when kindness takes over a city…

September 16, 2011

birthday tattoos, one for each wrist

I woke up to 35 yesterday, so many blessing to count. After some just okay years, as far as birthdays go- I could have never imagined the doozy of a day that was waiting for me. There are years when you are sort of surviving your life, happy to at least be still truckin’ and then there are other years when you celebrate livin’ life- really living and knowing you are standing in yourself, right where you are meant to be.

This was a living year.

Around 11:30am I checked in with social media to find this on Richmond.com:

Yesterday we shared the story of Richmonder Patience Salgado and her Guerrilla Goodness missions. Salgado, known on Twitter as @kindnessgirl, is featured in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine for her everyday acts of kindness and today, Thursday, Sept. 15, Richmond is celebrating Salgado’s birthday by doing the good for her.

Salgado’s friend, Kira Siddall stealthily used Twitter to send out a message to all of Salgado’s friends and follower with a simple birthday request:

“Do a small act of kindness. Tweet details to @kindnessgirl. It’s her 35th bday, let’s make RVA kinder to celebrate. SPREAD THE WORD.”

Needless to say, I was floored, speechless. After such a week with so much genuine joy, love and well wishes, now my beloved city, would show their love and kindness in this way- it was overwhelming. So I went to my Twitter account and there they were, tweet after tweet after tweet, all with small acts of kindness. 200 Facebook friends shared Kindness Day on their walls and so it spread...a city taken over by kindness.

Things like:

@MDPartner:  Honoring @kindnessgirl and all births today, we played DingDongDitch at OneMonumentAvenue. Anybody hear our smiles?
@busse: drew my kids pictures to find at the breakfast table tomorrow morning Happy Birthday! #smallactsofkindness

@MolleeRVA : I mailed a tiny pumpkin and a thinking-of-you note to a friend who recently moved. #smallactsofkindness

@jenniferemiller: I bought groceries for my elderly neighbor.

@PaulaBHough: brought chocolate bars to mothers grp + xtra 2 share. Then gave bars to random strangers in your honor.

@Julie_Bondy: sent birthday cards to friends this week instead of the usual FB post. Real mail is more fun!

@johnhaydon: @kindnessgirl Happy Birthday. I’m making a donation to a local animal shelter. #kindbirthdaywish

@horhey: In honor of @kindnessgirl , paid someone’s toll this AM. #smallactsofkindness

@fyeahmotherhood: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I’m tonguekissing everyone I meet today. Kindness for all!

@ksiddall: Happy bday @kindnessgirl! I’m guerrilla Goodnessing w/ Starbucks cards to celebrate! Be kind today RVA 🙂 http://t.co/oeMlHVGU

@heyart: Buying extra McNuggets to share with all of my mates at work today in honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday!

@sheenajeffers: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I donated $50 to wounded soldiers (thank you ALL for inspiring me to be and do better)!

@gregorysheldon: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I gave my favorite barista a $5 tip. cc: @KSiddall

@rvafamilymag: In honor of @kindnessgirl , took my CSA share veggies to daughter’s school for the teachers. #smallactsofkindness

you can read some of the rest here.

I know, I know the potential power of this thing, but to see it move, to watch people gather and find their own way to express it- well, it wakes something up inside you didn’t even think was asleep, and invites you to imagine what can come next. It makes you feel hella proud to be living together, side by side with these people…and makes you want to share and make the circle wider- so wide you can’t even see to the other side but just feel your hand wrapped around the person next to you.

So someone wrote me this week and asked if they could start a Guerrilla Goodness chapter in their town/city- With a resounding “YES!” my e-mail was returned to her through the internets. If this is something you might be interested in, please write me at patience@kidnessgirl.com. I am a total mess right now, not even sure where to start to organize and plan, but I would love to help you (if you feel called) so you can join in this deep joy of living life in a kind city too.

Thank you Wren, Jen, Kira and Chad for the sweetest celebration and to The Empress (new friends Melissa and Carly) for offering your soulful space and amazing  food with us. We can’t wait to come back!

Oh, and I got TATTOOS!!! So ridiculously exciting…and a story for another day! Thank you all for making my birthday one I will never forget.

AND chocolates are coming friends, they sure are!

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8 Responses to “when kindness takes over a city…”

  1. jamiddix Says:

    This makes me happy. Love, love, love. Do you know about Generosity Day and Sasha Dichter?

  2. Jess Says:

    It sounds like the birthday of a lifetime, although I hope it’s just one of many wonderful ones! Somebody who shares themselves as you do will surely have many happy returns.

    Bought chocolate for GGing today! Other kindnesses included bagging groceries alongside my checker (something I frequently do) and taking another woman’s cart to the corral in the parking lot. Doing good feels good. :o)

  3. Lisa Says:

    Had no idea it was your birthday, but I felt the overwhelming need to buy lunch the person behind me at the ChickFilA drive thru today. I must have been tuned in to the RVA kindness vibe through my subconcious! Happy 35! I’ll be welcoming 36 next month, 35 has been great! Enjoy it!


  4. happy birthday,P!!
    in honor of your birthday!
    i did charity for the deaf missions….

    just a random act of kindness…..

    happy happy 35!=)

  5. jag Says:

    So wonderful! Happy Belated Birthday… what a celebration of YOU and your message of Kindness! xox

  6. Karen Says:

    Decided to investigate further while reading “O”…sitting in the hospital while my 12 year old receives chemotherapy. I can attest that what you are doing truly does change lives…every small act of kindness shown to my boy makes a world of difference and we try to pay that forward as often as we can. You are an inspiration and I will be poaching ideas left and right.

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      Thanks for taking the time to write Karen! I bet there are so many kindness ideas that can be done in the hospital!! I will be thinking of you and your family as you navigate the road ahead. If there is anything our community can do to support you or your kindness work, we would be so happy and excited to help!!


  7. Hi Kindness,
    I too am a 1976’r :). I’m loving your message and your mission. The more people we can collectively touch — the more hearts we can globally soften. God Bless ~Amy


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