To break the monotony of lockdown, Kath Koschel would often check in on her neighbours.
"I knocked on my neighbour's door who had three kids learning at home, and I said, 'I'm going to go to the park. Do any of your kids want to come and kick a ball around with me?'"
While not everyone's neighbour is a former Australian cricketer, Koschel, the founder of not-for-profit Kindness Factory, said that this was only one of many ways Australians reached out to one another during the lockdowns 2021.
The Kindness Factory has seen an influx of kindness this year, with a 60 per cent increase in acts logged on the website. It has just clocked up more than 3 million acts of kindness.
"What that looks like is checking in on a neighbour and having a bit more compassion for the people around us and valuing things like human connection over money," Koschel said.
These efforts will be highlighted on World Kindness Day on Saturday, November 13. This World Kindness Day will aim to deepen human connections and maintain small acts of kindness as we adjust to the 'new' normal.
Looking over the many acts logged on the Kindness Factory website, Koschel highlighted how individuals drew strength from those acts of kindness. In one, a person described finding a dollar in their pocket after a bad day.
"I told my parents how weird it was, and they told me my little sister puts a dollar in one of my pockets when she knows I am sad to help cheer me up," the individual wrote.
The Kindness Factory is an initiative Australian Community Media is getting behind as well.
ACM managing director Tony Kendall said the values of the two organisations aligned.
"Our partnership with Kindness Factory signifies an important step in our commitment to keeping the community strong, informed and connected," he said.
"Together, we are helping youth to become kind and resilient individuals and in turn helping with their own mental health - a very important ingredient for future generations."
ACM publications around Australia are sharing Kath's story this World Kindness Day.
"Our partnership with Kindness Factory has already opened our eyes to how we can all live and work in kinder ways," Kendall said.
As we start to put the threat of COVID-19 behind us, Koschel said she hopes something else becomes endemic.
"When you see someone in your community being kind to another community member, then I think it gets quite catchy and contagious," she said. "It's impossible not to smile when you see someone being kind to another person."