Kelsey Hertel, a high school senior and founder of her school’s Random Acts of Kindness Club, didn’t expect to be treated suspiciously by the targets of her kindness.
The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon, reports that while Hertel and her group of more than 70 volunteers have successfully acted kindly in some public settings, they encountered resistance in others.
In one instance, the group went into a local neighborhood to rake leaves for free.
One woman told them to “do your random acts of kindness somewhere else,” while another thought they were burglars and called the police.
At a local mall, security guards showed up to stop the club from handing out cards with positive messages and chocolate mints.
The guards cited the mall’s no-soliciting rule, but even though the high schoolers were giving, not soliciting, they were asked to leave.
Fortunately, they’ve found cynicism does not yet rule the world.
When the Random Acts of Kindness club offered free hugs at a college football game, they wound up embracing some 2,000 strangers, an experience Hertel described as “awesome.”
She added: “If we keep being nice, maybe people will finally understand that there really is love in the world.”
“Eugene, Ore., high-school students’ good intentions misunderstood”
The Eugene Register-Guard, December 20, 2008