The Magic Wand Project is a social kindness experiment inviting people to discover what they love and care about in their city and community…AND consider where they might share their magic to make the place we live better.

Do you love bikes and want to see a whole mess of biking folks in your community or have bike lanes everywhere?

Do you love to dance and want to see dancing used to bring people together or as a way to let completely go?

Do you love to learn and want to see learning happening in new and creative ways in your city?

Do you love nature and want to see it worshipped and cared for in all the best ways?

Do you love street art and want every city wall downtown to be a giant mural of some rad artist’s view of the world?

Whatever it is, you have the magic to do or be part of something bigger than yourself.  

The Story:

So I went through this whole phase about thinking about how things change. I wrote about it here if you are up for a story!  Change kinda makes me nervous in some ways, especially when the need is big or feels beyond my reach. I start running around in my head trying to figure out what I should do, where I fit, wonder if I fit, worried we have to start NOW…and then I just want to take a nap. And I start to feel sort of small, which is a tricky place to be because it usually means you have lost your power, knowledge or hope along the way too.

But over time, and not nearly enough naps, but lots of soul searching and head shrinking/expanding, I realized almost everything good starts somewhere with someone believing it may be possible…and believing in the people around them, seeing and claiming something no one else has yet.

The magic is in the person who can start, in some small way, to claim and step into a city or life they want for themselves and the people they love. Magic is created in even just starting to imagine what can be. I know now it all matters, each step we take, no matter how small.

It seems the best way to make that first step to create something beautiful is to play and start in the place of something you love. This kind of change and living is the kind that grows from the bottom up, it rises in the raddest ways, out of joy.

So I found some old magic wands while cleaning one day, I know,  this is my life. I had ordered them for a project and had forgotten all about them. I wondered if they might be the perfect thing to leave in interesting places to find out what other people loved about the city and their thoughts on change. I attached a note explaining the project to 100 wands and sent them off with dear friends and fellow kindness workers to litter the city with those bad boys of goodness….and waited to see if anyone is interested or has any magic to share.

I am hoping you might be here because YOU found a MAGIC wand of change somewhere in the city…please tell me in the comments below, I am dying to know…

If you could be part of one thing to create GOOD in RVA (or your city),
WHAT WOULD IT BE?

For me, I want to be part of art and kindness changing the place I love and connecting people. I want to make stuff and do lots of guerrilla kindness that let strangers and my community know there is joy and love in the world and that they are cared for and not alone…and invite them to pass it on if they feel called.

So now maybe your head and heart are filling with ideas, or you have no idea and need to think more about it or maybe you need to go take a nap, but either way, it all counts and thanks for being part of this project. Thanks for thinking about what you love and the city you live in. It’s all MAGIC.

peace,
patience

p.s. even if you didn’t find a wand, we would love to hear your answer…and if you know of a program or some way to connect a love mentioned in the comments with a point of action, please speak up! Also, if you want to start a magic wand project in your city, here is a download of the  tag to attach to your magic wands!

p.s.s. you may also want to check out The Magic Wand Project for kids!

45 Responses to “The Magic Wand Project”


  1. LOVE IT! I was wondering if it would be okay to change the text but leave your design, so that maybe I could set something up for my city (Lynchburg).

    I am currently taking a social psychology course, and I can really see how these efforts you make translate into changed attitudes and joyful moments for many people. Small shifts can make us see things in a whole new light. You are wonderful!


  2. [...] You can read more about it here. [...]


  3. Hello!! Just found a wand :) a friend and I were walking by the canal walk downtown Richmond and a wand was just sitting on a rock waiting for us. This is seriously the coolest thing and we are still laughing and smiling!! We carefully chose an awesome new location for it at Main Street station. If I could be part of one thing to create good in RVA it would be community gardens. People could plant, tend, and harvest and work together. :) I cannot say enough how cool and positive this idea is!!

