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Card company sends thousands of cards to thank city for kindness

Many Ardmore residents opened up their mailboxes this week to find unexpected thank you cards from a Boston-based card company.

“I just thought, well how sweet, that somebody thought something was nice about Ardmore.” One of the card recipients, Brooke Campbell, said.

Campbell says Tuesday a brown envelope labeled “Ardmore is Awesome” caught her eye. But it was the cards inside that she says were even more impressive.

“The little, Japanese cherry blossom one has literally little leaves cut out of every single one,” Campbell said. They’re very intricate, and very interesting.”

Similar cards even arrived at businesses like the Ardmore Emporium downtown, which will now be selling them starting this month.

“It almost leaves you speechless, they’re so pretty.” Owner Stephanie Choate said. “When I saw how many people were getting them in Ardmore, and all the positive remarks, I thought, now’s the time.”

And with the cards, a note; thanking Ardmore residents for an unforgettable week ten years ago.

“The thing that stuck out the most was the incredible hospitality of the people there, and the people we met.” Co-founder and CEO of Love Pop, Wombi Rose, said.

Rose and his fellow co-founder of the Boston-based card company, John Wise, were on their way to Panama in ’07, when they were turned around at the border due to an improper R.V. title. They decided to spend time with friends in Ardmore while the title was being changed over.

“Everything from the art gallery downtown, to the ranch [our friend] took us, to Arbuckle Wilderness Center, to the noodling festival. Everywhere we went people were trying to figure out how to help us on our journey.” Rose said.

Four years later they finally got to say thank you, with 24,000 of their cards. They wanted to give the cards to a city that had impacted them, and Rose said Ardmore topped that list.

“A huge thank you to all the people we met while we were in Ardmore, and the incredible hospitality and graciousness that you showed us while we were there.” Rose said.

A thank you well received.

“I would agree, Ardmore is awesome,” Campbell said. “I definitely like that it says that.”

 

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Firefighter Performs Acts of Kindness to Honor Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting

The memory of Hannah Lassette Ahlers and the other Las Vegas concertgoers killed during the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history is being kept alive, one act of kindness at a time.

About a month after the Oct. 1 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, firefighter Tommy Maher decided he wanted to honor each of the 58 victims by performing random acts of kindness in their name. Maher, of Long Island, N.Y., set off just after Election Day on an 18-day, 9,500-mile journey to visit the hometowns of the victims.

In each city, he performed random acts of kindness. Sometimes it was paying for someone else’s breakfast. Other times, it was a gift of chocolate or flowers. Sometimes it was giving a homeless person, a waitress or waiter $100.

Maher’s big win at a slot machine helped fund his campaign of goodwill.

One of his stops was in Beaumont, Calif., where Ahlers lived with her husband Brian.

Her parents, Frank Hill and Summer Radtke-Hill, live in Bradenton, which is why Maher is visiting here next week.

At each stop on his tour, Maher left behind a note naming the victim being honored with the hashtags #Honor 58, #CountryStrong, #lovewins and #payitforward. The notes encouraged the recipients to follow #58randomactsofkindness and #Honor58 on social media. Maher also presented people with a black rubber bracelet with the hashtag #Honor58.

The journey is documented on Facebook and Instagram.

“It was about inspiring each other to do good and that’s why I want documented it,” Maher said.

When Ahlers’ parents heard about #Honor58 and how Maher was honoring their daughter and the other shooting victims, they embraced the wonderful tribute.

“It keeps her memory alive and I don’t want that to ever end,” Radtke-Hill said Wednesday. “I want her memory to carry on as long as I can and just keep passing out these bracelets, sharing her story with the world. That’s what Tommy’s doing.”

While he never wanted to intrude on any of the families’ mourning periods, Maher soon began to hear from them when word spread about #Honor58. As a result, Maher met with many of them and presented them with black leather bracelets with the name of their loved one engraved.

Ahler’s husband was presented with one bearing her name.

After speaking to Maher, the Hills received a delivery to their Bradenton home: leather bracelets with their daughter’s name and a bag of the rubber bracelets with #Honor58.

Now the couple is looking forward to meeting Maher when he comes to Bradenton next week. Maher will share his journey honoring the 58 Las Vegas victims at two free events at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 16 at Denise’s Beachway Cafe, 7224 Manatee Ave W., Bradenton.

Maher has inspired others, the Hills say, to do random acts of kindness. Hill became overcome with emotion on Wednesday, as he began describing one of their own random acts of kindness to honor their daughter. The couple paid for a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s lunch and shared the story with him and other deputies.

“They were so, so kind, hugging us and they were crying,” Radtke-Hill said as her husband struggled to speak.

