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Cool to Be Kind
Cover of Cool to Be Kind
Cool to Be Kind
Random Acts and How to Commit Them
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In August of 2002, four twenty-something friends in Canada packed a motor home and embarked upon a three-month nonprofit marathon known coast to coast as The Extreme Kindness Tour. Their mission: to...
In August of 2002, four twenty-something friends in Canada packed a motor home and embarked upon a three-month nonprofit marathon known coast to coast as The Extreme Kindness Tour. Their mission: to...
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Description-

  • In August of 2002, four twenty-something friends in Canada packed a motor home and embarked upon a three-month nonprofit marathon known coast to coast as The Extreme Kindness Tour. Their mission: to commit as many random acts of kindness in as many communities as possible. This record documents their heartwarming stories of friendship and kindness and provides readers with ways to start their own kindness movements and get involved in their own communities. From mile zero to St. John's, The Extreme Kindness Tour staffed soup kitchens, broke horses, roofed houses, delivered flowers, sang songs, visited hospitals, raised funds, and staged rallies determined to make someone's day and encourage them to "pay it forward," connecting the world through kindness. The crew originally documented their transCanadian adventures on www.extremekindness.com, which offers testimonials, resources, and inspiration for those ready to hit the road with kind acts of their own.

Excerpts-

  • Cool to be Kind

    BRITISH COLUMBIA

    VICTORIA - VAL
    Despite crossed fingers there will be no tickertape parade, no evening news sendoff as the Extreme Kindness Crew leaves Victoria for the ferry and beyond. We had hoped for a crowd of friends and family, raucous cheering, confetti at the curb, hugging marathons, maybe even a few tears, but there’s no time for that. There are exactly one million things to do.

    In my parents’ home, a makeshift mission-control, there are extra phones jacked into the walls, laptops as hot as grilled cheese sandwiches, and three months worth of gear stashed in every available corner. It’s a wonder no one has wrapped police crime scene tape around the perimeter. It’s a House & Home design disaster. My parents, Michael and Grania, have been relegated to the bedroom, but they thankfully come out to cook the odd meal for their soon-to-be-A.W.O.L. son and his best friends. The real issue is, who will mow the lawn while I’m gone?

    Chris’ parents have made the trip down from Powell River to say goodbye. Erik’s family said their weepy farewells a few days earlier and Brad’s sister Devon had also said her goodbyes. We sit in the garden sipping iced tea and taking a minute to forecast what the next 100 days will look like. There’s an affectionate mix of bewilderment and admiration on my parents’ faces. Will their son really be on the evening news massaging the backs of strangers?

    “What about my massage?” Mom jokes.

    Every few minutes I glance nervously at my watch. Mike Baker, one of our sponsors, should be here any minute with the motorhome. He’s incredibly late. But after another pitcher of iced tea we hear the blare of an annoying horn. Mike reaches the bottom of the driveway but has second thoughts — the motorhome is too long and can’t make the turn — so he parks it in the middle of my street and hops out. Larger-than-life images of ourselves stare back at us thanks to Mike’s talented graphics department. Our home-sweet-home on wheels has arrived.

    The next few hours are a blur. Chris’ parents embrace us all and wish us the best. Erik and I begin to pack the motorhome as Chris runs out for a badly needed haircut and Brad composes a speech for the first press conference in Vancouver. Erik and I cram hockey sticks and pads, a Coleman stove, hundreds of granola bars, skateboards, cameras, yoga mats, and clothes into every nook and cranny. By midnight my parents’ house looks normal again and the motorhome looks like it will bottom out the moment it moves.

    That night none of us sleep, our heads are filled with soaring aerial views of the Rockies, fields of wheat, the Great Lakes, the soft sandy beaches of New Brunswick.

    The next day I hug my parents goodbye like I’ll only be gone for the day and tell them I’ll see them soon. Dad holds on, laughing, feeling my desire to get going. We catch the first ferry to Vancouver. The day is flawlessly sunny — a banner day, a red cheek day.

    VANCOUVER - VAL
    The alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m. but Chris and I aren’t sleeping. I have been grinding my teeth since midnight. My speech for the press conference has been looping itself in my head all night and we are due at the CBC in 15 minutes for a national interview. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. It is day one and already we are stressed. We are on the brink of three months of non-stop kindness across a sprawling country.

About the Author-

  • Val Litwin, Chris Bratseth, Brad Stokes, and Erik Hanson speak at conferences, schools, and clubs about the Kindness revolution. They all live in Victoria, British Columbia.

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    ECW Press
  • PDF eBook
    Release date:

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Cool to Be Kind
Cool to Be Kind
Random Acts and How to Commit Them
Val Litwin
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Random Acts and How to Commit Them
Val Litwin
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