    • Windy Says:

      I went past the Main Street station a few hours later and it was gone! Maybe it’s found its way to another town!?
      We were SUPER stoked to find the wand on the canal! What an amazing and inspirational project. Thank you for sharing a bit of guerrilla goodness with us today :)

      If I could be part of one thing to create good in RVA it would be to help create more (semi)permanent pieces of art around the city. The G40 murals have been amazing to experience, and I’d love to see more bursts of creativity in public spaces around the city. More murals, interactive art pieces, etc. :)

  4. chris Says:

    found a wand on cary st today. Was disappointed when it was pretend. Rva would be a better place with real magic wands :)

  5. Myles Shifflett Says:

    Hi there. Found a wand. One thing I could do is put together a fun themed benefit rock show. Interested? You can choose the theme and charity if so. I play in a band (more like a theatrical art project) called Six Track Amateur, or 6TA as people are starting to call it. I organized a cancer benefit costume party in January that raised 1000, and had so much fun i’d be willing to organize another benefit. I make videos and you can check them out on YouTube if interested. Just search the band name. Contact me if you wanna do some good together. This wand idea is clever and… magical. -mylo

    • thecheckoutgirl Says:

      Mylo – I play ukulele and sing (both poorly) in front of people, from time to time. I’d be willing to do so in this hypothetical show. Or on a street corner. Either one would be fun with you, I suspect. Let’s put on a Magic Wand concert!


  6. [...] can read more about the project here. I would love to [...]

  7. jen Says:

    Jen in blk mtn. Found a wand in front of my deli on cherry st. Theres not enough kindness in the world. I try to teach my children to be kind to others everyday. Hopefully creating a next generation of caring, giving adults. Create “good” I would love to more volunteering in our schools. there are sooo many kids who need a hand and someone who just cares.

  8. Chris Martin Says:

    Dear Patience,

    I found the magic wand when I returned to my seat in the Carytown Starbucks early yesterday morning.

  9. Chris Martin Says:

    I will try and leave my magic wand at Fountain Books in Shockoe Slip, Richmond, VA this afternoon. Thanks for your efforts to enliven stodgy old Richmond. Sonya Lyubomirsky stresses the importance of kindness in her book, “The How of Happiness, a new approach to getting the life you want.”

  10. Chris Martin Says:

    As a part of my effort to create GOOD in RVA, I am working to make Richmond, Virginia a world-class city that surpasses New York, Moscow, Paris, Rome, London, etc., etc.


  11. I was surprised and delighted to find the wand outside Black Swan Books on Main St. yesterday. I read about the project and think this is a fantastic idea. I plan to release my wand tomorrow in Carytown.

    I’ve given a lot of thought to how make RVA a really great place, and I think I would ask everyone to get acquainted with their two closest neighbors, and if they already know the two closest, pick the two next closest. We all live such insular, busy lives: we know our social circle (and our kids!), we have our church and work colleagues, but because of the way we live today, we often don’t know the people who live around us! It shouldn’t take another hurricane or natural disaster to get to know our neighbors – and you just might find in that acquaintance someone who really needs you, or someone you really are very glad to know yourself!

    Thanks for doing this! I have given a lot of thought to your question AND smiled a lot the whole time! I am going to encourage my circle of Facebook friends to consider launching their own similar projects where they live – AND GET TO KNOW THEIR NEIGHBORS, TOO! :)


  12. [...] is my favorite except on her blog, kindness girl, about why she started The Magic Wand Project: For me, I want to be part of art and kindness changing the place I love and connecting people. I [...]


  13. [...] girl has started the amazing Magic Wand Project.  200 wands have been hidden all over Richmond!  100 in places that children will find them & [...]

  14. Mattie H Says:

    Found a wand at Ellwood Thompson’s! If I could be a part of something good in Richmond, I would love to participate in a monthly Critical Mass to promote cycling in Richmond!

  15. Lin Says:

    Found a wand in front of Police Headquarters, great place. I think for both Richmond and Henrico to relax the distance requirements for owning backyard chickens would create so much good on all levels.
    Now to choose a good place for my wand, maybe spread the joy to the County?

  16. rogueretlaw Says:

    I do a lot with my church’s youth group as an adviser and I would love to see more done about marriage and racial equality. Our church does a fair amount in these areas, so I will just keep doing.

    I love your pro-active, “Be the change” mentality! Please keep it up! Now I need to find a good place for this wand…

  17. Kate Says:

    Found one outside of Once Upon A Vine on Macarthur…..Just before I found it I was thinking, man I WISH there was a fine art/foriegn film movie house on this block…..wand it going to be heading toward Willow Lawn Shopping Center tomorrow…

  18. Katrina P Says:

    Found a wand at the Metro Richmond Zoo today. It made me think about how animals are treated in and out of captivity. They need to be treated with respect they deserve. Better zoos and facilities when water creatures dont have water things need to change. I’ll be taking my Wand home to Colorado with me. Its making its way across the USA

  19. Dee Sharp Says:

    Magically a wand found its way to my work desk in Black Mtn, NC. I have no idea how it got there. The one thing I’d be a part of to create good would be a meditation group. Being in the moment is good for the world. Love this wand project idea.

