Sometimes, it’s the unexpected act of kindness that can change the course of someone’s life.

For Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers portrayed in the 2007 MTV movie, an unexpected act of kindness happened when a complete stranger sat down beside him on a park bench one day. Manny was only 16 at the time, but he had already experienced so much heartache that anger consumed him. That is, until that stranger took a chance, reached out to him and helped him find hope for a better tomorrow.

Acts of kindness are just one theme explored during YMCA Peace Week from November 19-26 and during the YMCA Community Breakfast for Peace featuring Manny Scott on November 23. Through acts of kindness, we can inspire peace and make our community and world a stronger, healthier place to live.

When many people think of peace, images of wars fought and won come to mind. But peace is much more than the absence of violence or conflict. It’s the ongoing work of building and re-building conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security and respect for diversity. And when we incorporate these values into our daily actions, we can all help make our world a more peaceful place.

With YMCA Peace Week just around the corner, we invite you to think about how you can bring more peace and kindness into your daily life and join us for the following free activities and events!

Saturday, November 5, 10:00 a.m. – Freedom Writers movie screening
Join us for a free movie screening of the 2007 hit MTV movie co-hosted with at 171 Speers Road in Oakville! This movie (Rated 14A) stars Hilary Swank and features in part, the story of Manny Scott, our keynote speaker for the YMCA Community Breakfast for Peace. Get your free tickets!

November 19-26 – Share some kindness!
Throughout the week, we’ll be hiding our Be Kind Bells in neighbourhoods throughout Oakville. Find one, perform an act of kindness, and hide it for someone else to find. Share on social media using #BeKindBell!

Monday, November 21, 6:45 p.m. – YMCA Candlelight Walk for Peace
Free family event!
Walk with us through neighbourhood streets and reflect on the meaning of peace in our community and beyond, then warm up with hot chocolate. Special guests include the Chair of Toronto and York Region Metis Council, the Junior Optimist Club and the Oakville Optimist Club. All ages welcome!

Wednesday, November 23, 7:00 a.m. – YMCA Community Breakfast for Peace
Our annual event celebrates peace in Oakville with the presentation of 2016 YMCA Peace Medals to selected peacemakers. Keynote speaker Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit MTV movie Freedom Writers will also share his inspiring story of choosing hope for a better tomorrow. Tickets on sale now for $25/person! Click here to purchase tickets!

For more details on YMCA Peace Week and all activities and events, visit YMCA Peace Week Activities.