Archive for October, 2009

Union College

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

As I was sitting in McDonald’s this morning sipping my morning double shot of coffee, the entire marching band from Campbellsville University walked in.  The Tiger Marching band, as they are called is from Campbellsville, Ky, and were headed for a band competition.  They loved the bus, and the Kindness project, took pictures and lots of stickers.  This was a great bunch of students and I was so happy to see them.  It was another great happening that was completely unplanned.  It was a great start to the day. 

When I arrived at Union College, I found it to be almost empty.  I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since it was Saturday.  I did see a few students and figured; I should make the most of it.  I parked and found more squirrels than students. I talked to a couple of groups of students who liked the message of kindness. 

Before long, an official looking gentleman came up to me.  I never know what to expect when that kind of thing happens.  In this case, it turned out to be Mr. Jerry Jackson, the Dean of Enrollment.  We had a good discussion about the Kindness Project, he was so interested I was happy to have met him.  Of course all the while we were talking, Bogart was going crazy trying to chase the squirrels.  When Jerry left, I thought it would be ok to let Bogie run, so, while still on the leash, I ran with him to chase a few squirrels around in circles and then up a tree.  I noticed a few students watching this; I figured they nicknamed me “Dances with Squirrels.” 

I took a picture of Bogart at an old bell monument, and saw Jerry coming back with a armful of gifts, including a couple of Bulldog  t-shirts.  That was a nice surprise but it wasn’t the best one of the day.  The motto at Union College is 1 to 1. I was about to learn first-hand what 1 to 1 is all about. Jerry said the President of the University is right across the campus at the women’s soccer game and he would like to meet me. What an unexpected surprise. Jerry introduced me to President, Edward de Rosset, who was very interested in knowing what One Million Acts Of Kindness is all about. What a great meeting. He asked if he could give me a ride so he could take a look at the bus. I guess he liked what he saw as he invited me to lunch at one of the local restaurants. At lunch we talked about the college and it’s role of service in the extended community. He had a genuine interest in helping to spread One Million Acts of Kindness. We even discussed speaking at the college at a later date. While I was only there for a few hours, I came to see that this school is all about service and helping others.  A huge thank you to Ed for taking time out of his very busy schedule to share his time with me.  This was a great visit and all unannounced.  My sincere thanks to Morgan back at Eastern Kentucky University for recommending I make this visit and to Morgan’s mom who notified the school that I would possibly be visiting the campus.

Berea College

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Something very unusual happened to me today.  I pulled into the Berea College campus, and found a parking space!  Not just any parking space, but one close to a major intersection with tons of walking students.  I took this as an omen; this was going to be a good day. 

And sure enough, shortly after I parked and began to set things up, Alissa came out to meet me.  Alissa is the school’s Coordinator of Marketing.  She saw the bus, and was interested enough to find out what the Kindness Project was all about.  We had a nice discussion for about 10 minutes, and then two students came over who were in charge of the school’s blog.  We had a nice interview and they asked if I would mind if they published it in the blog.  I had to think about one nanosecond before I said, “Yes.” 

I was at that spot for about 3 ½ hours and must have talked with 800 students, a remarkable number for such a small school.  Beside the students walking, there was a lot of traffic, cars driving by waving and honking their horns.  After a while it got so busy the crossing guards (yes, they have crossing guards) had to put up a chain to keep the walkers safe.  These were super enthused students.  

Later, I went for an early dinner at the Black Feather Café.  As it turns out the owner is one of the crossing guards.  We had a great time, it’s a great place with lots of local food, and to top it all off, he bought my meal.   After that, it was time to go for a walk and give Bogart a chance to stretch those little legs of his.  Later that evening, I went back to the Black Feather and found a band playing, it was packed.  Bogart and I made more friends, talking to parents and students alike. 

Bogart’s outfits are getting a lot of attention.  My friend Nina Aviles in Cleveland made them for him and they really look great on him.  It was a nice day today, a high of about 70, so Bogie was wearing in his early fall ensemble, very fashionable pooch indeed.

Eastern Kentucky University

Thursday, October 29th, 2009


On my way to EKU, I stopped at a McDonald’s for a coffee and while I was there lady name Millie came up to me after seeing the bus.  She thought it was so nice to see someone with that kind of message.  We had a nice chat and I thought it was, for me, a great way to start the day.  Thank you, Millie. 