  20. Iderah Says:

    Hello… I found my wand in Bellvue on a table outside The Mill.. Was so excited to see it and cant wait to “leave” it somewhere.. What would I do to create more good in RVA?? Im already doing it… I teach childrens yoga and am helping them to learn to live stress less.. Sharing with them the importance of being kind to themselves, there family, strangers, animals and the earth… Also.. smileing at all people all the time. You never know when it will change someones day.

  21. Matt Says:

    Hey. Im down in Asheville, NC. Ive been to Target maybe twice in my life. Im not a big box store person…Im more of an anti-capitalist earthy type…I dont have dreadlocks but I might as well when you stand me next to the average Target customer. So the one time I go, with my 15 month old god daughter, we find this wand outside. She liked playing with it, so that’s a score right there.

    What I could do, and will do, to create GOOD in my city is help put together a Contact Jam weekend. Which I will do. Keep your eyes and ears out for a contact improv weekend sometimes in July in Asheville. (if you’re not sure what Contact improv is, google it.) :)

    I’ll let you know when it moves into its next stage.

    M.

  22. Valerie Says:

    Sydney, age 7, found a wand at Black Mountain Yoga in Black Mountain, NC today (not sure if this is where we post?). She said if there was one thing she could do to create GOOD in our city is to help stop bullying. “If I saw someone bullying I would try to stop them and if I couldn’t do it myself, I would get a teacher or grown up to help. And I would put up stop bullying signs”

  23. john Says:

    Someone placed a wand on our car tonight while we were eating out in Clayton, NC. This is a great idea and really gets you thinking about how to make your community a better place. Looking forward to leaving it for someone else to find, and maybe even hanging around to watch them find it.

  24. Jean Washburn Says:

    I found my wand near Once Upon A Vine on MacArthur Ave. in Richmond’s northside. I wasn’t very original so I left it in the same place for the next person to find. If I could do it, I’d like to have Henrico and Chesterfield counties work together with Richmond for the betterment of all citizens in these areas.

  25. SpreadTheLove (of Good Food) Says:

    If I could be part of one thing GOOD in RVA- it would be to expand the community gardens and organic, healthy food to LOW-INCOME communities. I love seeing the gardens everywhere- but they are all in the up & coming neighborhoods or in areas where people can afford to pay high prices.. I think the Tricycle Gardens (Southside) is doing a fantastic job being visible and available where they are on Bainbridge St. I just want my neighbors can have as much access to good food as myself.

  26. Jennifro Says:

    Hello!
    I found the wand at the Vitacourse near Byrd Park. I already do things to create good when I can… volunteering at Fan Free Clinic, offering reiki to people who need it, as well as lots of lady-beautifying (it’s my job and my passion!)

    The “magic” aspect of this appeals to me greatly as doing reiki feels a little like magic. So in that spirit, the new good thing I’m doing is beginning a reiki circle for other practitioners in the area so we can inspire and learn from each other, making us better agents for positive change in Richmond and beyond …one healing at a time!

    I love your project! What a wonderful thing to randomly find a wand! I’ll take mine back out into the community later today! Thank you for this!

  27. Ally Says:

    my dad found a wand at where he works and brought it home to me. I want to do more community service for sure, so this was a great extra little inspirational boost. If I could, I would do more to make the city more efficient for the environment and reach out to people my age who don’t think they have a future

  28. S. C. Brown Says:

    I was given the Magic Wand today and wanted to respond.

    To have a fun filled day for young children to be exposed to books whether new or used and receive a free one of their choice while listening to many different storytellers. It always breaks my heart when I see children struggling to read. I believe being exposed to reading not just for school but, pleasure too is a wonderful gift from God. I’m passing the Magic Wand forward!

  29. Neal O'Donnell Says:

    I found my magic wand by the. 5 mile marker in the Rocky River Reservation, Cleveland Metrparks at 8:30 am on July 1, 2012. I decided that whenever I take my walk in the park I vow to remove a piece of litter from the curtilege of the trail. I then took the magic wand and drove to Lakewood, Ohio City Hall and placed it at the front door. I hope a politician finds it and does something good for the city
    Keep up the good work and good luck with your project. Neal O’Donnell

  30. emma Says:

    I found a wand on the windshield of our car yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wghere should i put it?????????????/

  31. Kipley Herr Says:

    I found my wand a few months ago in my church, and forgot to do anything until now. A small thing I would like to do is remember to take a bag with me to pick up litter when I walk or hike. Now to put my wand someplace…

  32. William Says:

    Hello! I found a starfish wand just a few minutes ago at Oyster Pond in Chatham, Massachusetts. We came home to write a comment here, and are going into town again in a few minutes to place the wand for someone else to find! This is really neat. To answer your question about what I can do to create good, I can smile at someone.

