Archive for April, 2011

Answers to a Few Questions

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

4-21-11All along my travels I am asked about my 3 children. Do they travel with you? Do all of you live on the bus? Do they support what you are doing?
Thoughts of the nursery rhyme “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” come to mind when I picture what it would be like with all of my children living on the bus with me. The 84 square foot living quarters of the bus is about the size of a walk-in closet. The bed takes up nearly one quarter of the space, Bogart takes up the rest it seems.
A recent blog I wrote, of a 7 year old girl named Corinne who gave me all of her stuffed animals as a very big act of kindness for children in the hospital, is such an inspiring story for all of us. Corinne gave me two big bags of all of her stuffed animals while I was waiting for my daughter to meet me for dinner. Soon after Corinne and her mom and dad left the outside patio area of the restaurant, my daughter Lizzie arrived. When asked about the shopping bags of stuffed animals by my chair, I told Lizzie how Corinne went home and brought back her stuffed animals to cheer up sick children in the hospital, to which Lizzie replied, “Dad, don’t ever stop doing this.”

“I Saw You on Oprah”

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

OprahWinfreyNetworkRR01If I had a dollar for every time I have been approached by, or honked at during the past 10 days, with strangers saying “I saw you on Oprah,” I would have enough money for many tanks of gas for The Kindness Bus with enough left over for a T-bone steak for Bogart.
We have been featured on the Oprah Network for the past 10 days with a 60 and 90 second spot on the “In Your OWN Words” segment. Even though it isn’t the Oprah Show per se, there is still an unbelievable “Oprah effect.” Who knows, maybe a phone call will come before the end of her incredible run. What a great way of ending a talk show with promoting a goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness for every child in the world.
Thank you to everyone for helping to promote this much needed cause.

***The 7,400 mile, 6 month Kindness Bicycle / Kindness Bus Tour to raise awareness for Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse begins its journey in twenty-five days.

Tony’s Cooking Again

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

4-19-11Driving every day this week from Savannah to New York City in The Kindness Bus, makes it a challenge to get much done. I am making my way north through many of the same towns I visited in the fall. Today I passed through Wilmington on my way to Jacksonville, NC. Wilmington was home to The Kindness Bus Tour during Thanksgiving week last year. The Boys and Girls Club was my main focus last year, as Thanksgiving week was the week where I volunteered to help renovate a few of the structures on their campus.
Spring break is in session and when I pulled up to the building I thought they were closed. I was very wrong. Tony was cooking lunch for the kids like he was in competition for Iron Chef. It is the only time the kids are quiet during the day as Tony wields the ladle and seems to portion more to the well behaved kids, reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. Tony is a great role model for all of these kids and it was a pleasure seeing him in action again. I left stickers for all of the kids at the club. Tony offered me lunch but I told him I was still full from his Thanksgiving dinner.

Road Ready

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

4-17-11My bicycle is getting a major tune-up and will be road ready by the time I push further north, out of Savannah.
During my seventeen day stay in Savannah last December, I met a local resident named Alex, who is a big bicycling enthusiast. When Alex heard of my 6 month, 7,400 mile twice cross country Kindness Bicycle Tour, he shared with me some of the nuances of bicycling every day and riding long distances.  He was a big help, giving me a great foundation for research about long distance bicycling over the past few months. Seeing Alex again, a few days ago, he was interested in seeing the bike which will carry me cross country. The look on Alex’s face was one of, “oh man, let me help you.” Alex is a big supporter of my mission and insisted on fine tuning the bike to ready it for the road. By the time we left the bicycle shop, Alex completely transformed this bike, with his own resources, into one that will be a dream to ride.
By the time the departure date of May 14th has arrived, my bicycle will, without a doubt be road ready, me being road ready by that date may be a different story. Bogart! It’s time to start working out.
Thank you Alex, for all you do for One Million Acts Of Kindness.
***Update to April 14th blog. Apparently Andreu Powell has already helped to spread our message.  The principal from Fernandina Beach Elementary wants to dovetail One Million Acts Of Kindness’ message to curricula, for all 600 students in her school. Thank you Andreu.

Girl Scout Kindness

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

4-16-11Savannah is a very popular place to visit for many reasons. One reason for school age girls and their families is that the Girl Scouts of America was founded here by Juliette Gordon Low. One such group of 3 moms and 4 girls from North Carolina happened by the bus as they walked the streets of this beautiful city. I was so impressed by the connection of goodness shared by this group of 7. I told the girls that their moms would never steer them wrong, the moms immediately jumped in and told their daughters to “make sure to listen to this man.”
The Girl Scouts are all about kindness; teaching, leadership skills, supporting events like the relief effort in Japan and helping to make our world a better place. It is one of the best organizations for girls in the world.
Today was a very long day of talking with hundreds of people, many of them families, my favorite group. It was also a day of much fun. One of my favorite vignettes was when a full tour bus rounded the corner right next to The Kindness Bus, the driver said to his charge, “On your right is the One Million Acts Of Kindness bus, I don’t know if it is part of Savannah, but it should be.” Being here for seventeen days in December makes us look like we a permanent fixture.

Nassau County Schools

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

During my travels, I meet all sorts of dedicated and talented individuals. It is clear that there are some individuals are meant for the job that they have. Today I met a very busy Andreu Powell, coordinator for prevention and intervention in the Nassau County School District. When he learned of One Million Acts Of Kindness, he invited me to his office for a half hour meeting while a number of his staff touched base with him as he and I talked. The passion this man has for his job, is second to none. He is all about helping kids in his county try to stay out of trouble and help find the right program for those who do get in trouble.
He and I talked about how simple the concept of One Million Acts Of Kindness is and how it could be a part of most of his programs, including character building. Catching kids before they get too far down the wrong path is a main goal of his. Having One Million Acts Of Kindness as a lifetime goal for kids is the perfect fit. “Like peas and carrots” as Forrest Gump so eloquently says.

Yulee Elementary

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

4-15-11Heading north over the next 2 weeks, much of my energy is being spent on planning for The Kindness Bicycle Tour. Re-working my itinerary is now complete and the updated version will be posted on the website in a few days. The route I take will remain the same, it will take double the time as I am now both the bicycle rider and the bus driver. I will do daily loops, riding west to my next destination, then circling back to pick up the bus to drive to the next destination.
My travels took me to Yulee Elementary in Florida, just south of Georgia border. The entire county school system is in the middle of their annual evaluation testing. Needless to say, no one was available. Debbie, who works in the reception area at Yulee, assured me that she would see to it that everyone at her school knew about One Million Acts Of Kindness.