Kindness Inspires Kindness: Grad Student Anita DeCianni Brown Spearheads Day of Giving Throughout Capital Region
By Sandra Barkevich, student, Center for Distance Learning, 2012-2014 student representative, Student Affairs Committee, and editor, The Student Connection
April 8, 2013
Throughout our lifetime, if we’re lucky, we come across certain people whose actions touch the lives of others in a profound way. They don’t do it for recognition or for personal gain, instead taking simple pleasure from knowing they’ve helped bring a smile to someone’s day. School for Graduate Studies student Anita DeCianni Brown (at right) is one such person.
After coming across a link on the Random Acts of Kindness Facebook Foundation page to a blog post at Making Life Whimsical, about a day spent performing 40 random acts of kindness to commemorate the poster’s 40th birthday, DeCianni Brown became inspired to organize similar days of kindness in and around her hometown. Within two months, she organized a giving crew made up of friends and family, solicited donations from local businesses and residents throughout the Capital Region and created an itinerary of giving that spanned three days. Plans for several other Kindness Inspires Kindness events throughout the year have already begun.
DeCianni Brown details the first Kindness Inspires Kindness in the Capital Region event at her blog, A Time To Help. “Our morning started at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast to get the much-needed energy for our day’s events. I purchased five $10 gift certificates to Bob’s to be handed out…At first when the certificates were given, the looks on the people’s faces were a little skeptical. But the skepticism turned into big, appreciative smiles (as well as a few thumbs-up after the fact),” DeCianni Brown wrote.
Having had the honor of being on the Giving Crew, I can attest to the powerful emotions generated by the reactions of those on the receiving end of these random acts of kindness. Most notably for many on the giving crew was the stop at the Albany Stratton Veterans Affairs Hospital. DeCianni Brown blogged, “One of the nurses mentioned we needed to go to see Tiny, who was still in his room. From the appearance, Tiny was a WWII veteran, a gentle giant from the greatest generation. He literally lit up when all 12 of us walked in. ‘What are you girls doing here?’ he asked. We told him that we just wanted to stop down to see him, say hello and thank him for his service—there were hugs, there were some tears—including some from Tiny. We were brought to 9C for a reason.”
Other stops included the Island Wash Laundromat to drop off small gift bags of detergent pods, the Unity House/Bethany House in Troy to deliver care packages for the men, women and children staying there, as well as the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and bingo with the residents at the Marjorie Doyle Alzheimer’s Center in Cohoes.
DeCianni Brown is already planning the next Kindness Inspires Kindness in the Capital Region event, which will take place sometime in October or November. For more information or to get involved, email Anita DeCianni Brown at email@example.com.