Local group Random Acts of Kindness
is celebrating its one-year anniversary by repeating a citywide clothing drive
and hosting two fundraisers.
will take place Jan. 22, while RAOK the Casbah
will take place Jan. 30. Both will be hosted at Leapin Lizard Lounge
Random Acts of Kindness started when Liz Wu saw a photo of scarves wrapped around trees circulating on the Internet after last year’s big snowstorm left the region hovering in single-digit temperatures. The scarves were not lost but a random act of kindness for strangers to take if they were cold.
Wu didn’t act on it right away, but the second time she saw the same photo she was inspired and wanted to pay it forward in the Greater Cincinnati area. She created a Facebook event for a citywide clothing drive, hoping a few friends would help her gather gloves, scarves, hats and other warm items.
Little by little, more than 100 people began showing their interest in the event, and within a span of 10 days more than 2,000 items were bagged and distributed throughout 35 Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods.
Since then, the group has continued to pay it forward through monthly community outreach projects, #Kindflash
“One of the important integral assets to any of our monthly events is the interactive part,” Wu says. “We don’t just take donations and leave them. Our intention is to create a quality moment where people feel there is a one-on-one connection being made.”
And for a lot of volunteers, the relationships go beyond the visits. Many of them stay connected and have created lasting friendships with people they’ve met. For example, a volunteer is pen pals with a Brighton Center member.
Wu hopes the Random Act of Kindness model will be replicated by others in their own lives and will help feed groups or initiatives who are interested in paying it forward.
the Random Act of Kindness clothing drive.
• Attend Rivertown Stomp
, 6 p.m.-12 m. Jan. 22 at Leapin Lizard Lounge, 726 Main St., Covington.
• Attend RAOK the Casbah
5 p.m.-12 m. Jan. 30 at Leapin Lizard.