Archive for October, 2012

Manning, South Carolina

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

10-31-12This little town has a big heart. From the moment I rolled The Kindness Bicycle out, I was met with applause from a passing cars’ passengers. What a great way to begin a great day.
Rachel a volunteer from the Sumter SPCA stopped by The Kindness bus to offer Bogart some treats. She is a huge lover of animals and enjoyed sharing stories of her family’s pets. She made a donation for one of the Bogart books and even came back later in the day for another copy. Visit to see the great work they are accomplishing.
Kayla and Kayla from The Shoppe on Brooks, were face-painted for Halloween and posed for today’s picture. Ruthe, the owner of the Shoppe, was so moved by the ride, she made a donation.
I stopped by the Manning Firehouse and 3 schools in this town and received the “Red Carpet” welcome. Christina, owner of the local cafe, insisted on buying me coffee, and Deanna, a local mother of two girls, dropped off a gift card from a national coffee chain. The Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce loved hearing of my travels in their town.
Erin Chandler of the Morning Times was enthused about including her hometown in our travels and is writing an article in her paper. Thank you to Lonnie and Duncan a couple of local residents, who volunteer in their retirement.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make my brief stay in this very friendly town, as good as it could be.

Florence, South Carolina

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

I got an early start to the day and made my way to Florence, SC to visit the Francis Marion University campus and put some miles on The Kindness Bicycle. This town is challenging for bicyclists with some roads that are shared designation but I deemed it too chancy to ride on. I headed to the campus in The Kindness Bus and tried to find an area with high visibility to park, during which time I had some great conversations with students about One Million Acts Of Kindness. I couldn’t find a spot suitable on campus so I decided to go to a busy area of town to park and found a perfect spot. I rode far less than I wanted to today, but found the busiest spot where The Kindness Bicycle and Bus got the most views.
At day’s end, I met Perry Bell, a local resident. He just couldn’t believe the sight of The Kindness Bus and Bicycle. We talked for a half hour about many great things. It was a great way to end this day.

Duke University

Monday, October 29th, 2012

10-29-12, 1With the southern edge of Hurricane Sandy creating wind and rain in southern Virginia, I drove The Kindness Bus to the Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina. The rains were gone but the high winds persisted. Riding The Kindness Bicycle was a challenge but proved to be appreciated by all I spoke with. With the temperatures barely in the 50s and windy conditions, most of the conversations with students were on the short side but my message reached hundreds of students today.
Will, a master gardener, and Betsy, a volunteer at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the Duke campus, some of the most beautifully manicured grounds, loved the message of kindness on their campus.
This afternoon I headed to the NC University campus nearby. I kept a low profile as a popular student lost his life over the weekend. I attended the memorial in the late evening hours at the Student Union building to pay my respects along with hundreds of his fellow Tar Heels.

University of Richmond

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

10-28-12I came to this beautiful campus one day early, to hopefully be south of the path of Hurricane Sandy. It was a great day of riding with the wind whipping around from every direction. This campus is gorgeous and was voted so in The Princeton Review a few years ago. It could have been the fact that it was a Sunday or that there was the threat of Hurricane Sandy coming inland, but this campus was nearly empty. I was able to have conversations with several groups of enthusiastic individuals hurrying to where they were headed.
I did find a very crowded “big box” shopping center with a steady stream of customers stocking up on the necessities of life. When the rains finally came, I took shelter indoors.
Hopefully the predictions of landfall of Hurricane Sandy are wrong and the storm blows out to sea.

Hurricane Sandy

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

10-27-12I had to change my itinerary to hopefully stay out of the path of Hurricane Sandy. I left Philadelphia this morning and visited Washington, DC. I found a great parking spot with high visibility at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th. I unloaded The Kindness Bicycle and set off to take in the sights and talk with people. I also headed to a building where few people visit when they come to DC, but it is one of the most important, The Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building. I came here because of the recent contact the Department of Education made, to give my bullying awareness ride their “Seal of Approval.”
Most of the groups walking through the city were families. A couple of healing conversations I had were with families who knew kids who were bullied. One of the moms of one of the families compared herself to a lion protecting her kids like cubs. She said her kids grew up to know how vital their lives are and that no one would ever mess with her kids. She is there for them every step of their lives. What a great role model for all of us.

A Storm of epic Proportions

Friday, October 26th, 2012

10-26-12I made my way to the Drexel University campus near their main entrance which becomes perfectly crowded at class changeover. Many conversations ensued as is the case when people see my shirt and the signs on The Kindness Bicycle.
Since hearing her story earlier this week, I have been using it in my interactions with individuals. A 20 year old student at the Rutgers campus on Monday told me she personally knew SEVEN kids from the age of 13-17 who have committed suicide in the past 2 years. This is unfathomable!
Today after telling a random group of 5 students this story, every one of these students knew at least one person who took his or her life, one of the girls in the group knew SIX. This is a storm of epic proportions.
For the past generation, the youth of this country have been taking their lives in growing numbers nearly every year. These beautiful young kids have rest of their lives ahead of them. They need to realize the value of living a long and fruitful life. There are people who are counting on them for their comfort, their compassion, their friendship….their love. They have yet to meet many people who are going to count on them for their loving support.
Someone Needs You…Don’t End Your Life.

Peace in Your Heart

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

10-25-12Heading south to Philadelphia, I passed through Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I know of an incredible private school that I had been invited to visit. Having a limited amount of time, I pulled The Kindness Bus onto the campus of Lawrenceville School. The warm reception I received was typical of this nurturing environment. Even with the upcoming Parent’s Weekend, Betty Cornell from the Dean’s Office took time to meet with me even though I had shown up unannounced. This place is a first-class act!
There is a sure fire way to eliminate bullying and suicide from our society; having peace in your heart.
Today I visited the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Hospital to talk with Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D. Research Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry and Kelly L. Green, Ph.D. NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow to discuss the nuances of talking with those who converse with me about bullying and suicide. I wanted to discuss saying what needs to be said and how to listen to those I talk with. Lending a kind ear and speaking words of hope are ways to get a person to open up and share their feelings.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon engaging many students and individuals in conversation about bullying and suicide.