 

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Random acts of kindness recognized at Merrimac Community Charter School

A large bulletin board in the gym of Merrimac Community Charter School is filled with little notes each featuring something kind someone did: hold the door, get gloves or a hat for a friend; help a teacher clean up after class. The amount of kind things students and staff have collected has almost reached the school’s goal: 100 acts of kindness.

For the past year, the school has participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, a program that empowers students to create a culture of kindness in their school. The program was started by a California teacher more than five years ago. Six years later 15,000 schools, including Merrimac, are on board.

“The teacher who started it felt there were so many rude people and bid vibes and wanted to turn things around,” said Tom Steward, Merrimac’s school counselor. “She was trying to show it doesn’t take any more effort to being kind than mean, so why not be kind?”

Part of what the school has done is stress to students being kind doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. “We tell them to watch how people are at the grocery store,” Steward said. “Are they holding the door for the next person? Are they saying hello or please? It’s a lot of not doing little things that turns it into something big.”

Steward said for years there was an emphasis on the anti-bullying movement, but the school wanted to change its culture. “Rather than put the emphasis on the negative we wanted to start putting the emphasis on the positive,” Steward said. “It’s how we treat each other and how we accept and embrace new kids into our school.”

Steward said it didn’t take long for the kids to catch on.

“The older kids have always been good about helping our younger students with things like helping them get their jackets or boots on or off,” Steward said. “They didn’t have to be told to do it, they just did it. It’s neat to see.”

One student decided to take the kindness challenge to a new level. Baraboo resident Harper Smith, a fifth grade student at Merrimac Community Charter School, decided one day to put up handmade posters and notes with encouraging and positive messages on them.

That morphed into a school-wide kindness project, where staff and students who recognized an act of kindness made by someone in the school could write the kind act on a Post-It note and put it on a large bulletin board for everyone to see.

“I was hoping that people would recognize the nice things people do and thought maybe others would notice – and want to do more nice things,” Smith said. “I wanted to motivate people to be kind or to do the right thing.”

At the end of every school day Smith visits each classroom and collects the notes with kind acts and posts them on the bulletin board for everyone to see.

Steward’s wife Sandy, a retired teacher who volunteers at the school was the one who first learned about the kindness challenge and brought it to her husband’s attention.

“I thought it might be something Merrimac could do because the school has always been big on that, anyway,” Sandy Steward said. “For years the kids have done nice things in the community, like sing Christmas carols and making cookies for people in nursing homes and creating planters. They are doing those things all of the time.”

Tom Steward recently received official notification from the program leaders that Merrimac has officially become a Kindness School.

“We told the students the other morning that because of who they are and what they do in school and in the community we got this recognition,” Tom Steward said.

Smith said she is still thinking of ways she can help promote kindness. She said she hopes kids can learn to be nicer so there will be fewer problems when they get older.

“I hope when they grow up and get out into the big world they will remember to be kind,” Smith said. “And I hope that makes the world a better place.”

 

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Western Slope students Spread Kindness

A student run organization is working to do just that through a campaign they’ve been working on for years.

Three years ago students were tasked to an anti-bullying campaign.

Director of the organization, Kindness is Contagious Veniece Miller said, “To me that was the best thing about Kindness is Contagious, people working together and trying to bring positivity to the Grand Valley.”

Today the Kindness is Contagious organization is preventing more than just bullying. The hard work has 5 high schools in Mesa County stomping out the stigma of mental illness.

Co-director of the organization Riley Trujillo said, “We want to empower students to address their emotional pain and empower students to start a conversation about suicide and mental health.”

This sparked the theme of this year’s campaign, Empower. It is for those who are not feeling motivated about themselves, a common issue they see with kids on the Western Slope.

“We really want to emphasize we empower, we as the Kindness is Contagious Campaign empower, we as students empower, we as a community empower each other,” said Miller.

The campaign also strives to prevent suicide attempts as the number of incidents have increased within the last year.

According to the Mesa County Public Heath Department, 22 suicides occur in Mesa County per 100,000 people while the rest of the nation sees 12 suicides per 100,000. This has caused KIC to keep spreading awareness.

Trujillo said, “The students within the school are the people that are the driving force behind this because those are our friends, our peers and we really want to do the best that we can to help them and solve that problem.”

They’re putting an initiative forward to provide a healing point to those who are struggling.

Miller said, “Whether we empower one student or whether we provide an education for the student, if we can impact one student then this whole entire project was worth it.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Drake’s Latest Random Act of Kindness Includes Buying $50K Worth of Groceries for Strangers

Just a few days after making a $25,000 donation to a Miami school and gifting a University of Miami student with $50,000 to help with her tuition, Toronto native and nice guy Drake’s kindness tour continued as he paid for the groceries of a whole supermarket full of people, according to E! News.

