The Unfiltered Blog

December 6, 2016

When acts of kindness are no longer random

By Chuck Gassmann, CEO
Friends, families, customers and employees help donate 300 blankets to patients at Blank Children’s Hospital
The phrase “random acts of kindness” might imply these actions are unplanned or spontaneous — which can be true. What I’ve learned in the past year, though, is that kindness can be a powerful tool in building a strong, compassionate community. 
It began in 2015 with the celebration of our 60th year in business. We were looking for ways we could give back to the community that has given us so much. This led us to the great people at Blank Children’s Hospital and the kids in their care. We wanted to do something to make the stays or treatment visits a little more comfortable for those children, so we donated 100 blankets. It was such a rewarding experience, we wanted to expand it beyond the Bell Brothers office and into our community. 
Throughout 2016 we asked our employees to commit random acts of kindness, but we also used social media to invite our families, our friends and our customers to join us in the effort. For every kind act performed and shared on Facebook or at the office, we put $5 in the Blanket Bank. We blew our goal of 100 blankets out of the water and raised enough money to donate 300 blankets to Blank Children’s Hospital. What a testament to the kind people of Des Moines! 
We had the privilege again this year to deliver the blankets in person to some of the children at the hospital. This is when those random acts of kindness stopped feeling random. Handing those kids something they can hold on to for comfort during a tough time helped me see how all those individual actions had come together to form a more caring community.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how generosity has a way of multiplying. When we go a little out of our way to do something for our neighbor, that person might be inspired to do the same. Paying it forward is a simple way to build goodwill within our city. 

Kindness has become a bit of a habit around the Bell Brothers office, but we know there’s more work to be done — and we’re already thinking of ways we can harness the power of generosity in 2017. We’re committed to continuing the random acts of kindness, but, more importantly, we’re focused on how we can intentionally use them to shape a better Des Moines. 
Thank you to Blank Children’s Hospital — your hard work and warm hearts are an inspiration. For information on ways you can give back too, click here.