I arrived on campus and quickly noticed the now traditional “no parking without a pass signs.”  I also noticed all the walking students, and after seeing a shuttle bus stop that was not being used, I decided to pull in and park.  I left my flashers on, I’m sure that will help.  As I was setting things up, I saw many students walking by a large bronze statue of a man.  Many of these students were giving this man’s boot  a rub.  This was definitely worth checking out.  Daniel Boone!  This was a statue of Daniel himself.  As I was told, rubbing his boot will bring good luck.  I’ll bet they rub extra long on exam days.  Besides talking to dozens of students here, I thought it was a natural for a picture of Daniel and Bogart. 

I met Rebecca, who works in the mail room and she thought it would be fine to put a stack of stickers there where students could pick one up as they collect their mail.  My thanks to Rebecca.  I thought my time at the shuttle bus spot was getting to the end of its life, so I decided to drive to the alumni office, where I left some stickers. Everyone is so helpful when it comes to spreading this message of kindness. 

Parking becomes available after 4:30.  So, Bogie and I went back to a good spot and it turned out to be a great evening for us.  We parked at a busy location and found a steady stream of students.  One young lady, Morgan, ran up and said, “My boyfriend will be so jealous.”  Turns out he saw me at a previous school and when he finds out I saw The Kindness Bus, he’ll be jealous.  She held Bogie and loved the Kindness Project idea.  She’s going to be a teacher, just like her mom.  While I wasn’t planning to visit it, Morgan convinced me to go on Saturday to Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, where her mom lives.  That’s a benefit of having a flexible schedule.  So, it’s on to Berea College tomorrow and Union College on Saturday.  Onward goes One Million Acts of Kindness.

University of Kentucky

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


On the way to my favorite spot on campus I saw an area with a lot of students, so I thought, “what the heck,” and I parked and got out of the bus.  It must have been a change of class time, I spoke to about 40-50 students in about 15 minutes then everyone seemed to disappear.

I drove to my favorite spot on campus, Bogart was wanting to get back out of the bus so I thought it would be a good time to take him for a walk, so I left about 100 stickers at the bus and went for some exercise.  I might have only walked a mile, but the way Bogart was racing around at the end of the leash, I think he went triple that.  The squirrels were driving him nutty. Hehe.   It looked to me that once the squirrel commander figured out Bogie was on a leash, he ordered all of them to taunt him.  Poor little guy.  Time to go.  When I got back to the bus, all the stickers were gone.  That’s good.

This is a beautiful school, a great campus, I’d love to stay longer, but I must keep going.  I think I was on borrowed time as far as the bus was concerned anyway. Thank you to Megan and Scott for a great article in the Kernel.

I got a great email from Samantha, a nursing student, she and some of her friends read the article in the Kernel about One Million Acts of Kindness and they discussed how nursing and kindness fit well together, and I agree. Samantha said she was sorry to have missed The Kindness Bus and agreed to pass fifty stickers out to friends on campus which I mailed to her. Later, I received an email from Linda who lives in Oregon.  She heard about the Kindness Project and she said she is on a similar path.  Her dad passed away recently and she has decided to honor him by performing 1000 mitzvahs, or acts of kindness.  They are listed on her web site,  My favorite is mitzvah  #640.  On to Eastern Kentucky University

University of Kentucky

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

This morning I spoke to a very bright young woman named Megan Hurt, a reporter for The Kentucky Kernel, the school paper.  We planned to meet at the intersection of Rose and Euclid Streets, but the parking was a real bear.  I wound up pulling into a loading zone, and almost instantly, a person came out and asked if I was making a delivery or pickup.  I said I was making a delivery.  He looked at the bus and asked what I was delivering and I said “Kindness, of course.”  With that, he said that it’s no problem for me to park there.  Nice guy. I think my comment made an impression. 

