Archive for October, 2010

Happiness in Harlem

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

10-16-10The Kindness Bus Tour started the day with a quick stop to thank the team at Alice Hair before heading out to pick up two wonderful woman who are volunteering for One Million Acts Of Kindness for the rest of their lives. Xian and Roxanne were a huge help as the Kindness Bus made the rounds in Harlem. Abyssinian Baptist Church was our first stop. We talked with the Deacon and once we told him about The Kindness Bus, he rushed out to see as he said “the traveling scripture bus.” Xian’s intuition kicked in and found us a prime, almost legal parking space.

Once we got off The Kindness Bus, our pockets filled with kindness stickers, we set up on the sidewalk and interacted with hundreds of people passing by our corner. Even in the flurry of subway-bound strangers we found many whose hearts were open and willing to be kind. To see childrens’ faces light up when they realized they could be a catalyst of kindness piqued the interest of Jamar, Shaniya and Phoenix, as they loved that thought. Anita, a woman who was so excited to learn about the mission of The Kindness Bus Tour said that there needs to be a bus in every state. Jason, who was given two stickers, gave one back to Xian, wishing her kindness. What a beautiful afternoon in Harlem.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, NYC

Friday, October 15th, 2010

10-15-10Alice Hair, and it’s first class staff on the Upper East Side of New York, is one of the tens of thousands of groups devoting their time and resources to supporting this noble cause and dressing in pink as well.
From the moment I met Alice McCarney, owner of Alice Hair, her wonderful Irish brogue filled the air with inspiration for One Million Acts of Kindness. A woman who came from Ireland with a dream, has reached success and knows the importance of giving back, by staying in touch with her Irish roots. She helps with the homeless and is on the board of The Flawless Foundation. Our common kindness connection is kids, as The Flawless Foundation helps care for kids with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges. I’ve extended my stay in New York City to be her guest at a two day seminar she is helping to sponsor called Think Kids by J. Stuart Ablon PhD. it’s Director.
Alice McCarney does much more than cut hair, she is also an angel to children.

Robert Louis Stevenson School

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

10-14-10What a pleasure it was to have the opportunity to visit this High School on the Upper West Side of New York City. Having daily exposure of The Kindness Bus on the UWS, paid off by having one of the students at this small school realize that a visit by us would be possible by having one of her teachers contact us. Teacher, Jennifer Appel and Educational Director, Ric Couchman arranged our visit to this dog friendly campus. Bogart stole the show, as the students listened to his life story and the story of The Kindness Bus Tour’s travels. The students at this small school were so genuinely friendly and interested in what I had to say about an individual making a difference in the world, the power of one.
I was able to pull The Kindness Bus, at the end of the school day, directly in front of the school’s entrance. Most of the students waited to take a group photograph by the bus and several students talked with me for nearly a half hour. This was a huge visit for us, made possible by the diligence of one caring student, Sophia.  My sincere thanks to her.

Three wonderful articles were written by Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson in Sweden about One Million Acts Of Kindness; the links are below.

Kindness to a New Level

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

10-13-10So many people have opened their hearts and doors to The Kindness Bus Tour and its two intrepid travelers during it’s journey, none more than Dr. Donna Rohlf of New York City.
Donna has rolled out the Red Carpet for us on all of our visits to New York , lending her full resources to us and has made visiting this great city a pleasure and a comfort. “We are like brother and sister,” she says.
Donna is a blessed being, devoting all of her energies to caring about everyone. She clearly makes the world a better place. Donna started an organization called SashiFlag,  it is a peace movement she is going to spread to all nations of the world, one person at a time. Please take the time to visit her website,  Thank you Donna, for being an angel along our path.

Stop Hat Red

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

10-12-10There are lessons written all over The Kindness Bus, about 200 of them at the last count; I lose count as I circle the bus counting. Most of the words are written by friends, family and relatives. Most of them so simple, yet so profound.
The Kindness Bus has become somewhat of a moving lesson plan, imparted parent to child, and oft times the reverse. I love standing anonymously in the near distance listening to the conversation the words on The Kindness Bus invoke.
For a child in first grade, who thought Hatred was Hat Red, complex words are broken down to their simplest form, recognized small words in a larger, more complex word are part of what is known and what is spoken by the child. The larger, complex word is learned and becomes part of the child’s known vocabulary.
The child learns Hat  Red is actually Hatred, as he or she grows older in a more complex world. The innocence of a child doesn’t know Hatred, or it’s meaning, both are learned. May this young generation only know Hat  Red so they never have to say; Stop Hatred.

A Two Hour Bus Ride

Monday, October 11th, 2010

10-11-10Heading to the Upper East Side for the comfort of a home-cooked meal turned out to be an adventure that I never planned on happening. On this long Columbus Day weekend, coupled with the fact that the weather was near perfect, created a gridlock of drivers looking for the same parking spot that I was hoping to find. For two hours I drove a 9 block area of the crowded Upper East Side looking for an overnight spot to park The Kindness Bus. It became apparent, about a half hour into my search, that this was going to take a long time. That is when the feeling hit me, someone needs to see The Kindness Bus tonight. For the next hour and a half, I tried to get as much exposure as I possibly could, actually looking forward to getting stopped at red lights. Thousands of people saw the bus during my joy ride, and then it happened, almost magically, a parking spot big enough for The Kindness Bus appeared, which I pulled into in a manner which would have made a New York cabbie nod with approval. A serendipitous step from the bus validated my earlier belief and landed Bogart and me in front of Gina, a local television director; she was the reason we were driving the bus in circles for two hours, I’m convinced of it.  “I’m shooting a documentary for 10/10/10 and I’d like to feature One Million Acts Of Kindness,” she said. The project, One Day on Earth, is a worldwide effort to document the diversity of humanity and all of the beauty we have to offer one another. I, of course,  agreed to be featured in her film, which we started shooting on Sunday.  Her project can be followed at
We spent the morning working on interviews and thoroughly shooting every angle of the bus. The afternoon brought a drive to Westchester to the home of Clare, a caring woman who’s passion is helping start-up causes grow to reach the potential they never thought possible. Clare was hosting a group of fascinating people, to learn of the plight of girls in Pakistan struggling to get an education while the Taliban does everything in their power to dash their hopes.

Where the Taliban is tearing down, Lia-ud-Din Yousufzai is working in the other direction, Working hard to keep his school open. The Taliban doesn’t want girls to have an education and actively bombs school buildings. Lia-ud is visiting the United States at the invitation of the State Department. His passion was obvious, as he talked of the girls excitement to get an education. He is making a difference in hundreds of girls lives in Pakistan.

I’m Just Trying to Teach My Kids

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

The median on Broadway, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, has a 20 foot wide, raised landscaped area, with park benches and a brick lined crossing at each street intersection, creating a mini park with 30 foot trees along it’s length on each block. It was there, that I decided to take a break and write a few thoughts on Friday evening, joining a homeless man who was sound asleep on one of the two park benches at this intersection.
I love to observe, all my surroundings and let my mind wander at times. Giving my mind a rest from some very busy days along my journey. While writing a few notes on the day, I was interrupted by a car stopping abruptly at the intersection. Looking to see the reason for the car’s stop, I noticed a family inside with the father exiting the driver’s door. In his hand was a bag containing a hot meal from a local restaurant which he placed on the bench with the sleeping man. “I’m just trying to teach my kids,” he said.