'26 Random Acts of Kindness' making the Capital Region a better place

Posted at: 01/18/2013 4:07 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 5:20 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

CAPITAL REGION--There was a report of one at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Scotia.  Another on Chestnut Street in downtown Albany.  And numerous Dunkin Donut drive-throughs have been hit.

Random acts.  Not of violence but of kindness.

"It's goodness, lifting, heartwarming," smiles Felicia Kuhn.

Sixteen bucks.  That was Kuhn's recent total at an area McDonald's.  But when the mother of twins tried to pay for her daughters' lunch, she was told the person in front of her had already taken care of it.  And that it was one of 26 Random Acts of Kindness.

"It's the act.  It's awesome to know there are people out there who have kindness in their hearts," adds Kuhn.

The idea grew from the school massacre in Newtown.  Twenty-six acts, one for each person killed at Sandy Hook, quickly went viral.  Story after story of simply caring for another human being but more importantly, the movement is restoring faith in humanity for everyone affected.

"Even though there is something so horrible you can make something good out of it, to keep the good in the world," explains Andrew Glanton a sophomore at Tech Valley High School.

For his act, Andrew simply thanked his bus driver.  A classmate at Tech Valley High School is volunteering for 26 hours at a children's hospital.  And a teacher bought 26 trees that will be planted in Haiti.  In all, 62 acts of kindness--all making the world a better place.

"This is a testament to their goodness all the time. This isn't anything out of the ordinary," says Leah Penniman, a biology teacher at Tech Valley High who organized the school's contribution to a kinder world.

And in Saratoga County, if a stranger handed you a Christmas card with a lottery ticket inside or you found one on your windshield, chances are Kate Connelly was responsible. 

All of her (now more than 30) acts have been little.  But the results have been big.

"It was touching to see the response from strangers. They'd look at me and I'd walk away knowing I did something to put a little sunshine in their day," laughs Gonnelly.

Everyone we spoke to for this story has just one thing to ask if you've been on the receiving of a Random Act.  Pay it forward.


The inspiration for this story came from my, Abigail Bleck's, windshield.  Earlier this week I found an envelope with a NYS Lottery scratch off inside (not a winner!).  If you have an idea that will help me to pay it forward let me know by leaving a suggestion on the NewsChannel 13 Facebook page.  I'll actually be doing 28, because that's the total number of people killed in Newtown.