Random acts of kindness to invade Kingston

KINGSTON — Who doesn't love a free cup of coffee or a cookie? Or how about the way a simple smile from a stranger can brighten another's day?

And nowadays more than ever the Average Joe could use an unexpected pick-me-up, as the declining economy and rising unemployment cause an eruption of emotional distress.

A group of three Good Samaritans in Kingston have the perfect solution for replacing the doom-and-gloom expressions wore by many with a smile: "A Random Acts of Kindness Day."

"We all have family and friends who have been laid off and that's all people talk about: It's hard. There's no money. It's scary," says Lacey Menne, the samaritan who's spearheading the kindness day. Menne is joined in her efforts by Lisa Roberts and Lori McLaughlin. "It can make you feel down and we thought it would be fun to do something to brighten somebody's day."

The trio of coaches has been knocking on the doors of Kingston businesses asking for donations for the Random Acts of Kindness Day, which is Saturday, April 18.

So far they have free mocha cards, free cookies, percent off coupons, $5 gift cards, free sandwiches and the list goes on.

Tomorrow, the samaritans will spend the day giving the goodies, at random, to Kingston residents.

The gift will include a flyer explaining one has just been tagged by a Random Act of Kindness, with a list of suggestions on how to keep the kindness flowing: Say hi to a stranger. Hold the door. Let a car out during traffic. Smile.

"We don't want recognition we just want to increase the awareness," Menne said. "Be aware your mood can effect those you encounter every day and basically we just want to make people smile."

Menne, Roberts and McLaughlin also recognize there's not a whole lot going on in Kingston for the younger generations.

Menne attended a Fourth of July Committee meeting and she was "by far" the youngest person there.

"We don't feel like part of the community and a lot of people our age want to do something they just don't know what to do," Menne said.

They'd like to see this change and have spent a lot of time talking about the lack-of-youth-involvement-in-Kingston issue.

So they organized a community group for 20-and 30-somethings, the Local Community Activists (LCA).

The LCA is in its infancy, and still has to work out a lot of the details, but mainly Menne said, they want to bring together a group of youthful Kingston residents who will actively get involved in their home town.

"The more we started talking about it we decided wouldn't it be great to do something monthly or something for the community to look forward to," Menne said. "There's nobody our age involved and we want to get our friends and people our age involved."

The three active LCA members have set up an e-mail account for those who'd like to learn more about or to become involved with the LCA, The trio of coaches is meeting at Drifters in Kingston on Tuesday April 28 at 5:30 p.m.

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