“It is human nature to make everything complex and more complicated than it really needs to be. It’s a simple act of kindness, done in solidarity, which can create the massive change we seek. A simple hello, a door being held open, or paying for someone’s coffee behind you can mean the world to someone. To date we’ve documented over 250,000 acts of kindness. . . and we’ve just begun!” -Brian Williams
What do you think of when you think of kindness? I think of doing things for others without expecting a return. Brian Williams has taken the idea of kindness to the next level, creating change locally and internationally. I will be honest, after I met with this guy it really made me look in the mirror and think to myself- “What the heck am I doing with my life!?” I’m no couch-potato, but I am talking about real change here. Lives are being touched in so many ways through this organization.
Brian is from Reno, NV where he attended Bishop Manogue High School and earned a black belt in martial arts. In 2003, he moved to LA to intern for Blake Mikosky (TOMS anyone?) at Reality Central. From there, Brian took his talent and opened a martial arts school, where he engaged his students with motivational speaking. His charisma with speaking to the youth eventually placed him in elementary schools across southern California delivering awareness in “Stranger Danger,” anti-bullying, and “Speak-to-Create-Change.” In 2008, Brian moved back to Reno and was eager to keep the kindness ball rolling and create more change.
Think Kindness was born in 2009. Brian was brought on to several different campuses in N. Nevada, and pitted schools against each other in the “15 Days of Kindness” challenge. Kids across N. Nevada were committing acts of kindness throughout the community in a “Kindness Takeover.” Check this out:
Brian soon began to pit schools against each other in another eager race to raise shoes for children 6,000 miles away in Kenya, Africa. 8,000 pairs of shoes of shoes were delivered and distributed by Brian and a courageous team of 5. To date, over 220,000 pairs of shoes have been sprinkled throughout Reno, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, and Nigeria. After several successful trips to Africa, Brian began to brew more ideas of how he could provide further assistance to the children of Kenya. On August 8th, Brian and a team of 16 will come together to deliver 1,500 life straws and 500 pairs of shoes. What’s a LifeStraw? It’s a small filter that will offer clean water to someone for 1 year…Real change…are you getting my point?
I am only mentioning a few of the major campaigns Think Kindness has launched since 2009, as there have been many more; victims from the Reno Air Races and the Japanese Tsunami have been supported by Think Kindness in the past several years. Think Kindness also sponsors Family Assistance and Educational Assistance for children in Africa.
A little bit closer tohome…. If you are in the Reno/Tahoe/Sparks area, keep your eyes peeled for Kindness Cards. Random acts of kindness will be recorded through these Kindness cards. Think of the “pay it forward” concept, combined with the “Where’s George” bill tracker. Perhaps your next cup of coffee will be paid for by a total stranger; along with your coffee you will receive your Kindness Card- follow the instructions to see where it came from, and pay the act of kindness forward. Why didn’t I think of that? Soon, Kindness Cards will be sprinkled all across N. Nevada with trackable, random acts of kindness that are being performed by total and complete strangers. How are you creating change? Donate here. Follow the change here.