Archive for January, 2012

30 Miles and Many New Friends

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

1-31-12It is a challenge most days to ride my nearly 30 miles. Not physically, mind you, but for all of the conversations. I love all of the attention The Kindness Bicycle is receiving. People chase me down to tell me their stories or stop and talk to me during a planned break.
“I just want to thank you for doing this. My stepfather was killed in the line of duty,” she said. JR and her daughter stopped by The Kindness Bicycle after reading the signs about riding for Police and Firefighters. The families who are left to deal with losing a loved one for the rest of their lives. At the very minimum, please take the time to remember those who protect and serve, enabling us to enjoy our safety and freedoms.
I’m learning of heroes everywhere I travel. I’m also learning the interest schoolchildren have for these issues.
Andre, Kile and Jacob from a local junior high school found me while riding on their longboards to shake hands. Nick and his mother Michele stopped by for a visit to praise the work I do. Nick saw the bus previously in northern California. Thank you Nick and Michele for the inspiring words. Ryan and Cameron from a local high school called me from the phone number on The Kindness Bus. Their interest and the questions they asked of me, reassures me that the generation they represent, are going to take part in some very remarkable accomplishments.
Thank you to the Coastline Community Church for their hospitality in allowing me to rest safely.


Monday, January 30th, 2012

1-30-12Reaching children while they are young, with messages of positive influence is imperative. Today I stopped by six schools, during my ride, to talk with principals and counselors about my Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. Anna Pedroza, Principal at Oak Crest Middle School was most moved by my message that she took time out of her busy day to get a look at The Kindness Bicycle outside. Stephanie the theater teacher-director at the San Dieguito Academy, the local high school, was thrilled to see The Kindness Bicycle roll into her offices. Her husband, a Marine, is in charge of helping with the long term recovery of 50 Wounded Warrior Heroes at a nearby base hospital. Every need should be filled for these heroes. Please arrange for a visit to a local VA Hospital to talk with some of these heroes. It means the world to them to hear someone say thank you.
Two weeks from today is the beginning of One Million Acts Of Kindness Week. Let everyone you know about this very important event.

Home Grown Kindness

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

1-29-12Starting off the day at the Encinitas Firehouse because of the hospitality and generosity of the firefighters and Captain John Adams, allowing me to spend the night and get a fresh start to this day. Many plans were on tap today,  I was hoping to get as many miles and views of The Kindness Bicycle as possible. My first stop was the Farmer’s Market which provided a captive audience of families. It was the perfect venue for my message as The Kindness Bicycle was parked at the main entrance for all to see.
I headed south by bicycle through two coastal communities, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Solana Beach. All three towns I was in today were packed with people everywhere, all of them out enjoying the perfect beach weather.
Josh and Cassandra who are from my home state of Ohio, now live in southern California in the Solana Beach area were stopped dead in their tracks when they caught sight of The Kindness Bicycle. Cassandra is a teacher in the school district here and says, “If you can reach 1,000 children in your life….” I love it! What a perfect person to be a teacher to young people in this world.
We are getting down to the wire for One Million Acts Of Kindness Week. Please let everyone you know about this very important week.

Kindness on Every Corner

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

1-28-12Today was going to be a day of catching up on my small deficit of miles to be ridden, but conversations were more important and the crowded town of Encinitas, California offered someone new to talk with on every corner. Just when I seemed to get going, another person waved me down. While out on one of my short rides, Encinitas Fire Department appeared while on the way to the Sheriff’s Department, so I pulled in. John, Jeff and Adam were in the garage of the station and invited me in when they saw the signs on The Kindness Bicycle.
We had some great conversations about some of the unbelievable programs for Wounded Warriors in this area. This is the most populated region of the country for those coming back stateside needing care. It is going to be even more taxed in the coming months with so many servicemen and women  coming home from war.
In today’s photo, Jeff and Adam posed with me while Captain John Adams took our picture.
Today an incredible conversation took place that I will talk about later next week.
In 16 short days, One Million Acts Of Kindness Week begins. Please tell everyone you know about signing up for thus 3rd annual event.

