Kids & Pets
February 21, 2018
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Local children form their own kindness committee

  • All fingers point to Leah Gast, the creator of the Kindness Committee. Photo courtesy of Kia Gast

By: Irene Hilsendager
January 19, 2018

A very beautiful and intelligent young lady, Leah Gast, 10, was planning her own birthday party but did not want the traditional one with gifts and cake. She told her mom, Kia Gast, that her party should have an impact. Her Mom suggested that she could do something that would make an impact on anything or anybody. 

Leah then decided to design the whole party that she desired. Instead of doing the “regular” party, she organized the party around having her and her friends do 10 random acts of kindness. Leah and Kia sat down and decided the plan and place and discussed where they would go to perform these acts of kindness.

The group of friends then agreed to create birthday cards and distribute them to the younger folks who were fire victims with birthdates gone by – the goal of which was to try and alleviate their pain.

The next item on their list was going to the local library and to hide book markers in different areas of the library among various kinds of books. All of the markers were hand written with happy thoughts so whoever would find them would get a smile on their face.

Another project that came to mind was to bring dog food and animal toys to the local animal shelter, where they were then given a tour of the facilities.

Next on their list was to go to a store front across the freeway to pass out balloons, however, they were quite startled that no one would accept the blue star balloons. Many people thought the group was selling and their response would be, “We didn’t bring any money.” Or, they didn’t want to take anything from the kids dressed in blue T-shirts. 

Some from the Kindness Committee spoke up and said “We are not selling anything. We just want to give you something to make you smile. We just do this as random acts of kindness.” Some of adults then said “yes, we have seen you drive around but didn’t know really what you were doing.”

After enjoying their pre-packed lunch, they headed to a pre-school, Little Ones, located behind 49er Pets and planted flowers. This made the director of the school very happy, as she too was a fire victim and this showed so much kindness.

After piling back into their cars, they headed to the D section of Rohnert Park and a decision was made that the sidewalks needed some happy messages. The residents enjoyed the colorful chalked sidewalks saying it reminded them of the old fashioned ways of sending messages of love. The group was loved and supported for doing another act of kindness.

Again it was time to get back into their decorated cars and find something else to do. Now it was time to play Ding! Dong! ring the bell! The kids had taken large plastic cups, filled it with gum, tissues, and other small household items and went through the neighborhood ringing doorbells, leaving the little gift on the porch, then running to the car, giggling with glee.

In the meantime, they decided to stop at Sunshine Park. What could they do to make people smile? They had little toy animals that would make anybody smile. Leah decided to bury her alligator among the tanbark chips that covered the ground. However, she let the head protrude above the ground and a young girl who found the toy  was so impressed, she took it home and had her mom post it on Facebook and while doing that, they found their own Facebook page for the Kindness Committee.

Now after three hours the pack of kids decided to head for home and what did they decide to do hereafter? They washed the cars and enjoyed a sunny day squirting each other.

The very first event, Kindness Committee wanted to do something for the community. They attended the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati toy wrapping party at the Burton Recreation Center. Since several children were roaming the room and grabbing toys to wrap, many volunteers were interested in the blue shirts. Leah said, “We didn’t even know how to wrap but we had fun and learned so much about why the toys were donated and what would happen with each gift.”

 Zoe, one of the members, had donated a gift to the Rancho Adobe Fire Department. While looking through the mounds of toys, she saw her donated gift - this opened her eyes as to where  this toy would end up. It was amazing that she saw it wrapped, put into bags, a family name attached to it and saw it go on a truck to be delivered to some child. It was an adventure for Zoe to see the pathway of giving.

Mom, Kia, sews all of the T-shirts and gives them to those that are interested in the Sonoma County Kindness Committee. Deb McCampbell, Julie Giammoni and Kia Gast are the adult committee members. 

The month of January for the Kindness Committee will be picking up litter so if you see a group of Sonoma County kids in blue T-shirts cleaning up in the area, stop and say hello and give them encouragement and thank them for doing such a great act of kindness.

Sprinkle kindness everywhere like its glitter!