Facebook page or in an Instagram post with One a Week’s account tagged. The organization has partnered with sponsors and will give one sponsored gift to a participant each week.
“Participants then have the option to keep the gift, donate it to a friend or donate it to charity,” Perrault said.
Perrault said his personal experience helping others led him to co-found the organization.
“Around a year and a half ago, I personally wasn’t in the highest spirits, and I found that out of everything I was doing- sleeping more, exercising, hanging out with friends- the one thing that made me feel better than anything else was helping others,” Perrault said. “I started by donating money to charity and others, and it grew from there.”
Perrault said his decision to start the organization was solidified last summer when he heard a statistic on suicide.
“I heard on the radio a certain percentage of attempted suicide survivors said if someone had smiled at them the day they attempted to take their life, they wouldn’t have done it,” Perrault said. “That statistic, as well as the good deeds I performed, led me to call my friend Derek. He was totally on board, so we turned it into a more structured plan.”
Perrault said they put the challenge into motion the first week of 2018 and so far have had over 100 submissions.
“One guy made Valentine’s Day cards that he’s sending to a children’s hospital,” Perrault said. “There’s been a lot of buying people food, that’s always a common one. People have been shoveling their neighbors’ driveways and walkways and bringing the garbage up their driveways.”
Perrault said some of the organizations who have sponsored them include exercise company All Star Human Performance, which gives out a free month of training, as well as some clothing companies that are offering free t-shirts and a company that gives out watches.
Perrault said performing one good deed a week is “very manageable,” even for college students who don’t have a lot of money or time.
“A lot of the people who have participated so far are older, and I feel like it would be beneficial to get a younger crowd involved in this,” Perrault said. “Our biggest following is actually people from 18 to 27 years old, but even though they’re our biggest following, they’re not getting as involved.”
Perrault said with enough participants, countless people will be touched through kind acts.
“No matter how small or insignificant you think it is, you could do something that has an incredible impact on someone,” Perrault said. “We believe that while some acts may just make a stranger’s day a little better, others can have a drastic impact on a life.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.