SAIT alumnus Mecoh Bain hopes to make random acts of kindness trendy.
Named one of the six finalists in this year’s Start Something with Alesse contest, she has a chance to win $5000 and access to a mentor to help make it happen.
From Jan. 4 – Feb. 13, startsomethingwithalesse.ca will accept public votes to determine the two projects or ideas, submitted by young women from across Canada, that will be funded.
Bain’s concept, Love Floats: Random Acts of Kindness, was developed long before she’d heard of the contest.
“It started a couple of years ago when I was bored in class and doodling,” said the former business administration student. “We posted little sticky notes everywhere with things like, ‘Have a nice day’ on them.”
Now called ‘Love Floats: Graffiti’, the idea has become part of Bain’s personal campaign to promote kind action.
“I just decided that there needed to be more goodness, but somewhere virtual where our generation could participate.”
Her website, lovefloats.ca, encourages visitors to do something nice for their peers and offers a space for them to share their experiences.
Sedina Fiati, one of last year’s contest winners and a judge for this year’s entries, found Bain’s idea refreshing.
“I thought that her project was very hopeful… very needed in a time like now, where people do take kindness for granted,” she said.
Now faced with the need to garner votes, Bain must step outside her comfort zone to promote Love Floats.
“It’s kind of funny, because no one really knew that I was into this kind of thing,” said Bain. “So it’s kind of a surprise to most people, I think, that I was really passionate about it.”
Nevertheless, Bain said she has received plenty of support from her friends and family.
“My dad is really inspiring actually,” she said. “He has the most amazing heart.”
Bain credited her father and late grandmother as role models for her boldness in entering the contest.
“My dad is really adventurous and goes out on limbs, so I thought I would do this and give it a shot.”
Since graduating from SAIT, Bain found numerous ways to give back to her community.
“I realized after I finished playing basketball that I had so much time. So I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?’”
Bain now helps coach the SAIT women’s basketball team, which she co-captained last year, volunteers at a women’s shelter, mentors a young girl and will soon begin work with the Children’s Cottage Society, all while attending classes full time at the University of Lethbridge, Calgary Campus.
SAIT women’s basketball coach Donovan Martin said that he’s not surprised by his former athlete’s drive to make a positive contribution to her community.
“Mecoh is a role model for the girls,” he said.
“She’s a very empathic, very caring individual. That’s why she made such a great teammate and why she’s such a good coach. And it’s not just when she’s coaching that she’s that way. She’s that way all the time.”
Bain, originally from Cranbrook BC, gets a feeling of belonging from her extra-curricular work.
“Volunteering is like my sense of community. I’m able to feel included and a part of something, even though I don’t have [family here].”
Voting for Bain’s project, Love Floats, ends Feb. 13.
Coach Martin has high hopes for her success.
“I would never bet against Mecoh,” he said.