Benchmark employees perform more than 1,000 'radiant acts of kindness'

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In Newport, RI, Newport–Blenheim community Executive Director Stanley Slonka dropped by The Potter League, a local animal shelter, with surprise treats for cats and dogs.
In Newport, RI, Newport–Blenheim community Executive Director Stanley Slonka dropped by The Potter League, a local animal shelter, with surprise treats for cats and dogs.

Benchmark Senior Living employees beat their goal of committing 1,000 “radiant acts of kindness” in June, with a total of 1,204 acts, in honor of the company's 20th anniversary.

The employees, who often were joined by residents, performed these gestures in the towns where their 54 senior living communities are located. Each community committed to performing at least 20 acts, one for each year of the company's existence.

Some of the acts included leaving surprise treats at an animal shelter, donating flip-flops to a domestic violence shelter and serving homeless families a home-cooked meal. Others included leaves greeting cards with dollar bills taped inside at a dollar store, surprising people with free doughnuts and coffee, or leaving buckets of toys on playgrounds and buckets of tennis balls at a dog park.

Instead of calling them “random,” Benchmark chose to call them “radiant” acts because they were deliberate.

“They were conscientious efforts to radiate kindness and compassion and give back to towns and neighbors supporting our company's growth for the past 20 years,” said Tom Grape, Benchmark's founder and CEO.

Grape will donate a $1,204 check — $1 for every act performed — to the Waltham Council on Aging located in the town of Benchmark's headquarters, Waltham, MA, on August 22.

Benchmark communities, located in seven states, include independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation services and skilled nursing.

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