Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tragedy inspires kindly deeds

City woman gets Facebook response

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The 27 acts that Christine McIntyre will perform for 27 families over the next few days won't change the unbelievable tragedy of last Friday in Connecticut in any way, but they'll make some peoples' lives just a little better.

Every one of those acts will honour the memory of the seven adults and 20 Grade 1 children slain in their Newtown, Conn., school.

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And there was every sign Monday that people were taking up her idea.

"There's nothing I could do that would equate that amount of hurt and pain. I'm going to do 27 acts for 27 families -- this is my goal," the 31-year-old East Kildonan mother of two preschoolers said Monday.

McIntyre and her sister went to church Sunday -- not a church either attends, but they felt the need.

"The names (of the Newtown victims) were released, and I had a cry," she said. "I still had this feeling I needed to do something."

She recalled being at a pizzeria on a New Year's Eve with newborn son, Colin, and the waiter saying an older couple had covered her family's tab because they remembered what it was like to be young parents.

That inspired McIntyre's idea.

She created her Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/V42fAu) by 10 p.m. Sunday, and by Monday morning, she and four-year-old daughter Isla had already handed out four Tim Hortons gift cards in envelopes.

On the Facebook site, Erin Harder posted: "I'm heading out later today to pick up some Christmas gifts. I'll be sure to do something nice for someone while I'm at the mall :)."

Bobbi Walker posted a message: "On Saturday, I donated money to the hospital here so they can get gifts for the long-term patients that unfortunately get nothing from their families for Christmas... I believe everyone deserves a little something at Christmas."

"I believe that kindness can change the world," wrote Deborah Barnum.

"I was thinking Tim's gift cards or Superstore gift cards in small amounts, or shovelling someone's driveway," wrote Erin Carrasco.

Said Brenda Marion-Gerula: "For Christmas Eve, my family and I are going to my husband's work (nursing home) and giving a card to each resident we visit, especially visit those that do not have families close by, or families that are too busy to make time to spend time with their person in the nursing home :(."

McIntyre emphasized this is about helping others, not about her.

She tells everyone: "All are welcome to share this and invite others. Spread this around and let's build a community of good actions, remind each other that darkness always gives way to the light."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 18, 2012 A3

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