Compassion Games promotes ‘survival of the kindest’ in Seattle and around the world
Sept.11, a sober date in American history, also marks the beginning of the Compassion Games, an 11-day community service event that will take place in Seattle and cities around the world.
Participants will improve the places they live by addressing problems such as hunger, pollution and homelessness, either by working together or by completing individual “random acts of compassion.”
Seattle’s Compassion Games kicks off Sept. 11 at Cleveland High School. There will be a dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
Jim Dever, host of Evening Magazine host will emcee the event, which will include welcome speeches, break dancing, music and aerial acts.
A Sept. 15 clean-up of Green Lake Park is among the local events. There will also be a United Way resource exchange Sept. 17.
Anne Stadler, a Compassion Games volunteer, said the event draws attention to the community services already happening.
“Just shining the light for a few days brings to the surface the good that’s already taking place,” she said.
The games are designed to be cooperative, not competitive. Instead the games will be a “co-opetition.”
To take part a player simply needs to do something nice such as smiling at a stranger or volunteering at a soup kitchen.
“The point is to make the distinction that a game is when you all try to do something, but a compassion game is a situation where the whole point is to play a game that everybody wins,” Stadler said.
In 2010, Seattle became the first city to affirm the Charter for Compassion, a call to identify community needs and work together to address them.
Seattle’s games, with its tagline “survival of the kindest,” are an extension of this effort.
The event will overlap with the National Day of Service, an annual tribute to the many people who resisted fear and desperation after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Compassion Games is a nonprofit campaign supported by a coalition of volunteers that includes teachers, business people, and artists.
Local sponsors include King County and United Way.
More information, including an event calendar, can be found at compassiongames.org.
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