Michigan Man’s Effort To Spread Kindness Goes Global
Tom Leeper simply wanted to make his community a nicer place. It turns out the world was paying attention.
Tom thought the last two years have been tough on everyone, so was there a way to get people to think outside themselves, and to help others, just one act for every day of 2022.
The answer was a resounding "YES!"
Leeper, along with his friend Travis Furlow, set up up a Facebook group called "365 Days of RAOK". RAOK being an acronym for Random Acts Of Kindness, and a catch all phrase for people participating in the loving kindness, pronouncing it "Ray-OAK".
His goal was merely to have one neighbor pitch in and commit a random act of kindness toward someone else for each day of the year. Thus 365 Days of Kindness.
But the idea went well beyond Leeper's Michigan town.
"From the moment he launched it, it instantly has done a massive uptick of feel good on a daily basis," Furlow told WXYZ-TV.
It sure has. So far in just a little over a month, 748 volunteers across 50 states and 14 countries have been assigned a date in 2022 to perform a random act of kindness. "The last couple of years have been tough on people, COVID, politics, all that stuff. I think people were kind of excited to sign up for something where it's like, 'oh, okay, yeah, I would love to do this,'" says Leeper. "They're coming together for accountability in some capacity, but also for a sense of belonging." Leeper says the group still has plenty of opportunities for new members to take part. Anyone wanting to participate should head to the group’s Facebook page.
Here's just one example of the acts being carried because of Tom and Travis:
A friend of a friend fought to get her grandson out of foster care. He’s suffered quite a bit of trauma. This woman stepped up and fought for him. The boy is six years old and loves maps. Because grandma can only work limited hours to take care of him, she didn’t have a lot of money for holiday gifts, I sent some globes, an atlas and some of my own kids’ favorite storybooks to this brave kid I don’t even know. RAOK on!
Leeper said the whole thing comes from his belief that most people are good, "There's a belief that people are inherently good and they want to do nice things, and they want to make the world a better place...this group is part of that."
Adds Furlow, "It doesn't take much to throw good energy out into the world."