Make Kindness the Norm Challenge

Make Kindness the Norm Challenge

(Updated February 221, 2024)


January 4th, 2021 marked the first day of Insight’s original year-long challenge: Make Kindness the Norm. And to say we were excited is an understatement. The year prior, our physical health and mental well-being took a big setback due to the pandemic, but we were determined to change the narrative. Scientific studies show kindness has major health benefits: it increases oxytocin (the love hormone), serotonin, energy, happiness, lifespan and pleasure. It is also known to decrease pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.

Watch this video:

40th Anniversary – Worth Celebrating

2021 also coincided with our 40th anniversary. We wanted to celebrate in a way that was meaningful and hoped the ripple effect of kindness would have a lasting and positive impact. It did, and still does! We continue to strive to Make Kindness The Norm an integral part of our culture at work and in our community. 

Our Community

Each month, we try to spread kindness with local businesses through social media love and other initiatives. How can you help?

  • Write a kind online review
  • Follow them on social media
  • Share their posts
  • Enter their giveaway
  • When you do visit them, make sure to SMILE, it’s contagious!

2024 Monthly Gift Certificate Giveaway

Since 2021, we have been purchasing monthly gift certificates for local businesses to give away on their social media platform. Although only a small gesture, we hope it brings joy to the businesses and their recipients. Follow us @insightoptometry to find out our next feature and for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate, while supporting a local business. Below is a list of our current and past features:

March – TBA

February – Vandal Doughnuts

Doughnuts: the ultimate happiness in a ring of sweetness! Enter to win one of 2X $100 𝗩𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗹 𝗗𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝗻𝘂𝘁𝘀 gift certificates just in time for 𝗥𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗸 (so you can share with your friends), Feb 11-17. From glazed perfection to sprinkled delights, these treats create moments of pure joy.

📍 2306 Gottingen St, Halifax
📍25 Portland St, Dartmouth
📱(902) 422-0262
🕑 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Every day

*February GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Winners were announced Saturday, Feb 17th  for Random Acts of Kindness Day.

January – Agricola Street Bookstore

Bookworm alert! Have you been to Agricola Street Bookstore yet? It's more than a store, it's an unforgettable experience. This charming North End spot is a treat for the whole family – yes, even your furry pals! 🐾 Explore a diverse range of second-hand and new books for all ages in a beautiful space. And that's not all – they've got a collection of stationery, tea, and delightful gifts waiting for you. Discover a world of stories and goodies! #HalifaxReads #BookstoreMagic #CozyJanuary

Winner of The Coast Best of Halifax 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards
Gold Winner - Best Independent Bookstore
Gold Winner - Best New Business

📍 2684 Agricola St, Halifax
📱 (902) 453-7993
🕑 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tue-Sat
🕑 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun
Closed Mondays

Next Book Buy Back Weekend: Jan. 13-14



2023 Gift Certificate Giveaways

December – Feed Nova Scotia

In lieu of a giveaway, we donate the funds to a food bank during the holiday season.

November – The Nook Espresso Bar and Lounge

The Nook Espresso Bar and Lounge is a caring local business with a long history of kindness and compassion, which is why we're thrilled to have them on board for our MKTN campaign. They are not just your typical coffee spot where you can enjoy a hot beverage and delicious food - They go the extra mile to make a positive impact on people's lives in their community. 

Token Program - Pay it Forward: Discover the Nook's token program where you can purchase a $3 coffee/bagel OR a $6 meal token for hungry folks during your next visit - tokens can either be taken with you or left with them.

What do they do with the tokens? The Nook gives the tokens to MOSH (Mobile Outreach Street Health) for distribution. MOSH provides accessible primary health care services to people who are experiencing homelessness, insecurely housed, street involved and underserved in our community. Visit for kore info.

📍 2118 Gottingen St, Halifax
📱 (902) 444-9889
🕑 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mon-Fri
🕑 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat/Sun


November – Nurtured

𝗡𝘂𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗱 is Halifax's haven for quality products for all things pregnancy, baby and toddler. Welcoming parents-to-be on the wild ride of raising children is a daily joy at this store on Agricola! A team of fellow parents and baby gear experts awaits your shopping experience. Find the comfiest clothes, cutest toys and essential products on their website or peruse the shop for the ultimate delight!

Since October is 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻'𝘀 𝗩𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵, we felt Nurtured was a perfect match for this coming month.

📍 2543 Agricola St, Halifax
📱 (902) 405-4367
🕑 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tue/Wed/Sat
🕑 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thu-Fri
🕑 12 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun
Closed Mondays

Jolyn, the owner, graciously welcomed us at her store to talk about children's vision health.