Shoppers at Sabor Tropical Supermarket in Miami Beach didn’t have to worry about their tab at the checkout, as the rapper announced he was paying for everyone before dropping around $50,000 on groceries on Tuesday afternoon.

Customers didn’t know Drake was going to be in the store, but some noticed the cameras in the general vicinity of it ready to capture something. Guille Deza, one of the customers who was lucky enough to be in the supermarket at the time, told E! News, “No one knew he was coming at all, we just came to do groceries. Cameras were being set up so we were all wondering what was to happen.”

The stunt, along with the other seemingly random acts of kindness, is rumored to be part of his upcoming music video for the single “God’s Plan,” which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Not only did Drake cover everyone’s purchases, he also took on the role of part-time employee by helping customers find items and telling everyone to fill their carts up. He also stopped to take photos and shook hands with pretty much anyone who asked.

Like anyone would in this situation, shoppers shared plenty of photos with the Canadian superstar and thanked him for the amazing gesture.

 

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Non-profit organization to open’kindness’ store

A new gift shop in Odessa is hoping its unique message and purpose gets people to do a very simple task: something nice for someone else.

It started off with kindness keys. You pass them around, leaving them in areas for people to find. The message on them is pretty simple,

“You have stumbled upon keys to kindness kind keys,” said Sharri Cagle, reading the message on the card attached to the key. “Please keep your kind key or pass it on and let it serve as a reminder to share an intentional act of kindness.”

Cagle is the Executive Director of Keys to Kindness, a local non-profit.

“We’ve done some for our first responders, fire departments, we would like to share 2018 acts of kindness with our community,” Cagle said.

The keys are now unlocking the door to a storefront in Odessa, giving the kindness message a brick-and-mortar home. It is called Gifts and Gatherings, the non-profit’s next step in giving back.

“We have things for moms, things for teachers, things for grandmas, things for kids,” Cagle said, showing off some of the meaningful gifts made by hometown businesses you can buy.

A percentage of each sale will raise money for Cagle’s non-profit organization to help people in need.

You can also make your own gift, hold a do-it-yourself workshop or volunteer.

“We already had a couple ladies ask if they could hold their women’s group here,” said Cagle. “I love it because were already serving our community by giving people a platform and a venue to do different things.”

If you decide to make a gift, you will receive a kindness key and a free bird house to paint and hang up in a spot for someone else to find.

“Sharri is contagious. You can see kindness exude from her everywhere she goes,” said Scott Meister, owner of Annabelle’s Fine Furnishings at the other end of the shopping center.

It is one reason his store donated furniture and bags of sample quilts Cagle and others are re-purposing into unique items.

“One of the hardest things about having this is that you get involved with a lot of tragedies and sad things,” Cagle said. “But out of that you see the good that happens and the good that comes from it and the relationships that are established.”

Making it all worth while.

The store officially opens February 17, but you can do one act of kindness right now.

 

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West Fargo Police officer’s act of kindness doesn’t go unnoticed

A Facebook post is getting hundreds of shares and over a thousand likes after an act of kindness was taken to the next level.

Saturday night turned into trouble for Alyssa Gallegos and her family after they became stranded in the middle of town.

Their truck ran out of gas.

After a call to a friend for help, more than 20 minutes passed without heat, in -28 fahrenheit windchill.

“We were debating whether to go back to the apartment or take the check to the gas station,” said Alyssa Gallegos.

That’s when West Fargo PD’s Aaron Ostlund saw the vehicle and checked in on them.

Even offered to bring them to the nearest gas station several blocks away.

An offer Gallegos said shows that the officer went above and beyond to make sure this family was taken care of.

“That was really nice of him. Because he could have just sat there and been like ‘Okay, well you guys have a good rest of your day,'” said Gallegos.

But she says the kindness didn’t stop there.

He then paid for the gas, another small notion greatly appreciated by the family.

“He put it on his card and I offered to pay him cash back, and he said ‘don’t worry about it’. Just helped us out that way,” said Nick Lindell.

While the truck was being filled, Officer Ostlund made sure the family was safe and warm.

“After they got the picture taken, Officer Ostlund asked him if he wanted stickers, and he was like ‘Yeah that’d be great’. So he gave him a bunch instead of just one it was nice,” said Gallegos.

Gallegos then took to Facebook and thanked the officer for his generosity.

Now, that post has over 1,000 likes, and 250 shares.

“More concerned than he needed to be, and that’s what I appreciated the most,” said Gallegos.

Officer Ostlund wasn’t available for the story, because he was working.

But those who know him, said this is nothing out of the ordinary for him.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Kindness clubs coming to Pleasant Grove

Building an inclusive, supportive and kind community is the intent behind “Choose Kindness Pleasant Grove,” an initiative put together by a partnership with the Fredette Family Foundation, Pleasant Grove city and doTERRA.

