Special Photo: Sylvia Burch (from left), Kirsten Scott, Kit Welch, State Rep. Andy Welch, Buddy Welch, and Speaker of the House David Ralston celebrate House Resolution 1302, promoting the “Kindness Works, Pass It On” Campaign.
At the urging of State Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough), the Georgia House of Representatives has approved, and issued, a resolution making the second week of November, “Kindness Week” in Georgia.
The campaign, which began in Henry County in 2004, was developed in honor and memory of Hunter Welch. The son of Kit and Buddy Welch, and the brother of Rep. Andy Welch, died in 2004, at the age of 12.
House Resolution 1302 was formally adopted on Feb. 3, expanding the local “Kindness Works — Pass It On” campaign statewide. It was ceremoniously presented by Welch on Feb. 8.
“The remembrance of my brother really has grown into a community-wide expression of love and kindness to one another,” said Andy Welch, during a previous interview with the Henry Daily Herald. “I think the resolution is a natural expansion of the movement beyond Henry County — a call to extend that spirit of kindness statewide.”
Advocates of the campaign observe the anniversary of Hunter Welch’s birthday (Nov. 5), in conjunction with the international observance of “Random Acts of Kindness Week.”
They use the youngster’s story to demonstrate the virtues of kindness.
Hunter Welch had lived with Prader-Willie Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting childhood development, but managed to exhibit kindness to those he met, according to Kit Welch.
His death inspired family friends to campaign and spread awareness of the benefits of kind actions. Supporters now observe the message of kindness each year, during the second week of November, to remind citizens of the world about the positive effects of kindness.
“We started this week as a gesture to give back to the community that cared and supported our special needs son,” said Kit Welch. “They gave to Hunter, and we wanted to give back to them.”
Businesses, schools, and church groups have joined the crusade over the years, spreading the word about various activities and charities people can support, which are in line with the campaign’s charitable objectives.
“Our dream is that we expose as many children as possible to the meaning of the word and the symbolism of this week,” continued Kit Welch. “There are lots of kids, today, who have never experienced the power of kindness.”
Those interested in supporting the campaign with a “Kindness Works” lawn sign, should contact campaign organizers at (770) 957-3937.