Archive for November, 2009

Oberlin College

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

1115091136We headed east to Oberlin, to make one last stop, before taking the next couple of days to prepare for my speech at Kickoff For Kindness at the Wolstein Center. On our way into town, we stopped by Full Circle Fuel to get a few minor repairs done. They were so nice to me last time we traveled through town. While in Oberlin, I have plans to help plant some trees and other plants in an area just north of the campus. Glenn, a professor at Oberlin College, is creating a permaculture food forest for the betterment of the environment. This is his mission and passion in life. His team of students showed up ready to help. It is apparent that they have a big heart for the environment. A number of students on campus have talked to me about converting my bus to “green”.

Back at campus, a young girl named Rose, took Bogart for a long run through the park. He is getting loads of exercise on the bus tour. I should do the same. So many people in Oberlin were very interested in the Kindness Bus Tour. I now know after these few short months that there is a genuine desire for movements like One Million Acts Of Kindness. A young woman named Ari, who had been driving by, saw the bus and decided to stop and see what it was all about. I saw her standing by the bus looking very interested. She and I had a great talk about all of her passions, and how one of them is doing something like I am doing. What a great future she has planned for herself. I’m betting she is going to do great things for this world. The world needs more people like Ari. Before leaving Oberlin, I grabbed a coffee for the ride. I got back to the bus realizing that someone had anonymously left a care package for Bogart and Bob. Many thanks to the responsible party.  While driving out of town I decided to pay a quick visit to Isabel and Ben, who so kindly let me park the bus in their drive the last time I visited Oberlin. Isabel was gone but Ben was home and treated me to some “from scratch” homemade soup he made earlier in the day.

During the short amount of time and the nearly thirty campuses we have visited, I am seeing so much interest and hearing from so many people about the need for kindness in this world. As I talk to students on campus, one thing that is becoming apparent with each passing day is, your generation is going to be the greatest generation ever…you are going to have to be. I am hoping that The Kindness Bus Tour plays a part heading your generation in that direction.

Bowling Green State University

Friday, November 13th, 2009


We pulled into a very crowded BGSU campus mid-morning, a little behind schedule but with all of these students, we will make up for lost time in no time at all. Bogart has found a new position on the bus, on my bed looking out the side window at all the fun just outside. I’m sure he knows that I can do nothing about it, as I am driving. Maybe I’ll cut back on his “treats”…probably not. We drove through campus scoping out a parking spot for the bus and an outdoor sculpture for today’s photo of Sir Bogart. We found neither quickly. What we did find was campus security in the rear view mirror. Was this to be the Kindness Tours’ first run in with the law? As luck would have it, an open parking space appeared just ahead. I negotiated the bus into the angled parking space. Before I could open the door to the bus, the campus security guard was approaching with some sort of paper in his hand. Turns out this fine man is Rick Gerbeck, traffic supervisor. He had a map in his hand to help me find my way around campus. More Red Carpet being “rolled out” for the bus tour. We had a great talk about what good the future could hold for this generation, by embracing a program like One Million Acts Of Kindness. As we parted, he said he would “take care” of the parking meter. Wow‼

As instructed by Rick, I headed for the open space by the Student Union. Good spot! I went to the center of the open space and set up shop. In the four hours on campus, I talked to several hundred students, most in small groups. There was even a High School from Bluffton visiting the campus. They loved the message of kindness. A very caring student named Chicane from New York talked with me for at least fifteen minutes. She was so happy to hear such a great message of kindness. She encouraged me to keep going and never stop. I assured her I would. She insisted on buying me a latte at the café. Thank you  Chicane. While inside, Bogart stayed outside with Josie and Tim, two students. They assured me Bogart didn’t have any separation anxiety in my absence. Thank you Josie and Tim. Another young  woman named Katie helped Bogart feel welcome which proved to be a great distraction from the many squirrels this sunny November day.  We headed for the bus and found many students admiring the “fine looking ride”. As Bogart and I were packing up, Ashley and Allison stopped by and each took a small stack of stickers as they are RAs and said they would love to “spread the word” Clearly a big day at Bowling Green.

Defiance College

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Bogart and I had the good fortune of staying at Mimi and Stephen’s house last night and had a great home cooked breakfast this morning.  The kids loved Bogart and asked for a ride to school on the bus, which I was very happy to do.  I met the school’s administrator who asked if I could speak to the kids today.  I reluctantly had to say no, as I really had to be on my way, but I promised to come back and speak in January.  I left enough stickers for the entire school class and their parents, about 1,000 stickers in all.

We made it to Defiance College, in Defiance, Ohio and soon found a small college with a big heart.  This is a school that is heavy into service, for the local community and beyond.  While driving, I saw a statue of an American Indian who was known as a great peacemaker, which is a good fit for the Kindness Project.  It was also a good photo-op for Bogart.  We’re at the point now that when Bogie sees a statue, he just goes over to it and sits there until I take a picture.  Smart dog.  He really loves hamming it up for the camera.