Busy, Busy

Friday, January 27th, 2012

1-27-12My weekly, 3AM PST call to the Bill Bennett “Morning in America” radio show, hosted by Seth Leibsohn, set the tone for the day today. I am further inspired on Fridays, now knowing that people across the nation are hearing about The Kindness Bicycle Tour for Heroes. So I set off to make as many stops as possible to talk to heroes.
At Firehouse #6 in Vista, California, Brandon and Chris we’re just getting back from a call and came to the door in a huge hurry to see what I was riding. They were thrilled to have someone show up at their station to thank them. Acting Lieutenant John, at Firehouse #1, was the sole Firefighter around, as all of the rest of his ucrew was training off site. John listened with great interest when I told him of visiting all 49 Firehouses on Manhattan, including Firehouse 10 in Ground Zero. At Firehouse #4 in Vista, Jason and Chris talked to me about smoke in the hills to the north of their station. Some of their fellow workers went out on the call before I arrived. They were relieved when they heard that the crew was on their way back to the station.
San Diego County Sheriffs Office was on my radar screen today and even though it was a short visit, the secretary assured me that the Sheriff will get all the information I gave to her.
While I was out riding, Joretta from West Virginia followed me in her car, until I realized she wanted me to pull over and talk with her. She has 3 grandsons who are Police Officers and loved the thought of someone taking up the cause of honoring those who protect and serve us.
This evening, after a long day, I was seated next to Lori, a wife of a 24 year career Marine Sergeant who is at Camp Pendelton. I expressed my desire to ride The Kindness Bicycle on the base. Keep your fingers crossed to help some magic happen. It could be a great morale boost for The Few, The Proud, The Marines.
A gracious gratitude to Kathleen, Tony and family for the hospitality while traveling through Vista. Bogart was in dog heaven having a friend to play with for a couple of days. Thank you, thank you.

Heroes in Training

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

1-26-12AOne of the prime locations on The Kindness Bus is now emblazoned with words of honor, respect and praise for all to see. Nearly two years ago, I spent time visiting all 49 Firehouses in Manhattan. Many students I was talking with at the time weren’t hearing about the real heroes in our society. I decided if I was going to talk to kids about this, I had better go to the source. Two years later, I have decided it would be great for people who view The Kindness Bus to learn of this memorable series of events.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting Randy at the Escondido Firehouse #1, he had his Firefighters busy keeping up to date on CPR classes when I rode in on The Kindness Bicycle. He kindly took time out to learn of my cross country ride. He was so interested that he is passing along information to the state Firefighter’s agency. While on site of this huge multi-purpose building facility, I found a class of students working towards becoming Firefighters. They were eager to share their knowledge of many of the responsibilities of their work which includes the huge vegetation fires in the fall, which always seems to be the biggest concern. These guys are truly Heroes in Training.

A Very Special Visit to a Very Special Place

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Bogart steals the show wherever we go and today was no exception. I talked to three groups of schoolchildren today at the Escondido Montessori Learning Center in Escondido, California. Using Bogart as an example of how children should behave, and more importantly, not behave, they seem to make a better connect when using his actions as an example. Bogart even chimed in when he got excited over seeing his favorite character, Bowser the dog, from the One Million Acts Of Kindness puppet show.
The students, educators and parents all helped to make us feel like we were part of their extended family. Families made donations of treats for Bogart and for me as well. They also had a program to fill The Kindness Bus gas tank with kindness, by bringing in donations, allowing us to get a ways further down the road.
This learning center is a magical place of a close knit group of families. I heard from many of the parents of how grateful they were for me to share stories of The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. I couldn’t have been more pleased as to how the presentations went today….and they have invited me back tomorrow for an early morning assembly for the entire school and parents. Thank you to everyone for supporting The Kindness Bus Tour in so many ways.