However, by tea time, only one record of a spontaneous act had been posted on the Twitter page devoted to the initiative.
Council officials were expecting men, women and children in every town and village to perform a host of good deeds to mark Moray’s call for 24 hours of a more caring and compassionate society.
Steven McCluskey, Moray Council’s health improvement strategic manager, who devised the scheme, was not despondent.
He said: “Not everybody has access to Twitter, particularly if they are working during the day. But the idea is certainly generating a lot of discussion and a lot of talk locally, which is also what we are hoping for as well.”
Mr McCluskey explained that secondary schools had given their support and pledged to perform random acts of kindness. Pupils had attended a number of special screenings of the movie Pay It Forward, starring Kevin Spacey, which recounts the story of a schoolboy in America who does a
favour for three people, asking each of them to do similar favours for three others.
Mr McCluskey added: “What we are trying to say to people is that it is in our gift for everybody to make a difference – a small gesture can sometimes make a big difference in the lives of other people. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or cost money.”
He added: “People could check on an elderly neighbour to ensure they are all right, or maybe check on someone who is going through a tough time. Just a smile can make all of the difference to someone’s day.”