Archive for August, 2011

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

8-24-11 replacementWhat are the chances of serendipitously finding the person who is the driving force behind educating students about healthy relationships and lifestyles in the first hour on the K-State campus, very good obviously. Mary Todd, Director of the K-State Women’s Center was in the Student Union with hundreds of various informational leaflets, making sure as many students as possible, learned of her organization. The Women’s Center teaches about dating safety, drinking and drugs, sexual abuse and making wise choices as a student on campus. Mary extended an invitation to come to the Women’s Center and learn about the important work she and her staff do on campus; it would take weeks, to just scratch the surface of the wealth of wisdom throughout her office. The University has a rare find on their hands.
Communications Coordinator, Olivia Blanco was so nice to help us find the directions to various buildings on campus. Upon learning of my mission she thought it worthy of being on the university’s Facebook page.
It was a great day to get a feel for this Manhattan, Kansas campus as I rode The Kindness Bicycle over most of its roads. The reaction by the student body was of great interest. Late in the day, Karen Ingram, Coverage Editor for The Kansas State Collegian interviewed me for an upcoming issue.
Thank you to Dr Priddle and his family for the interest in One Million Acts Of Kindness and The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour.

VA Hospital, Topeka, Kansas

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

8-23-11I love to visit the Veterans Hospitals. Everyone who visits is welcomed with open arms because the need is so 8-23-11great. Heroes who come to have their bodies and in many cases, minds mended, love to have visitors to come and talk with them. The heroes who are here for an extended stay are usually the loneliest, often forgotten by the general public.
I was greeted by Denise Cunningham, Volunteer Service Assistant Chief as I made my way to the volunteer section of the hospital. Nearly a week ago, Ray and Diana at Tokan Designs printed me a few shirts which announce my ride in the spring, for Wounded Warriors and Fallen Officers. Ray and Diana help the Veterans in the Topeka region and when they realized what my ride was all about, they provided me with my shirts free   he VA. These heroes will never be forgotten by Ray and Diana.
Larry McCoy, a volunteer and Veteran took today’s picture and got 2 big smiles by saying, “say rutabaga.”
Today I had a much needed break, with no scheduled ride, although the hour-long Kindness Bus ride to Manhattan, Kansas in 103 degree temperatures with no air conditioning was a workout in itself.

Century Ride to End the Silence

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

8-22-11One hundred miles on a bicycle is something I have been looking forward to doing since I began The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour. I wanted to make this long of a ride meaningful and do it to create awareness of how infrequently Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual abuse are discussed.
Prevention is born out of awareness. Talking with age appropriateness to children needs to be commonplace. School programs are instrumental in the success of helping children to understand what boundaries should never be crossed. Unfortunately, school programs are too few and far between.
I am currently creating another puppet show for younger kids that will teach these children about boundaries relating to these issues without even mentioning Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse. I will use it every chance I have in the schools I visit.
Nathan and I both did this ride today, we rode an extra 2 miles just in case the calibration may have been off by a little.
During the Century Ride to End the Silence, The Kindness Bus was parked at Washburn University. Dr. Chris Hamilton, Professor of Peace Studies at the college, thought it would be a nice addition to his campus, on the first day of school for the new school year.


Sunday, August 21st, 2011

8-21-11 AOne of the biggest problems with Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse is that there isn’t enough 8-21-11 Bconversation about these two issues. Because of that mind-set, most schools are reluctant to have education programs about these two issues being presented. Prevention and advance knowledge are the two most critical needs to combat Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse from continuing in our society.
Society not talking about these 2 issues, is like me riding across the United States with blank signs and not saying anything as well.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

8-20-11The day began with an early morning visit to the farmers market in downtown Topeka. Getting here early made it possible to find the most visible parking spot for The Kindness Bus. Hundreds of Topekans are now aware of One Million Acts Of Kindness from visiting the market. The other reason I visited this market was because United Way was having a Live United Awareness event. United Way is a big provider for many of the Domestic Violence coalitions and the Child Advocacy agencies.
Today’s highlight was an invitation to perform my puppet show to 3 audiences during the course of the day at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. After all of the performances, everyone was so complimentary. Doing this sort of work is a nice, light change of pace from dealing with the day to day issues of Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse. The filming of all 3 puppet shows will allow Nathan to put together a great video compilation for the website and Youtube.
Today’s short ride of 40 miles allowed me to interact with dozens of people enjoying the beautiful weather in Topeka.

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I called Executive Director, Joyce Grover of the KCSDV just a couple of days ago to inform her of The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour coming to Topeka, in 2 days time, she put together the warmest of welcomes. Today I walked into a room full of her entire staff of nearly 30, less Pat Clark, the receptionist, who answers all of the important calls. The staff had provide for this breakfast meeting with homemade dishes, pastries and fruit.
After my talk, as a group and individually, we shared information of the important work that this coalition accomplishes. This state agency works to educate the public on issues of domestic violence, builds coalition among service providers and networking to ensure comprehensive service to the public, works on prevention measures across the state, helps to promote positive policy change on the state and national levels, diligently works to obtain funding for programs and so much more. It was am honor to meet so many dedicated individuals all in one room. Thank you to all.
During one of the breaks from my short ride of 20 miles today, I met Tracy from the Governor’s office, she was so excited and complimentary for The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour. I think the Governor will hear about us on Monday morning.

LifeHouse Child Advocacy Center

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

8-18-11An early morning visit to this Children’s Advocacy Center was another eye opening experience. Having only been to a handful of Children’s Advocacy Centers, I am still astonished at the sheer numbers of Childhood Sexual Abuse cases in our country.
Director, Kelly Stephens and Jill Shehi-Chapman, Family Support Specialist met with us to tell us about their facility and the good it is doing for children and families in need. Getting abused children to verbally express their tough, but once done, the child is often times able to move on with their lives knowing that they will now be protected. After the interview with Kelly and Jill, it is easy to understand why the motto of LifeHouse is, “Helping kids be kids again.”
The return of the Heat Index being over 110 degrees has returned, causing me to be shy of my total for the day by 16 miles. I hope we don’t go straight from summer to winter.