I went to hear a great speaker, a Catholic priest who works in Central and South America. There I met some of the nicest people I have on this trip. There were people there from all over the world. One young lady from Sweden was so much in favor of the Kindness trip that she said she had literally hundreds of friends she would send the web site address to. The word is now spreading overseas.
Archive for September, 2009
What a beautiful campus. I decided to drive around the campus to make the bus as visible as possible. Then I went into town and found a good spot for the bus and set up things there. There were lots of people, mostly students, almost all of them took stickers. I’m grateful to them for their interest.
Late in the morning I drove to Mount Vernon Nazarene, or “The Naz” as it’s called locally. I set up shop and Bogart and I went for a walk. Soon 3 young men came up and were very enthused about the Kindness project. As it turns out, they work with meals to shut ins, foodbanks, and the like, so this was something they thought they could promote. They took 100 or so stickers and said they would carry the message on.
Then it was back to Kenyon. While I have met some great young people along the way, the students at Kenyon were among the most polite, all the time creating stimulating conversations. I’ll bet I passed out 600 stickers, almost everyone wanted one. I remember days in Cleveland when someone on the street would pass out a flyer and 20 feet later 90% of them would be on the ground. Here, after passing out all those stickers, only 1 was found on the ground. I think that is a great sign.
I traveled to the Ohio State campus in Mansfield, Ohio and met Donna Hight, the Chief Student Life Officer. She echoed Professor Stratton when she said this is a perfect for a speaking engagement. Universities would pay your expenses if I came. After that, I have to give speaking in a more formal setting some serious thought.
Off to Kenyon in the evening.
I woke up to a rainy day, but nothing was going to keep me from going to the Ashland versus Hillsdale football game. I got a lot of attention since I was able to park the bus in a very visible spot. As a result, I was able to talk to many students even though the stands were only about half filled. I met a student named Jacob that is involved in the Make-A-Wish effort and he thought the Kindness project was terrific.
I also heard from John Stratton that he would like me to return and speak to the students in a more formal setting.
I arrived at Ashland, Ohio at about 1 PM. I went straight to Ashland University and, as fate would have it, I found a parking spot as a lady was leaving, right in the center of activity around here, a very busy location.
.The bus, Bogart, and I seem to attract a crowd quickly. Then Brian Wells stopped by. Brian is also on the paper’s staff, and is president of Accent Public Relations, Ashland University, a school organization and he is also a writer for the school newspaper. He gave me a lengthy interview and took at least a dozen pictures. He said he was going to meet with his group and find a way to make the Kindness project a permanent activity within the school.
4 young women then stopped to chat, 3 of whom have a 1 hour radio program on the school station. They were going to make the Kindness project the subject of today’s show. “Bob and Bogart, go see them.”
At the recommendation of one of the ladies, I proceeded to the office of Dr. John Stratton, who is the Executive Director of the Ashland Center for Non-Violence. He graciously let me explain what the Kindness project was all about, given that I walked in totally unplanned and with my subtle 2 ft. by 3 ft. “One Million Acts of Kindness” sign. He explained that his department is new and looking for things like this project. He brought in a few more people to discuss it and asked me to return at a later date to talk and keep things alive there. They will also put a Kindness project link on their web site. This was a great meeting!
And lastly, I received a call from a young lady from Ohio State University asking me when I was coming to OSU. I was really surprised at her question and I asked her how in the world she heard of me. She said she found it through a Google search. She would like to spend her career helping people and she came across my web site and wanted to talk to me about it.
Then she said within 5 minutes of reading the Kindness web site, she was walking through the student center and saw a Kindness sticker on someone’s computer…..an incredible coincidence. She said she then created a sort of mini-Facebook site within her own Facebook site and she’s made “tons of friends on it already.”
This has been one incredible day, exceeding all my expectations.
Spent most of the day talking to students. Later, I gave a pint of blood at the Student Center. A few students heard about me and thought the project was a great idea.
This morning, while still trying to wake up, Jen stopped by the bus to see what it was all about. Jen is the manager of a store nearby and she said their parent company sponsors appropriate charities. She thought One Million Acts of Kindness would be a great fit for them and she was going to bring it up at her next staff meeting in October. What a great idea! And the beat goes on.
This evening, I attended a talk on campus given by Nicholas Kristoff, a New York Times writer. He spoke on the world’s issues facing us today. I bought one of his books thinking it may help get his ear for a while. It worked. He listened to the Kindness project and thought it was incredible. I’ll definitely read his book, “China Wakes.”
I also met one of the assistant deans and she said it was perfectly fine to come right onto the campus. It’s interesting how campuses vary there practices on who has access to the areas.
Kate, my coffee shop friend a few days ago, spoke about the Kindness project at a service in the Unitarian Church nearby. In fact, 2 young women later came up to me separately to tell me about it. Kate also brought a reporter from the local paper to interview me and take a few pictures. That Kate is really something. I’ll bet I talked to at least 400 students today.