Kindness is more than the virtue of treating others with goodness and respect. It can be taken a step further by adding that those who demonstrate kindness are helpful, thoughtful, and considerate. For some, perhaps it translates to doing nice things for others without expecting anything in return. Kindness can generate a chain reaction effect – for once you receive kindness, doesn’t it give you the motivation to pay it forward? And so on, and so on, kindnesses increase in volume like a snowball going down a hill. And all it takes is one person – or organization – to start it.
Mark Tucker with Allstate Insurance in Hickory Creek rolled that first snowball in September with the Kindness Revolution. Mark’s resume of community involvement in the Lake Cities includes more than 30 years in the insurance business (more than 20 of that with Allstate). He is currently serving a second three-year term on the school board for Lake Dallas High School, and he also sponsors several of organizations such as the Quarterback Club. Always willing to support his community, Mark’s insurance agency was selected to lead an initiative to make the Lake Cities a kinder community by implementing a unique way to recognize the importance of kindness. And, true to form, he’s become 100% involved.
The Kindness Revolution is a national nonprofit initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of kindness and customer service in communities. It began in 2007 with Tennessee public speaker and author Ed Horrell and is based on the principles in a best-selling book he wrote with the same name. His goal was and is to restore the values of dignity, respect, and kindness. Since its inception, the initiative has expanded to more than 300 cities across the United States, with more joining every day.
“We at Mark Tucker Allstate are totally committed to the Lake Cities community, promoting and acknowledging acts of kindness in the workplace, schools, and among first responders,” Mark explains. “In fact, we just reached out to Plano and added them to our initiative. So, folks there can be acknowledged, too.”
If you have experienced exceptional customer service, sincere kindness, first-rate assistance, or you simply were the grateful recipient of a heartfelt smile from any Lake Cities/Plano business or public service facility, it probably made your day better – even memorable. Whether it was a one-time positive experience or something consistent with every visit doesn’t matter. You now have the opportunity to thank and acknowledge them for that positive behavior by nominating the business for the Kind Business Award. A Facebook page has been set up (@KindnessMarkTucker) to receive nominations. Include in your message a brief explanation of why the business is praiseworthy. A drawing is held every week from all the nominations to date, and a local business is chosen. “Due to a hugely positive community response,” claims Mark, “we will now begin awarding an additional two to three businesses weekly.”
Mark Tucker personally pays a visit to each winning business and presents them with a framed certificate. A photo of that presentation is posted on Facebook along with the written (anonymous) endorsement that won them the notable award.
Taking the Kindness Revolution another step, Mark held a “Heart Attack Campaign,” where local elementary school children designed messages of kindness on paper hearts. Those were then distributed to Lake Cities businesses and first responders. As another approach to disseminating the kindness message, Mark and his Allstate group will be initiating a local Kindness Podcast. It should launch in February and is tentatively set for the third Tuesday of every month.
“Each month, we’ll welcome new guests from various professions to discuss how kindness enriches their jobs and lives. One month, it might be local police and fire chiefs. In other months, we could host teachers, front-line healthcare workers, and more,” Mark explained.
Simple acts of kindness occur every day in our communities, and they cost nothing. And yet, the rewards are priceless. The initiative’s very name reflects the idea that, though kindness is infinitely essential, the thought of putting it into daily practice sometimes seems revolutionary.
As Mark expressed, “We just want to project positivity and recognize the kindness that exists throughout our community.”
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photo courtesy of Big TexMedia