Archive for February, 2010

Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Pennies

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

He made sure he was in the shadows of the side alleys. They were very visible and very much approachable. His was a face of not wanting to make eye contact; their eyes looked to seek you out. Three different faces, all three homeless. Seeing him for the first time, I was struck by the way he seemed to want to remain from the public eye. You had to look to find him. I’ll remember this grown man and the way he would stack his thirty or forty pennies in neat piles, with a pyramid of ten or twelve silver colored coins closer to his reach. Handing him a few dollars, he would hurry off to get something to eat. A temporary fix to a long-term problem. They have been on the move since Katrina took their home. This is their tenth city in half as many years. They were barely able to make ends meet when they had a roof over their heads. Every possession they owned, gone in one night. “Thank God for the Peanut Butter and Jelly kids, or we wouldn’t eat tonight.” Once a week the college students in this town help by setting up an assembly line of sandwich makers. “The line gets longer every week” one of the students told me. 

Perhaps I have been blind to the fact of homelessness because of not personally witnessing it before I left on The Kindness Bus Tour. Homelessness is everywhere I have traveled. It seems to be growing as I make my way south. I hope this is due to the fact it is warmer in the south.  Today’s economy is, I’m sure, taking its toll in every sector of our country.  I see more and more of it and I plan on giving more attention to the plight of the homeless and I hope everyone else will too.

Emory University

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Emory University - cropped

Cynthia came into the parking lot we were parked in, at the entrance to Emory. “I needed to see something like this today, and here you are. The world needs this so badly”, she said. She has plans for One Million Acts of Kindness, it sounds like something very nice. This campus is impossible in terms of trying to find a place to park. I drove around for visibility talking to students as I could. I finally settled for a place off campus which had high visibility. I chose correctly. I received a very nice email from the President of the Student Government Association, Alex Kappus. He told me of a great organization which was created on this campus by some students, three years ago, its website is  Alex has plans for us networking in the future. I met many people, both on and off campus. I was able to attend the Emory Wind Ensemble in the evening with a local, talented writer named Roxanne Ivey. This was a very friendly and helpful campus.

Oglethorpe University

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Bob and Bogart

“We were supposed to meet”, were the words spoken by Cleo, a Presidential Fellow on this University. She became my tour guide as I walked the grounds. She introduced me to some very nice students involved in all sorts of charitable work, both on and off campus. I was particularly impressed with their Center for Civic Engagement department. The service, students perform in the local community shows how deep the passion for charity is, on this campus. Every student on this campus was thrilled at the thought of performing one million acts of kindness. We made contact with fifty students today, and left another hundred stickers for others who would be interested in the message. Bogart and I visited the campus museum to view the Matisse exhibit, a wonderful selection of sketches and poetry. While at the museum, I was in awe of Nicholas Roerich’s, Banner of Peace, which was on display. Kathie was helpful in photographing me with Bogart, in front of The Peace Banner for today’s photo for the blog.

  This evening I was lucky enough to stay at the home of friends from Cleveland, Michael and Susie, who have been living in Atlanta for the past several years. We went to a very nice benefit for The Alzheimer’s Association and talked to many people about how an awareness of kindness can help everyone. While at my friends, Bogart was able to have the freedom of running non-stop with their dog, Malley. I think Malley secretly wants to join Bogart on The Kindness Bus Tour, a modern day version of Lady and the Tramp. Big thanks, to Michael and Susie

Southern Polytechnic State University

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Bogart-and-the-worldThe Kindness Bus Tour got off to a late start this day. A big thanks to my cousin Bob and his wife Marti for showing me an evening of southern hospitality, complete with a home cooked meal. Every now and then, it is nice to get a break from the firmness of my plywood bed in the bus. We left early enough this morning, but by the time I got some of my catch-up work done, we would only have time for an afternoon visit to SPSU. I pulled onto campus and the first person I went to ask for directions to the student center was Anthony, he was on the phone with his girlfriend, Brooke, from The University of Georgia, she was one of the two thousand students we had talked to last week. Unbelievable‼ We headed into a very busy Joe Mack Wilson Student Center and had almost everyone interested in Bogart and the message of One Million Acts of Kindness. An official looking person headed my way; he introduced himself as Barry Birckhead, Dean of Students. He told me of an article which he had recently read on my mission. We were welcomed with open arms. Thank you to everyone on this friendly campus. Barry even agreed to forward my message to his students.

  At times during our travels, Bogart gives me a look, as if he is carrying the weight of the world on his back. I could not resist taking this picture of him today. In three days, on the twenty-seventh, Bogart will be one year old to me. He was a rescue dog birthday present for me last year.

Kennesaw State University Day 2

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Bogart and the Owl


“That is the coolest thing ever”, were the words spoken by Ayla, a student here at Kennesaw State University. She was walking by the bus with Roger and Kristen. They stopped by to talk for a few minutes about how cool it would be to have everyone involved with a mission towards kindness. We spent the better part of our visit at this growing campus, talking to over four-hundred students as they walked to their classes. Bogart was an instant hit as he broke free of my hold and ran free through the green area for over a half hour. He treed every squirrel in sight and even an occasional bird. I hope that the only owl he goes after is the one in today’s picture. Many kids on campus have heard of One Million Acts of Kindness, which is I am sure, due to the internet and other forms of communication. This movement has a very good chance of reaching a large part of the population in this country in the next ten years. What you do with it, is up to you. It will probably be the greatest goal you ever choose for your life.

Kennesaw State University

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


We left Athens mid-morning and headed toward Kennesaw. What is this? A town named Bogart? How could I resist a photo opportunity of a town named Bogart with a welcome sign? We arrived on the campus of KSU; Land of the Owl. What a friendly place. I was helped by a couple of students to find the student center near the campus green. The moment we set up the paparazzi appeared. We made the best of our late afternoon arrival. I talked to dozens of students in about an hour’s time. Students wanting to know what was going on flagged us down on two occasions. We made a quick pit stop at The Siegel Institute for Leadership Ethics & Character. We could not have made a better choice. Gail greeted us as we entered the building and Bogart was an instant hit. Wes, Instructor for University Studies, could not have been more welcoming as he toured the bus and all of its messages. Tomorrow will be a big day on this campus as the green space is usually full of students on good weather days.

Puppet Show

Sunday, February 21st, 2010


With The Kindness Bus Tour picking up steam in many directions, especially the speaking arena, I decided that I should start putting together some outlines for speaking to various groups. I have been asked to speak to volunteers, church groups, businesses, schools of every category, seniors and children. Because of her professional background in caring for children, I posed a few questions regarding talking to very young children, to Karen Myers, Director of Child Care Services at The Little Saints Child Care Center in Virginia. She immediately got back to me with two words, which sounded like great fun, Puppet Show. I am beyond thrilled, to even think of incorporating this into my travels. What comes to mind are the smiling faces of children as a story is told with puppets, to get a wonderful message of being good and doing good for others. I can see it already, Bogart getting a curtain call that is. Stay tuned for great stories of puppet shows for children, in the not too distant future. This is becoming a blast.