Similar to “Provo Kindness,” which was started by Jimmer Fredette in 2013, kindness will be promoted in Pleasant Grove and it will begin in the schools. “That’s where the change is going to be, with the kids,” said Debbie Hong, a Pleasant Grove resident helping organize the clubs. “The theory is that they will take it into their homes.”

The Kindness Clubs, which are now being organized in 10 participating schools in the city, will meet monthly and plan activities to promote empathy, gratitude, inclusiveness and kindness. Any student who wants to participate in the clubs is welcome. They will have monthly lessons and will plan monthly challenges for the student body, Hong said.

According to Blair Giles, president of the Fredette Family Foundation, “Choose Kindness Pleasant Grove” is a citywide initiative to put together city councilmembers, the mayor, businesses and the PTA to help plan ways to spread kindness.

“The whole issue is to create a culture of kindness. We want everyone to feel included and accepted,” he said.

Giles said the mission of the Fredette Family Foundation, started by Jimmer Fredette, is to strengthen families and youth.

“We believe that strong families are the most important unit on earth because strong families create strong schools, communities, and societies. We also believe that the most important and productive way to strengthen families is to produce individuals with strong moral character,” reads the mission statement on the foundation’s website, jimmerosity.org.

Part of the initiative was unveiled in September, when it was announced that Discovery Park would be revitalized this year by volunteers. The improved park will be similar to Orem’s All-Together Playground, which was designed for children of all abilities.

In September, a preliminary map of the new playground was unveiled to a group of residents at the Pleasant Grove Library. Jim Houghton, designer, looked at drawings that local children made of how they perceived the park should be. He used those to design the map.

Discovery Park, 1435 N. 100 East, was originally constructed in 1996 in less than two weeks by over 6,000 members of the community who volunteered their time. The process for the rebuilding of the park will be similar. Students from the Kindness Clubs will also participate in the new project.

 

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Berlin library to celebrate random acts of kindness

Berlin-Peck Memorial Library is encouraging patrons to celebrate kindness this month with a variety of activities and events.

“We thought this would be a great way for the community to celebrate kindness,” said Carrie Tyszka, Berlin librarian, “for people to notice the positive things going on around them and to spread those messages or actions further.”

The program starts Saturday, Feb. 10, through Saturday, Feb. 17.

This is the second year the library is participating in “Random Acts of Kindness” week, a national initiative by the Random Acts of Kindness non-profit foundation which works to spread kindness in communities.

This year the library is adding “Kindness Rocks”, a national project, to the week. On Saturday, Feb. 17, the last day of kindness week, the library will offer the opportunity for people to paint a rock and place it anywhere within the community.

The national project aims to pay it forward by spreading inspiration and positive thoughts for unsuspecting recipients who find the decorated rocks.

A map on the project website shows Berlin library as a participating location.

The First Congregational Church of Wallingford on Main Street is also listed as a participant with a rock garden located on parade grounds.

Tolland and East Windsor are also included on the map as participating communities in the state.

Before the Berlin library decorates the rocks, patrons will have the opportunity during kindness week to get rid of $4 worth of library fines in exchange for the donation of a non-perishable food item.

Last year the library was able to donate two full bins of food from the program.

The week will also include a card making program Saturday, Feb. 10, for people of all ages to create a homemade card for a loved one.

The goal of the week is to create a chain of kindness and for the community to pay it forward.

 

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Boys’ incredible acts of kindness after man fell and banged head

Two Aigburth army cadets were praised for their incredible act of kindness towards an elderly man who fell and banged his head in the city centre.

Dee Stafford, from Toxteth, was out shopping on Saturday when she saw an 87-year-old man fall close to Queen Square bus station in an incident which she said “made her stomach turn”.

The 33-year-old ran over with her daughter Evie, eight, to help alongside two boys in army cadets uniform at about 4.45pm.

The boys, Lewis Lavelle and Duane Xavier, stayed with them for more than an hour as they waited for an ambulance, taking off their jackets to cover the injured man and standing in the rain with no coats on to keep him warm.

Miss Stafford shared their good deed on social media, and said: “They were simply amazing. Their kindness, their attitude, everything.

“Watching them stand in the rain in just their t-shirts because they put their coats over the man broke and melted my heart at the same time.

“They deserve to be recognised for all they did. I was on the phone to the ambulance service the whole time and they helped with everything.

“I was asked to send someone to get a defibrillator from the nearest shop – which was Marks and Spencer – and Lewis offered to go.

“He brought a woman with the defibrillator who even remarked how brilliant and polite he was.

“They both even guided the paramedic car to the scene.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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