Remember being told when you were young not to talk to strangers?
Two young adults in love started Kindness Captured: A Day Of Bravery And Kindness to challenge just that.
Greg Grano and Sarah Sellman organized the first Kindness Captured day in 2012 to simultaneously take place in Syracuse, New York City, Richmond, Seattle, and Denver for 10 hours. Each hour, a team of 3-5 people would get together, receive a kindness mission, a city location, and then go out and do kind deeds for strangers using a single kindness kit.
The good deeds ranged from handing out bottles of water, popsicles, and flowers, to paying for people’s coffee, to mailing postcards to random addresses in the phonebook, to leaving lottery tickets under windshield wipers.
“Before we did this event, we had spent the summer approaching strangers and asking them if we could stay at their homes for our film American Bear, so this event was really easy and exciting for us,” Sarah told the Good News Network, “but we knew that it would be psychologically challenging for people who have gotten used to the current societal expectation of limited interactions with strangers.”
American Bear: An Adventure In The Kindness Of Strangers is a documentary featuring the fearless duo setting out from Syracuse, NY to visit 30 states in 60 days, and asking strangers if they can sleep in their houses for the night. The film is filled with joyful interactions Sarah and Greg had while on their journey, showing just how willing Americans are to help total strangers.
Inspired by all of the hospitality and kindness they’d received on their journey, they decided to give back to their community with the Kindness Captured events.
“We wanted to challenge our community… and we did,” says Greg. “But I think the reward is always greater than the challenge. It’s a pretty classic risk/reward system. You take a risk by approaching a stranger, but when they respond positively, the reward response in your brain is huge! We’ve forgotten, culturally, how good it feels to really connect to someone you don’t know. Do a kindness for another person. It feels amazing.”
If you would like to be notified about Kindness events near you, you can sign up for their newsletter at the bottom of the American Bear website.
Spread the kindness! (below)