Wauconda Area Library spreading kindness in the community

Wauconda Area Library employees are trying to spread kindness in the community this fall with special activities and promotions.

The centerpiece of the Kindness Campaign is a bucket with a smiley face located near the new DVDs.

Anyone who puts a note about something they did that was kind or made someone else smile into the bucket gets a free cup of coffee or can have overdue fines erased.

"Patrons have been leaving notes of kindness every day," said Patty Gmitrovic, program coordinator for the library's Kid City department. "It is a wonderful feeling getting your overdue fines taken off your account just for a simple act of kindness."

The campaign, which launched Monday, coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month. But instead of using the term "bully," the library is emphasizing being kind to people.

"(It's) much more positive," Gmitrovic said.

The program was inspired by R.J. Palacio's best-selling book "Wonder," which is about a disfigured boy's experiences with bullying in middle school.

Gmitrovic called the campaign a teaching tool for children "and a reminder for adults."

"One is never too old or young to be kind and compassionate," she said.

Kindness Campaign activities include:

• A family book club discussion of Palacio's "We're All Wonders." It's set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, at the library and is open to families with kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders.

• A presentation by a local boy about his medical issues and how he compares to the protagonist in "Wonder." That's set for 7 p.m. Oct. 15, at Wauconda High School, 555 N. Main St.

• Food packing at Feed My Starving Children, 742 E. Park Ave., Libertyville. That's set for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 10.

The library has a history of sharing kindness.

The library gives free prom dresses to teens, gathers food and toiletries for a local food pantry and has collected winter gloves and hats for folks who needed them, among other charitable efforts.

To register for any of the Kindness Campaign events, visit or go to the library, 801 N. Main St.

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