Archive for January, 2011

PTA Power

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Being a grassroots effort, I am always looking for ways to network with the most efficiency possible, reaching as many people as I can during the course of the day, but still conveying my message in a personal way. The individual goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness  is starting to reach children one classroom at a time, and at times, one school at a time. If one teacher’s interest in One Million Acts Of Kindness can spread to a classroom of twenty or so students, and one parent, principal or guidance counselor can reach hundreds of student at a time, just think of what a statewide group or agency’s impact could be, with having one million acts of kindness be a lifetime goal for each student in the state or commonwealth.
With just a little over three weeks until the start of One Million Acts Of Kindness Week, and using this time for promotion, the most efficient means of communication is contacting statewide groups and agencies directly by email and phone. To me, the state PTA and board of education groups could be a powerful force in reaching students in classrooms. Parents having a direct impact on children statewide on an individual basis…Bullying be gone!

“The Kindness Generation”

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

1-20-11Traveling the country in my 1990 Kindness Bus, I am able to see firsthand, the greater good that kids as young as 4 years of age are accomplishing. Kids that believe in helping others, are learning important lessons while doing so, one of the most important lessons: they learn to believe in themselves.
“Believe to Achieve” was the name of the play I saw two nights ago, its lesson was, how believing in oneself can lead to an individual rising to the best of their ability. Doing and even hearing enough times in one’s life, that you have the power to make a difference in the world, can cause you to believe in yourself.
I love referring to the students I speak with as being part of a something big, part of a growing movement called “The Kindness Generation.” I believe kids need to hear this all the time to remind them that they are part of something very important. Hearing something enough gives one the belief in what they are told; kids need to believe that they are part of “The Kindness Generation.”

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

1-19-11This is the most important time of year for One Million Acts Of Kindness. We are in the home stretch of a calling and emailing campaign to get as many groups to sign up for One Million Acts Of Kindness Week. The goal of two thousand groups participating this year is sure to be met. The global reach to other countries is beyond anything I had ever expected. I now have commitments from people in nearly twenty countries. I am ecstatic to say the least.
Today, I decided to concentrate on the Department of Education, nationally and state by state. I also started calling and emailing state PTAs. The response accelerated when I decided to call before emailing. As has been the case for the past 2 years, talking with parents, educators, counselors, administrators, principals and the students, the response today was identical when I talked with these dedicated individuals; there is such a thirst for a return to values in this country. Kindness is at the center of these values. I believe with my heart that a lifetime goal of kindness for each child will get us back on the road to moral value recovery. I believe in this enough to travel on a eighty-four sq ft bus with a dog for ten years.
I decided to reach for the stars this morning so I placed a call to the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, I didn’t reach the Secretary but caught a sympathetic ear when I told his assistant about how a lifetime goal of kindness will have a huge impact on bullying and cyber-bullying in our nation’s schools. The word of this movement is starting to spread in some very powerful ways.

YouthAbility Benefit for Yemin Orde

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

1-18-11Twenty-one actors from YouthAbility starred in the play “Believe to Achieve,” an inspirational production created by the teenagers themselves. All of the props, costumes and research for the play were also designed by them. The donations raised by this production are being used to help children made homeless by the wildfires in Israel. Kids helping kids, I love it!
Heidi Solomon from the Jewish Family Services Association has been working with these special needs children, all the time inspiring them that all of us need to “believe to achieve.” I was so impressed by the passion these teens had for the parts they played; it meant everything to them.
Prior to the play, I talked for a short fifteen minutes, to tell the audience and actors of my mission. Thank you to everyone for providing me the opportunity to be a part of this perfect evening.

Martin Luther King Day

Monday, January 17th, 2011

kingphoto cropped“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
1963 was a time in our nation’s history when there was much unrest in many of our cities, particularly the south. Many peaceful protests for freedoms started to become more physical. Some protests turned to riots. Our nation could have gone down a very frightening path. One seventeen minute speech changed all of that.
My favorite passage from the “I have a Dream” speech are the 19 words printed above. These beautiful words call for peace to a nation that could have taken that wrong path. These words are still very important today, not only for our nation but for the entire world as well.
In most of my in-classroom programs, I talk about what I like to call the “peaceful solutions” that Dr. King wanted for all people in our country to embrace. A new generation of children who need to know the importance of how differences can be settled by embracing peace in their own lives.
It has been nearly fifty years since these words have been spoken so eloquently. The short speech defused the “discontent” of the “sweltering summer” of 1963 in our country. These 19 words can also be used to defuse a disagreement between two individuals a well as creating “peaceful solutions” for nations around the world.

Today’s blog entry has been reentered from December in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

One Million Acts of Kindness Week

Friday, January 14th, 2011

One month until the day when One Million Acts Of Kindness Week begins. This is the 2nd annual week-long event where groups of people do kind acts for others, over and above what they normally would. The goal of individual participants is two thousand taking part this year. I have also set a goal of over 100 nations being represented by participants. I expect that both goals will be met.
The 2nd part of One Million Acts Of Kindness Week is optional. I ask that all participants take the One Million Acts Of Kindness pledge. There is a Kindness Certificate at the top of this homepage which you can sign, frame and hang on your wall. Please give One Million Acts Of Kindness a consideration for everyone in your life by signing up on the right hand side of our homepage.

MOMS Group

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Moms Offering Moms Support is a group of women who care about caring for others. Invited to talk to this group by Barbara Adams, one of its members, it was a talk I was looking forward to for more than a month. An audience of only mothers who have children college age and younger; the perfect demographic for The Kindness Bus Tour. This group meets on a regular basis to discuss the needs of others in the community and of each other. The discussion we shared after my talk, was invaluable for future visits to campuses across the country.
When a group of mothers has organized meetings to discuss issues affecting their children and families, being able to be the “fly on the wall” helps me to understand the ever-changing challenges families face on a daily basis. This Catholic faith-based group relies on their christian values and prayer to bring hope to those suffering.
Prior to meeting with this group of women, I was told that they are a “group of women who are capable of changing lives.” My main talking point was the inspiration of the power of one. The power of one as a group such as theirs and the power of each individual to look deep inside themselves for the gift they possess for helping others. I urged them to find the passion for the gift and put it to work in a physical way by comforting, consoling, teaching, volunteering and any other “hands on” project where they have to roll up their sleeves. Get your hands “Mother Teresa dirty” I said to them. I’m thinking many of them will.

And last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to Nancy, a founding member of the MOMS group in Geauga County, for her help in being Bogart’s caregiver, and also volunteering her time with the Geauga County Humane Society.