I met 3 young ladies, Jocelyn, Mariah, and Reese who thought the Kindness Project was a great idea.  After our conversation, I thought that, big campus or small, if I could really reach just one student to carry on this message, it would be well worth it.  Bogart and I then went over to a sports field and watched some high school teams practice for a while, then it was off to Bowling Green.  If I can get there tonight, I can spend a full day there tomorrow.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

1112090811We arrived at this campus early today and immediately noticed that the bus became a squirrel magnet.  I think the squirrel commander saw us coming and gathered all his troops for an assault on Bogart.  We got through it ok, though.

This is a small campus, and I didn’t see many students walking around, maybe they were all in class.  I found the student center and decided to go in with some stickers and see what I could find.  As I was walking toward the building, two young ladies, Kaitlynne and Ashley, were walking ahead of me.  As we approached the double door entrance, each one opened a door to let me pass through.  Then they ran ahead and opened the second set of doors the same way.  I was so impressed, my thanks to both of them.  We chatted for a while, I gave them some stickers, and off they went.  Those two were so polite, but then I got to wondering if I just look too old to open the doors by myself.  There’s an interesting switch.

I found a busy intersection and talked to a few more students, two in particular, were so interested in the Kindness project, that they took some stickers to pass out on their own.  I was probably there for about 1 ½ hours, drove the bus around for some visibility, then set off for Ft. Wayne.

I arrived in Ft. Wayne and called Mimi Burns.  Mimi has her own ten piece Celtic Band  Mimi is such a shining star. Her interest in One Million Acts Of Kindness is at fever pitch. Upon arrival at Mimis’ she had a home cooked meal that her mother so kindly made. Having a real home cooked meal was like….paradise.. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. What a wonderful family Mimi has. We went for a great walk at a local park while Bogart and their dog Noah ran the whole time. They took me in and made me feel like it was home away from home. Mimi was very much like a press secretary, setting up a radio interview in Ft. Wayne, throwing a get together at a local co-op for the benefit of One Million Acts Of Kindness and a future presentation at a local school. I enjoyed sharing great stories with Mimi’s friends at the co-op, what a great group. Thank you to all and for all your help in this endeavor. Mimi, her husband Stephen, and I spent the late evening listening to some of their great music and telling fun stories.

Ball State University

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


I arrived on campus about 8:30  this morning.  This is a busy place, I was on McKinley Street and there were students everywhere, lots of crosswalks.    I drove very slowly, so I got the most visibility that I could with the bus.  I’m sure many hundreds of students saw me.  The problem was, which I didn’t realize at the time, I drove so slowly that a long line of traffic gathered behind me.  When I finally turned at the end of McKinley, they all were happy to get by.  I was pleased that not one of them gave me the single fingered salute as they passed.

At the end of McKinley, I saw the Ball State Campus House with a few parking spaces.  A lady came up to the bus as soon as I pulled in.  She is Valerie Mitchener she was a real expert on the school and the campus, giving me a lot of good advice on who to talk to and where to go.  She referred me to a side street with a busy intersection with a park nearby.  I found the spot and immediately talked to many students.  Almost all of them mentioned that this project is really needed around there.  The timing was good for my visit.

I met Heather Jade, a double major in art and business, and I found her to be a wonderful, giving person.  She decided to make wedding cakes for a living and donate half the profits to local charities.  She sent me to an art building, I didn’t find it but I saw a crowd and decided that it was another good place to stop. It was a good spot, there were students everywhere. I saw a campus policeman keeping an eye on what I was doing.  I went over and introduced myself to let him know all about One Million Acts Of Kindness.  He is Cpl. Dave Starkey, a good guy who I talked to for about 20 minutes.  He again stressed that my visit was good timing, and the campus could use a dose of Kindness. There were many other people who were interested and had great thoughts and comments, I have to start writing names down so I remember them when I write the blog.

Facebook added 149 fans today! I am amazed at the level interest in this project.

Anderson University

Monday, November 9th, 2009

1109091036This had to be another quick stop, sorry to say.  While I didn’t talk to very many students, every one that I did talk to was incredibly nice and polite.  This would be a place I would spend more time if my schedule was more flexible.  I saw they had a blood drive going on, I would have gladly given some, but it’s been too soon since my last “withdrawal.”

It was then on to Muncie and Ball State University.  When I stopped for gas along the way, I met Tom Steiner.  Tom is a business advisor and invited me for dinner tomorrow night. I reluctantly had to decline since a home cooked meal sounds pretty good right about now.  Tom said he’d keep track of the Project on the blog, and Facebook, and I’m invited back whenever I can make it.  What a great guy.

University of Indianapolis

Monday, November 9th, 2009

11/9  Morning – University of Indianapolis 

Arriving on campus, I drove around and found the student union.  Being a small campus, it really didn’t take too long.    I found a spot to park, but wasn’t too sure of the legality of it, but, what the heck, I was due for a little “creative parking.” 

It was a beautiful day, sunny and 72, could this actually be November?  I knew I was on an accelerated schedule this week, so I couldn’t really settle in as I usually do.  I was still able to meet with about 70-80 students, and gave each one about 3 stickers to pass around.  Tiffany was so enthused she immediately signed up on facebook.  A student named Mark came up on a real old fashioned bike, looked at the bus, and said, “incredibly unbelievable.”  I was there for about 1 ½ hours, many people said thanks for the Kindness Project, then it was on to Anderson  University.