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VOL. 126 | NO. 31 | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kindness Revolution Hosts Memphis Celebration

By Aisling Maki

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Feb. 14-20 is Random Acts of Kindness Week, and local do-gooders will be honored for their compassionate ways during the Memphis Celebration of Kindness, set to take place Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00 at Le Pavillon, 1052 Brookfield Road.

The event is hosted by The Kindness Revolution, a Memphis-based nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of kindness and values-driven leadership in customer service, schools and communities.

Its long list of member businesses includes Chick-fil-A, The Great American Home Store, Memphis Goodwill Industries and ServiceMaster by Cornerstone.

The organization’s yellow smiley face logo is familiar to many Memphians, who’ve seen it advertised on the scoreboard at Grizzlies games and other local events

Based on the book of the same name by founder Ed Horrell, The Kindness Revolution hosts Celebrations of Kindness about six times a year to honor often-unsung individuals and organizations for their demonstrations of goodwill.

“This is the continuing process of raising the awareness of values such as kindness, and we’d like to do this through recognition of organizations and individuals who display exemplary leadership and character coupled with attributes of kindness and dignity,” Horrell said.

WREG news anchor Richard Ransom is a past recipient of the Spirit of Kindness Award for his “Pass It On” segment, in which he hands $300 to a chosen “playmaker,” who’s then given one hour to surprise a deserving individual with the cash as a gesture of goodwill.

One segment featured a financially struggling cancer patient. Several members of The Kindness Revolution donated additional money, enabling the woman to receive her next chemotherapy treatment.

“The whole purpose of The Kindness Revolution is exactly what we hope to highlight in ‘Pass It On,’ and that is that it doesn’t matter how big or small the act of kindness is, but that it is happening all over the place,” said Ransom. “It may not make the news every night, but it is nice to take some time to highlight regular folks who care to do something nice for somebody else. The Kindness Revolution is another example of trying to highlight the good that’s out there.”

The purpose of Thursday evening’s event is threefold: to honor deserving recipients who reflect the values of kindness and dignity with Spirit of Kindness Awards, to introduce potential new members to the initiatives and benefits of The Kindness Revolution, and to network with individuals who share these values.

“This event brings together like-minded individuals and companies who are committed to these values, so there’s a good deal of networking involved,” Horrell said. “Consumers and companies like to do business with companies who practice kindness. It’s a feel-good event because you can’t help but sense the flow of the serotonin that’s in the room when these individuals and organizations are recognized. One of the comments we get a lot is that we ought to have more Kleenex at the event.”

The Kindness Revolution also publishes a magazine called Spirit of Kindness, which tells stories of kindness in the Mid-South community and reaches school children through an initiative called “It’s Cool to be Kind,” which emphasizes to students the ways in which respectful behavior can lead to opportunities.

The organization is currently in the process of replicating its model in cities that include Nashville, Chattanooga, Jackson, Tenn., and Atlanta.

To purchase tickets at $10 each to the Memphis Celebration or to nominate someone for future award recognition, visit www.thekindnessrevolution.net.

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