Watch now! 🎥👉 Q&A with Dr. Kelsey Bonang - Nurtured

Watch Now! 🎥👉Q&A with Dr. Kelsey Bonang - Trena Gallant, Birth and Postpartum Doula Trainer 


September – The Narrows Public House

We are thrilled to feature this local gem, The Narrows, which opened its doors in March 2022 after a lengthy restoration process. It is a traditional Nova Scotian Public House in the heart of the North End, operating out of a circa 1896 heritage home (H.R Silver House) restored in its original condition. They offer local food and drink, with a traditional NS menu.  

*Curated Magazine Article


August – Michelle Ashley's Bakery

𝗠𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲 𝗔𝘀𝗵𝗹𝗲𝘆'𝘀 𝗕𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗿𝘆, which is located in the north end of Halifax, was kindly nominated by another local business. From cupcakes to hand-painted chocolates, they make everything from scratch and incorporate locally-sourced products.

July - Deferred (TBA)

June – Uncommon Grounds

Our friends at @biscuitgeneral thoughtfully nominated Uncommon Grounds for our 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝗺 campaign. As many of you know, their Public Garden location was the victim of vandalism last April and is temporarily closed. We felt they could use some extra love and kindness. Please visit and support their South Park location.


May – My Mother's Bloomers

A great thing about flowers is that you don't need a reason or specific occasion to send them to someone. They are sure to brighten up anyone's day! We’re so happy to have Neville Mackay, our long-time florist, join us on our Make Kindness the Norm ❤️ journey. Since 1992, My Mother’s Bloomers has been hand-delivering premium floral arrangements and gift baskets to help strengthen relationships, give love and support, and celebrate life’s special moments.


April – Biscuit General Store

Biscuit General Store needs our love and support more than ever. Recently, Biscuit and its sister store, @indiemercantile, were the victims of thefts and attempted hold ups (see their Instagram posts @biscuitgeneral for more details). Unfortunately, these types of crimes are on the rise in Halifax.

They generously donated 10% of their sale Saturday, April 8th, to Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank. 🫶 “It's a drop in the ocean, but our hearts are in it. We also need to tell our leaders that more needs to be done with mental health services, the housing crisis, and a social safety net.” – Wendy Friedman, owner


March – Strange Adventures 

Strange Adventures Comix & Curiosities is Canada's oddest and award-winning comic bookstores. With locations in Fredericton, Halifax and Dartmouth, Strange Adventures has been bringing you the best in comics since 1992!


February – FireWorks Gallery

We’re excited to have our friends at FireWorks Gallery join us on our Make Kindness the Norm campaign.

Fireworks gallery is celebrating its 45th anniversary. Judy Anderson, along with her experienced team of resident goldsmiths have been creating custom jewellery for their clientele since 1977. Located in Historic Downtown Halifax, the shop and gallery is also a full-service jeweller offering professional jewellery repair and restoration. In the gallery’s showcases is work by featured and carefully chosen artisans, estate jewellery and FireWorks’ own creation. Together, this makes Fireworks Gallery an artistic, tempting, must-do in downtown Halifax. This giveaway is a perfect gift to yourself (or a special someone.)


January – Layers Cupcakes

Layers is known for their beautifully decorated, out-of-this-world delicious cakes and cupcakes, and super friendly service: too good not to share! We’re very excited to feature them this month.

Jennifer Harrison, Layers' owner, has been designing and creating wedding cakes since 2004. Some of her elaborate and distinctive cake designs have been published in wedding magazines and other media.


2022 Gift Certificate Giveaways

2021 Gift Certificate Giveaways

A big thank you to Nikon Lenswear, our Official Lens Partner, for joining the challenge and showing their support for LOCAL businesses.

Beware of Scams

Unfortunately, there has been a surge of fraudulent accounts on social media platforms during Covid and Black Sheep Restaurant, as well as Downtown Halifax, were targeted. Their pages were duplicated, and the fake accounts reached out to people telling them they won the giveaway contest and asked them for their credit card information. Please be vigilant, never give personal or financial information on social media platforms and report suspected fraudulent accounts.

Random Act of Kindness Foundation

For this challenge, we were inspired by many individuals and organization from around the around world. One that stood out for us was the Random Act of Kindness (RAK), which we decided to join as RAKtivist and recently took the Kindness in the Workplace Pledge. They have several valuable resources available for everyone.

#Share Your Story

Let’s upstage the negative stories by sharing your experience of a random act of kindness. Someone left you an anonymous note to lift your spirits? We’d love to hear from you. Share them on social media using #BeKindHFX 


February 14-20th – Random Act of Kindness Week – #BeKindHFX 

February 17th – Random Act of Kindness Day

November 13th – World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day is an international observance on 13 November. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGO’s.

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