‘Kindness Cards’ are not a solicitation, just a suggestion
When Battle Creek man Patrick Hirzel contemplated a CBS News story he saw about an inventive way to motivate people to be nicer to each other, he vowed to take up the mantle in Battle Creek. “Enabling people to participate in ‘a chain of kindness’ seemed like such a simple, wholesome thing to do,” he said of the national news story on the Lansing effort. “It requires very little effort and not much money. Several communities leaders thought so, too.”
That’s why Battle Creek will soon be blanketed with 10,000 green Kindness Cards that the bearer can use in an act of kindness, then pass along to another person. They’re already popping up all over town - in barber shops; fast food restaurants; businesses, medical, dental, and law offices.
Recipients of the cards are encouraged to "Do something nice for someone for no reason other than to give them the gift of kindness and to give them the Kindness Card so they can do something kind for someone else and keep a ‘Chain of Kindness’ going. Recipients can find 114 suggested ways to be kind and share their kindness experiences at www.BattleCreekKindness.com.
Examples of suggested ways of kindness include:
- "Teach children to do random acts of kindness."
- "Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through.
- "Pay off someone’s lay away balance at a department store."
- "Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby."
Other communities in Michigan have similar Random Acts of Kindness programs. In Holland, for instances, nearly 20,000 cards have been distributed. One church passed out over 1,000 cards to members of its congregation. “We did it because we can,” said Hirzel, who enlisted his friends to help launch the selfless effort. “It is the right thing to do. What is better than being kind?”
Volunteers are needed to contact numerous groups to encourage them to distribute Kindness Cards to their employees, customers, clients, members, congregation, and students, explained Hirzel. Volunteers are needed to contact, schools, churches, businesses, scouts, non-profits, banks, credit unions, restaurants, governmental units, and the media.
Kindness Cards can be picked-up at during normal business hours at Golden Avenue Law Offices located at 835 Golden Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49014.To volunteer or for more information visit www.BattleCreekKindness.com or call Patrick Hirzel at 269-963-8484.
“Who knows where this will lead?” he said. “Perhaps some day when people hear about Battle Creek, the first thing they will say will be ‘I‘ve heard of Battle Creek, that’s the place where people do kind things for each other.' Wouldn’t it be nice, if our community was like that?" “The Chinese proverb ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ is true,” he continued. “Kindness Cards could be the first step in Battle Creek’s journey to becoming a kinder, gentler place.”
~ Shelly Sulser, Battle Creek Shopper News Editor, 05/16/2013