Archive for April, 2013

Over the Airwaves of the Sonoma Valley

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

4-23-13EA, a local CrossFit owner in Sonoma came by The Kindness Bus to tell me KSVY talk show hosts wanted to interview “the guy with the bus.” Heather, his wife, and her talk show partner, Michelle had seen the bus about town and did a “command performance” interview. It was so much fun being interviewed by phone as I walked to their studios and then continuing the talk “on air” when I arrived. It helped in a big way as they got word of The Kindness Bus’ problems out across the airwaves. Thank you to EA and Heather for the invite to dinner to their home.
The weather has been quite hot the past few days, so leaving Bogart on The Kindness Bus much past mid morning has been the case. Needless to say, riding my allotted miles for the day has been less than usual. Having a great town square in Sonoma has certainly helped The Kindness Bus and Bicycle getting the message out to many.
Thank you to Allyson for stopping by The Kindness Bus, her family is committed to service to others and is doing great work in Central America. She is truly an “Ally” of kindness I told her.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet in St. Helena

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

4-22-13If I had to sum up my visit to St. Helena in one word, the word would be, Wow!!
Within one minute of putting The Kindness Bicycle on the ground, youth pastors, Richard, Vince and Dylan, pictured in today’s photo, came by for a long conversation. These three young men are doing great work with kids in this area and Modesto. Thank you guys.
Next up, Tom Amato, Executive Director of the Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center came by after his wife Karen spotted The Kindness Bus on Main Street. He and Jason, Pacific Union College Youth Minister were filled with praise for the One Million Acts Of Kindness mission and how important it is for all of us to put our “words into action.” Tom spent the next four hours with me, introducing me to the “movers and shakers” of this region. He has dedicated his life to his passion: helping kids reach their God-given potential. It was amazing to watch the sincere interaction he has for making everyone whose lives he touches, part of his family.
This was an incredible day, with dozens of powerful conversations.
Thank you to Tyler for the heartfelt conversation and the donation to keep The Kindness Bus limping along.
A big thank you to Christina and Charley for the hospitality of opening their family estate for an overnight visit of The Kindness Bus Tour.

My Friend The Kindness Bus……On Its Last Wheels

Sunday, April 21st, 2013
The current Kindness Bus has served us well for over 4 years. It was my hope, that this beautiful home of mine and Bogart too, would last the full 10 years of this mission…but sad to say, it will not. There are far too many issues it has, to even think of repairing. The biggest being, is that it is having a very hard time going up hills…and there are mountains to climb (move) on the next 6 years of this mission. The engine will blow if I push it to get up a hill. The engine banging noise gets louder, the steeper and longer the hill. It runs quite well on short grades and flat terrain. I could limp around in it for the next 6 years on the west coast, but this nationwide mission, and the Ring Our Country with Kindness ride (ROCK) need to and will continue.
The memories and the incredible quotes hundreds of people have written on its side are its incomparable beauty.
It is my hope that one of the schools I have visited these last 4 years will want it as a work in progress kindness project. It is the most logical solution I have. I will be contacting some likely candidates this week.
I am currently checking the Internet for a more fuel efficient bus. It’s exterior will be painted to closely resemble as possible, the current Kindness Bus. I will paint, or have the original individuals, paint the over 450 quotes that have been written over these past 4 years. The same goes for the interior.
This will be a bittersweet process, but knowing that The Kindness Bus will continue to make a difference in people’s lives brings me great joy.
I hope all of you will be a part of this solution. I am needing any and all connections, recommendations and donations in acquiring a new bus. This very important mission will continue no matter what, I am asking that you help in any way you possibly can.
Kindness always…all ways,
Bob and Bogart too!!

Sonoma, California

Saturday, April 20th, 2013
4-20-13Sonoma Valley is beautiful wine country. Riding here is breathtaking to say the very least. Meeting and talking with so many locals and tourists is such a gift. Sometimes I don’t even have to talk with people and the message has an impact. A local mom, Teresa and her daughter walked by The Kindness Bus while I was out riding. I heard from her after the fact, that both of them seeing the Bullying/Adolescent Suicide sign on the windshield created dialogue about issues she wanted to discuss with her daughter for quite some time. It helped the two of them reconnect.

The 3rd annual One Million Acts Of Kindness Day is one week from today. See how many acts of kindness you can do in a day. Started 3 years ago in Whitney Point, New York, the date for this annual event is always April 27th.

Thank you to Reverend Nancy Taylor and Denise Wilbanks of The First Congregational Church of Sonoma for extending such gracious hospitality during my stay in this beautiful town.

First Responders

Friday, April 19th, 2013

4-19-13One year ago, I was riding The Kindness Bicycle 4,400 miles from Santa Monica to New York City to honor first responders. These men and women do so much that we take for granted. I honored them for protecting us from harm. It was a ride of gratitude and to raise awareness about them being positive influences in our lives. I wanted kids to realize the role models these Heroes can be to them.
***Warning***Graphic text below***
The end result of suicide is always hard to witness. Having to view and then take the limp, or stiff body of a person down from rope they are hanging from, while a loved one is standing by is part of the job of our safety forces. It is a memory that never goes away. Having to see the end result of a shotgun blast to one’s head with the cold gaze of the open eyes on the face of the body is something none of us should ever have to witness…even if it is part of the job of the safety forces.
If you are considering suicide, think of the lifetime of the tragic memory you will create for the first responder. It is not something you should ever put them through.
Know how important you are to so many people. Hang on to your life with all of your might. Life will get better. Know that you are not alone.

Sausalito to San Rafael

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

4-18-13Just a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Sausalito. It is a peaceful town on the bay with incredible views and incredible people. I rode this beautiful, narrow strip of land to the delight of so many people. Conversations were many, as The Kindness Bus was parked for all to see as I made myself as visible as I pedaled around.
One great connection was Michael MacNeill, a local resident, who caught sight and pulled over. “I knew this had to be something good, the moment I saw it,” he said. Michael is involved in giving back in very big ways. On the board of The Respect Institute, he helps today’s youth learn self respect and self esteem, thereby helping to create a culture of kind, caring individuals who can give back these character building traits to this world. He is a leader with Futures Without Violence, which works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world. These two organizations are teaching the same tenets One Million Acts Of Kindness embraces.
Thank you for all the work you do Michael, and thank you for stopping and realizing, The Kindness Bus “must be something good.” What an inspiring conversation.
Thank you to Reverend Dan Christian of St. Luke Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, for letting me park overnight in his lot. What a view!

Ten Days Away

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

4-17-13The 3rd annual One Million Acts Of Kindness Day is April 27th. Two years ago, Mayor David Downs declared that date, One Million Acts Of Kindness Day in Whitney Point, New York. I am honored and grateful for the great work being done in this community. This great idea will spread to other communities across the country next year.
School Administrator, Kim Downs wrote: This year service organizations, churches, the schools, the Mayor and village board members and of course, Whitney Point Preschool children and families will be performing acts of kindness throughout the day and across the village.  We are even having flash mobs of kindness at designated times throughout the day.  Several of our groups will be raising funds to continue your mission as their act of kindness. We have never forgotten you, Bogart or the good you are doing in the world.