Waterbury community members recognized for acts of kindness

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - One Vermont town was in the giving spirit the day before Thanksgiving. The Revitalizing Waterbury team headed out to give thanks to those around town who deserve it.

For a town of just 5,000, Waterbury has a big giving spirit.

“We are just thrilled to be able to say thank you to the people who make Waterbury a wonderful place,” said Karen Nevin of Revitalizing Waterbury.

Nevin started a program last year called Waterbury Acts of Kindness. At the time, it was a way to offload unused gift cards.

“One of my colleagues had an idea of asking the community to nominate people for their goodness... for what they do and what they get noticed for. And we would give people gift cards,” Nevin said.

Nearly 60 people were recognized last year, and this year, there were another 58 nominations.

“They’re business owners and the people behind the register. They’re town employees, the Waterbury Post Office, it’s the little girl who nominated her teacher because her teacher teaches her about kindness,” Nevin said.

So the Revitalizing Waterbury team set out to hand out the Acts of Kindness cards to people around town who others noticed have made a difference. Each envelope contains a message about why they were nominated and a small gift.

“So you may not know who he is, but he wrote, ‘She is always cheerful and helpful and provides excellent customer service above and beyond what we can expect from the post office,’” Nevin told Cathy Knittle.

Knittle has been a Waterbury resident for six years or so and says this was a big surprise.

“I’m humbled... I’m, I don’t know,” she said.

For Knittle, being kind to her customers is a no-brainer.

“Because it’s home. You want them to feel welcome in Waterbury. And that’s why I do it,” she said.

Other recipients included Pamela Pratt at the Waterbury Town Offices.

“Feels great,” Pratt said. “I’m very surprised and appreciate the public acknowledging what I do.”

Jenna Danyew at Bridgeside Books was recognized for always having a smile and a solid book recommendation.

“I’ve seen the congratulations but I didn’t really expect that I’d be someone people had eyes on in this way,” Danyew said.

While the gift inside is a nice touch, these little acts of kindness serve to remind people that they are appreciated, even if it goes without being said.

“There’s a lot of good in this world,” Nevin said. “This is one of the ways that Waterbury can celebrate that.”

The gift for the Waterbury Acts of Kindness program is 25 Waterbury Bucks. The funding for that comes from Ivy Computer. Waterbury Bucks are a local currency that can be used at about 60 stores throughout the community.

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