If nothing else, Glory Thomas is kind. Her mother, Noel Thomas, says she "glows with kindness." Glory spreads it, too, as founder of Orem Kindness Week and head of the Orem Centennial 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.
The Timpanogos High School senior started her kindness campaign as part of her platform as Miss Orem Oustanding Teen. She wanted to focus on kindness as opposed to something like bullying "to teach people what to do, not just what not to do. Kindness is being forgotten a little bit." From the first kindness week she put on at a local school, the movement has become self-perpetuating as people are taking it and applying it in new schools.
"I don't care who does it. It's cool to see it grow into something bigger," said Thomas.
After her year as Miss Orem, Thomas has kept working with Orem City to promote kindness through an annual Kindess Week and this year's 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.
"I decided that a title didn't matter and that wasn't my only motivation. Working through the city has opened up so many doors," she said. "I can make a larger impact on so many more people."
To celebrate Orem's Centennial, Thomas has organized the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge. Throughout 2019, residents are asked to join in participating in various community service projects and sharing individual acts of service they have done. There is a “theme” for each month with listed ideas of how to be kind and serve those around you. There are also monthly community kindness activities. The March theme is "Be kind to those in need: Hospitals and Special Needs." On Saturday, March 30, they will be holding a 1-mile Kindness Walk at the Orem Community Hospital to cheer those in the hospital and raise funds for the hospital's Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.
Noel Thomas, who helps her daughter on the kindness committee, says she is proud of all Glory has been able to accomplish. "Orem is a great place and they have been very supportive. It's been really fun to be able to develop things for the city and do different programs," she said.
Now 17, Thomas has been promoting kindness with these programs since she was 14. "Sometimes I'm like, 'Wow! It's a little hard to be different.' But when you have power to change the world, you have to do it. That's what we're here for," she said.