Missouri Governor Signs Bill Creating “Random Acts of Kindness” Day
[July 15, 2021: Josh Shavit]
State Rep. Mike McGirl was pleased after Gov. Parson on Tuesday signed SB 72 into law creating “Random Acts of Kindness Day,” among other state designations. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Karla Eslinger, originally designated the first Friday in May each year as “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day,” and had a number of similar provisions added. It marks Nov. 30 as “Mark Twain Day” and “John Jordan ‘Buck’ O’Neil Day.” It also designates May 1 as “Walthall Moore Day,” the first African American to serve in the Missouri Legislature.
With the governor’s signature, Aug. 31 shall now be known as “Random Acts of Kindness Day” in Missouri. On this day, Missourians are encouraged to remember that one small act of kindness has the power to change the course of a person’s life and the potential to impact countless lives as random acts of kindness are paid forward.
McGirl originally proposed “Random Acts of Kindness Day” as a stand-alone bill, HB 202, and it was later added to SB 72 as an amendment. McGirl said the idea was inspired by constituent Lela Thompson of Cadet, who lost her daughter, Shayley Akers, to suicide. Thompson testified for the bill and attended the bill-signing ceremony in the governor’s office.
“Without the dedication of Lela Thompson, this bill would not have become law. I sincerely appreciate her efforts to memorialize those precious lives lost to suicide and to prevent further tragedies from occurring,” said McGirl, R-Potosi. "I would like to thank Governor Parson, Senator Karla Eslinger and Representative Travis Smith for helping get this important day recognized by our state."
McGirl added that Washington County, which he represents, already designates such a day, which is designed to help prevent suicide. The day marks the beginning of Suicide Prevention Month, which occurs in September.
Kindness at the national level
At a national level, on Jul 24, 2019, representatives Luis Correa [D-CA46], Charlie Crist [D-FL13] and Alan Lowenthal [D-CA47] introduced H.Res. 520 (116th): Remembering kindness in the United States and affirming our commitment to fostering community and building resiliency through every day acts of kindness.
The resoltuion stated "That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States shall recognize kind actions in this country, encourage kindness, spread love, and foster a culture of being kind to one another."
The resolution was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform. Ultimately it died in Congress before it was pushed forward to a vote.
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