Megan decided we should go to the bus parking spot that I was at last night.  It was a good decision, there were tons of students, and about 80% of them took stickers. I’ll bet I talked to 750-800 in the 4 hours I was there. Scott Hannigan, the paper’s photographer, came out and took some pictures.  Bogart, always one with a keen nose, realized that a young woman named Virginia, who stopped by to pet him, was holding something that he was hoping she would share with him. She had part of her lunch left, a BBQ beef sandwich from a popular food spot. Virginia, having two of her own dogs, obliged by letting him finish her lunch. Bogart is liking the “perks” of The Kindness Bus Tour. Thank you, Virginia.  I also met Cara, a really nice gal who was driving by, saw the bus, parked, and ran back to talk to me.  We had a great chat for the 10 minutes she had.  It’s always so nice to see that kind of interest.  Megan got a first hand look at the Kindness Project and what it can mean to people all over.  If tomorrow’s generation, like Megan, can grasp this effort and stick with it, we just may be able to change things entirely for the better. 

I later went to a coffee shop nearby where I met a super nice young lady, Anna. She saw the bus and wanted to talk about the Kindness Project.  As it turns out, someone very close to her committed suicide.  I could tell it wasn’t easy for her to talk about it, but the Kindness Project really peaked her interest.  Anna volunteers at a local hospice and suicide prevention center.  While it was clearly a horrible experience for her, she came through it and has decided that helping others is a great way to live.  She said, “Spreading kindness  and performing acts of kindness for others can heal the most broken of hearts.”  Great words to live by. She asked that I share her story for all to read in this blog. She is truly a very special person and I was so lucky to run into her.  I certainly want to keep in touch. 

Overall, the University of Kentucky is a very friendly place, students waving, helpful police, and kind people.  I even met a couple from Australia who said they would spread the word “down under.”  In addition, I’m getting some great entries on the Facebook pages.  I’m so glad to see the comments there.

Transylvania University

Monday, October 26th, 2009

This school is in an urban campus in downtown Lexington.  I parked in what I thought was a good spot but there were only a few students walking by.  Maybe they stay in the classroom buildings all day. I was able to talk to twenty very interested kids. I then went to a coffee shop in a central campus area, and talked to the manager, who was very interested in the project, I was able to leave a stack of stickers. Across from the campus there is a beautiful historic residential district. Bogart and I were able to take a long walk. We met a professor from UK who was taking a mid- afternoon break. He told us we should visit his campus. I told him UK was next on our list. Nearby, was a park where Bogart got a chance to run, it was great for him. The squirrels on these college campuses we stop at are driving Bogart crazy. I wonder what he would do if he were to catch one? Anyone have any ideas how or if I can break him of his desire to chase squirrels? 

I received an email from a teacher Chagrin Falls High School, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  They are adopting the Kindness Project as a pet project of theirs and he asked me to speak to the students after the holidays.  What a great idea.  It seems that they are setting a goal; each student will perform 1,000 acts of kindness before the end of the school year.    Now that’s what I’m talking about! 

This evening I drove to the University of Kentucky to scout things for tomorrow.  I parked in an area next to where the school band was practicing and I then decided to pull the Kindness Bus right in front where all of them had a good view of it. They appreciated the new view. I was able to talk to quite a few band members and color guard after practice.  It was a good chance meeting and a new found appreciation of marching band music. 

Later, I found a bus parking spot, centrally located, that had some serious activity.  Seems classes were still in session.  I was able to talk to about 150 students, another good unplanned stop for Bogart and me.

Bogart and Man-o-War!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009


This morning I drove to a horse park a few miles north of Lexington.  My daughter rode there for a while and it brought back many good memories for me.  At the entrance to the park is a large statue of the great horse, Man o’ War.  I had an idea to place Bogart strategically in front of the horse and take a picture that had the perspective showing Bogart winning by a length.   Bogie loved it!

I went for a walk handing out stickers, mostly the Spanish version of Sow Only Seeds of Love.  Most of the groomers are Mexican, so the Spanish version may help them understand the project a little better.

I went on to Lexington and the University of Kentucky.  There was a football game that evening, so the campus was gridlock most everywhere.  I never saw so many tailgaters.  I found a nice restaurant, O’Charley’s, to watch the second half of the game.

Late that night, when Bogart and I were more asleep than awake, we heard some kids talking outside the bus.  I could tell they were graffiti writers, I was too tired to get up so I figured I’d see what they did in the morning.  Next day I checked it out and it was all great stuff.  “I (heart) your bus” and the like.  I think I’ll leave it right where it is.

Tomorrow is Sunday, a day for laundry, emails, and letters.