Concordia student sheds light on activism through positivity during the pandemic

Samara O’Gorman shows importance of kindness through online platform, Your Local Samaritan

Using the platform she created, Samara O’Gorman highlights people’s kindness and activism. Courtesy Samara O’Gorman

Samara O’Gorman, founder of Your Local Samaritan, hopes shedding a light on individuals engaging in acts of kindness and generosity will encourage others to do so despite the pandemic.

O’Gorman is a second-year Concordia University student, currently enrolled in Irish studies, hoping to learn more about her ancestry. She also takes on other roles—like being an actress, writer, journalist and mental health advocate. 

Hoping to bring out some positivity, she created her own online series in June 2020, and Your Local Samaritan was born.

“Your Local Samaritan was an idea I had for years, however, a multitude of my projects in 2020 got cancelled, which left me with only one leftover, which now looks like the one that truly mattered,” she said. “Of all the hardship and darkness we were forced to face, Your Local Samaritan was aimed to bring good news to the forefront. I wanted kindness to be a saviour in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m a strong believer it can change the world.”

Her aim is to create a special bond with her community and showcase how simple actions can go a long way. 

“The goal of my initiative is to create connections with other local Samaritans. These are local individuals who are charitable to their society and give back in a positive light,” she said. “I also want to teach others the importance of kindness and generosity in our day-to-day lives.”

Her Instagram page also features a segment called Reconciliation Through Kindness. 

“Reconciliation Through Kindness is about giving a platform to a multitude of individuals who are passionate about Indigenous rights and heritage. The aim is to help educate, and give resources to those who demand justice and change,” O’Gorman explained. “It was a direct reaction to the death of Joyce Echaquan in September 2020.” One of the guests featured on this series includes Wet'suwet'en chef and activist, Marlene Hale.  

This segment also caught the attention of radio announcer Dave Kaufman. This led to her being interviewed and featured on the CJAD morning show. She discussed her initiative and encouraged others to share their stories and spread kindness.

O’Gorman is also involved in other projects including a collaboration with Rue Ste-Anne, an initiative aimed at supporting local businesses in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. She is also an advocate for mental health, collaborating with Bell Let’s Talk and posting about mental health awareness.

O’Gorman hopes to incorporate her initiative in schools by using her platform to express the importance of kindness and generosity. She already has plans of collaborating with John Abbott College for their anti-bullying campaign set to be in March.

She continues to stay inspired by turning to the Charlie Mackesy quote, "The tiniest act of kindness can save a life.”

“You never know what someone could be going through, so always be kind!” O’Gorman said.