    Thank you!
    William, age 8

  33. William Says:

    Hello again! A minute or so after I placed the FIRST wand I found a second one! I ran back to check on my first, and it was still there. Wow! Thank you! This was REALLY fun! To answer your question about what I can do for more kindness, this time I can be nice. :-) I placed the second wand this afternoon, also.
    THANK YOU!
    William, age 8

  34. Jack Says:

    Hello,
    Found this wand in the library after the librarian said that there was one in the library. And then I hid it somewhere else outside the library and we sat on a bench watching people walk by it. People kept walking past it and then a child found it, and his mom said to put it back but we ran to tell them that they could put it somewhere else. To answer your question about what I can do for more kindness, I can be funny and make people smile.
    Thank you!
    Jack, age 10 (William’s (above) brother)

  35. Vivian Says:

    I just found a wand in a sandbox where I work! I’m an intern at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham, MA. I was sitting at the front desk and briefly glanced at the exhibit room to my left and saw something pop out from the sand that usually isn’t there. It was colorful! I walked over, someone had built a small sand castle covered in our shells and mounted the wand on top. The wand has a sea star and colorful string falling down sea star. I’m so happy right now! This seriously made my day. I can’t wait to find it a new home. :) Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  36. Mary Says:

    I found a wand in front of my house in The Fan a couple of months ago. I was really excited because I had already read about your project on your blog. Then I saw a group of school children walking back from a field trip from the VMFA and I got excited and thought I should let one of them find it. As they walked by they noticed it but their teacher told them not to touch it. Understandable. I took it as a sign that it was really meant for me at that moment.

    I have a ton of ideas for Richmond. I’m not so great at executing them. One thing that has been on my mind for as long as I can remember is the big elephant in the room. Race relations. I want to create a movement for Redemption. I have always know that my family has been in this area since before the Revolutionary War and that my ancestors probably owned slaves. While researching my ancestry I found a tax record of my great great grandfather’s slaves and seeing it made me feel as if I had just been punched in the stomach. The nameless people listed as property was sickening to see especially connected to my people. The fact that their descendants can’t do what I was doing in my research because they would hit this nameless “wall” made me feel horrible. Also the disgusting act of owning other humans and my concern for how these five people on my ancestor’s tax records were treated just made my head spin. How can we make this right? First we have to understand that this still has a profound affect on African Americans of slave descent and Richmond is full of this history.

    I want to create an organization of descendants of slave holders who want to apologize, make amends, create connections with descendants of slaves, help them research their ancestors, let them know that I worry about how Monument Avenue makes them feel and that I worry about how protestors carrying the Confederate flag in front of the VMFA makes them and their children feel. I want other white people to really think about how this affects African Americans. I want to apologize and actively make amends and I want others to join me. It would be so great to start this in Richmond during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

    Thank you for your kindness and your wonderful project.

    Mary Colfer

  37. Maria Holme Says:

    Patience, Your “kindness energy & projects” stick in my mind long after I have read about them. I have finally decided to make an ever so small one of my own happen here in MA. I’ve titled it Smiles and Stars

    I’m even braving the “nay sayers” and posted it to my blog. (hope you can take a peek) http://morethanmomthoughts.blogspot.com/

    Fingers crossed this comment finds you, so you can be reminded of how many people benefit because of you!!!

    Thank you for being the voice in my head that says “go for it!”

    Cheers!
    Maria Holme


  38. [...] got brave and together we hid 200 magic wands all over the city for The Magic Wand Project and The Magic Wand Project for [...]


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  40. […] Salgado is resourceful and innovative. The discovery of plastic, toy wands that she found while cleaning one day sparked an idea for her to start a global social kindness experiment called the Magic Wand Project. […]

  41. Ebony Says:

    I was sitting at my desk with my back turned and in came “The Magic Wand.” I would like to see more programs for pre-teens and teens. I find alot of teens get caught doing negative things because their is nothing for them to do. I think we should sponsor after school programs, teen nights, dances, dinners, and community service projects for teens to get involved in. Not only will this help the community but it will motivate teens and push them in the positive directions. They are definitely our future and without positive and proper guidance how will they know


  42. […] kindnessgirl.com/the-magic-wand-project […]


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