Day dedicated to random acts of kindness in CNY and beyond: #BeKind4Heather

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - It was nine years ago on Nov. 14, when Heather Weeks passed away after battling an aggressive form of colon cancer. She was 24 years old.

Known by her family and neighbors as a kind and helpful person, and also a standout dancer and performer -- her legacy has been carried on in many ways.

Heather's parents, Frieda and Gary Weeks, launched Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness in her memory. Raising ovarian cancer awareness and educating women about the signs and symptoms of the disease was a cause dear to Heather's heart even in her final days.

A memorial dance scholarship is also awarded to a worthy local dancer each year in Heather's honor.

The anticipation of the anniversary of Heather's death and the actual day has long been a difficult day for the Weeks family and friends.

Four years ago, the day of grief turned into a day of joy and kindness.

"In the middle of the night one night when I couldn't sleep. I decided I would ask anyone that knew her to do a random act of kindness in her memory on that day," Frieda shared. "It gave us a project to do and to go out and surprise people with coffee for the person next in line or buy somebody lunch who wasn't expecting it."

Frieda says these random acts of kindness can change lives and bring unexpected happiness to many people.

"I have a friend who finds people who are out ringing bells for the Salvation Army and gives them Dunkin Donuts cards," Frieda said. "Things like that. it's always met with a lot of joy that someone would take the time to do something for someone else."

This year, the Facebook page dedicated to the day, has hundreds of people accepting the invitation to perform random acts of kindness in Heather's memory.

Frieda says the effort grows each year and that it's gone international to people who never knew Heather. She says people from as far away as Japan and Australia have joined the movement and shared their acts of kindness with her on social media. 

"I got a call a couple years ago from a friend of ours whose wife and daughter were dining out and they didn't even now what was going on," Frieda shared. "Someone came and said, 'Your bill has been paid in memory of Heather Weeks.'"

Anyone is welcome to join the event page and perform acts of kindness. Frieda encourages people to use the hashtag -- #BeKind4Heather -- as people post photos or thoughts about their kindness on this day.

"We just hope that this day makes the world a little bit kinder and brings a smile to someone's face who doesn't expect it," Frieda said. "I hope it brings a little bit of joy in memory of Heather because that's something she would have really loved."

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