Today is World Kindness Day: Here’s how one N.J. company (Otsuka Pharmaceutical) celebrates

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first World Kindness Day – an event that seemingly can’t happen enough.

One Princeton-based company, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, certainly feels that way. It is doing all it can to spread the word. In fact, it began on Friday, when it held its second annual “Kindness at Otsuka Day.”

Essentially, it told its employees: “Clear your calendars and spread kindness,” a company spokesperson said.

An employee at Princeton-based Otsuka America Pharmaceutical works on a company project to write letters of joy and thanks to seniors during the company’s second annual ‘Kindness at Otsuka Day.’

Employees were provided a list of ideas – activities that ranged from volunteering with local charities to spending time with elderly relatives and neighbors – but ultimately, they got to decide how to spend their time.

The only requirement: It had to help spread kindness.

Tarek Rabah, CEO of Otsuka’s North America pharmaceutical business, said such an ideal aligns with the company’s mission and vision.

“At Otsuka, we believe kindness can unleash potential, motivate us to explore possibilities, and enlighten the way for others to do the same,” he said.

“Intentionally creating time and opportunity for Otsuka-people to dedicate an entire day to engaging in acts of kindness serves as a reminder that even the smallest gestures can have a significant impact.”

Those familiar with Otsuka, a leader in addressing unmet health care needs in the areas of mental health and nephrology, will not be surprised. After all, the company is noted for the way it treats its employees when it comes to mental health (you’ll be surprised when you read this).

As a company with Japanese roots that prides itself on being people serving people, kindness is a foundational belief at Otsuka and woven into everything the company does, a company spokesperson said.

Now, it’s up to you. Today is a day to spread kindness. And, wow, do we need it.