"Yes Virgina, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist."
That is an excerpt from the most reprinted newspaper editorial ever. And it's as true today as it was back in 1897.
Another year of Sudbury.com's 12 Days of Kindness has come to an end, but we are incredibly moved by the spirit of generosity that is all around us.
We want to extend our gratitude to @homeENERGY for their goodwill in sponsoring the entire 12 Days of Kindness, all of our individual AOK sponsors and to the many people who took the time to share their stories of kindness through a nomination.
We received hundreds of nominations and Sudbury.com will be back in January with even more Acts of Kindness.
Until then, you can relive all the hugs, smiles and tears by watching all of this year's surprises in the videos listed below.
On the first day of kindness, Ashley Homestore thanked Bev Brisco for her unwavering commitment to the battle against breast cancer by donating $7,500 to the Northern Cancer Foundation in her honour.
On the second day of kindness, we lifted spirits at the Roberts home. Despite having scoliosis, 14-year-old Cassandra Roberts continues to play basketball because she is passionate about the sport. The Five’s No.23 Big Al and coach Logan Stutz helped to take the family’s mind off Cassandra’s upcoming surgery and gave them something good to look forward to. Cassandra's surgery went well with some minor complications but the family is back home and Cassandra is motivated to get better and play backet ball again.
On the third day of kindness, we visited Lansdowne Public School to surprise retired teacher Jackie Balleny who is teaching students to be kind through her painted rocks project called Sudbury Kindness Rocks.
On the fourth day of kindness, we surprised Mary Carter and thanked her for giving back to the community through volunteer work at the Parkside Centre and Donovan Elm West Seniors.
On the fifth day of kindness, we recognize the man behind the Sudbury Youth Rocks program. For more than a decade Joel Mackey has used music to turn kids’ lives around. Watch as we crashed a jam session to thank him for giving kids the chance to shine both on and off stage.
On the sixth day of kindness, we tricked Wendy Major into thinking we were doing a story about healthy living in Sudbury. Instead, we showered her with gifts to thank her for volunteering countless hours leading the aquafit class for seniors at Regent Court Apartments.
The seventh day of kindness was a doozy. Robin Dellaire faced very serious health challenges and the loss of both her husband and mother this past year. Although Robin is now in remission from throat and tongue cancer, she experienced many dark days living on her own. Her daughter Jaime reached out to us for help. Watch as we shared some warmth and let Robin know just how much she is loved.
8. While this single dad is it out of the house, we deliver the Christmas magic he worried his boys would miss
On the eighth day of kindness, Canadian Tire delivered some merry magic and set Willard Bechard and his boys up with everything they need to make this Christmas merry and bright. And we cannot wait to hear what they got for Christmas!
On the ninth day of kindness, we surprised a mom who lost her son to overdose last year. Terry Jenkins has found the strength to speak out about her experience and spread awareness about the opioid crisis in Sudbury. Watch as we applaud her for the work she does with NISA's warm line and for spreading a message of hope.
On the tenth day of kindness, we surprised Miss Zakamarko, Mrs. P and the students in the Intensive Support Program at Northeastern Elementary School. The ambitious group delivered 117 gifts to Extendicare Falconbridge for seniors who otherwise may have been forgotten this Christmas.
On the eleventh day of kindness, we met eight-year-old Kiara Fay who always looked up to her big brother Dylan who had a big heart and was always eager to give back. Sadly, Dylan passed away just after Christmas last year from a rare and aggressive cancer. This Christmas, Kiara decided to carry on his memory by collecting toys and giving them to children who visit the Cancer Centre in Sudbury.
On the last day of kindness, we visited Erik Robichaud, a husband and father who is facing a life altering liver disease for which there is no cure. His health is deteriorating and only a liver donor can help while he is still healthy enough for the surgery. Thanks to Bestech we were able to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and the family got to enjoy a fun-filled getaway.
Kindness really is contagious and we hope it keeps spreading, not only during the holiday season but throughout the New Year.
If you would like to support our next recipient by becoming a sponsor or if you know someone who is deserving of an act of kindness - visit Sudbury.com/AOK to find out how you can share a little love in our community.
Merry Christmas everyone.