Art Feeds responds to thieves with kindness

Art Feeds responds to thieves with kindness
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Art Feeds in Joplin is spreading generosity in the community, despite being robbed earlier this week.
The beloved Art Feeds bus sits idle, after the mobile art center fell victim to vandals and thieves.
“The microwave was stolen, the sound system and DVD player were stolen and the front dash was almost completely ripped out,” said Meg Bourne-Hulsey, Founder and Executive Director of Art Feeds in Joplin.
Instead of reacting with anger, Art Feeds staff and friends are choosing to respond with love.
“We decided that we want to put more good in the world,” Bourne-Hulsey said.
That is why they are dedicating the next week to performing random acts of kindness. Today, they gathered in a crowded parking lot.
“We’re here at the Convention Center, putting flowers on people’s cars and hoping that when they come outside after being in the Convention Center that they will see the flower and maybe think about doing something else for someone else, passing it forward,” said Johanna DeLong, acts of kindness participant.
Organizers say it can be any random act of kindness, such as leaving a dollar for some child to find in the toy section of the dollar store, or paying for someone’s food behind you in line at the drive-thru.
“Even just smiling at somebody, giving someone a high five that you see, something really simple but just something kind, goes a long way,” DeLong said.
“I think that it is a wonderful thing,” said Jessica Banfield, after finding a flower on her windshield. “I think something like this, as small as a little red flower, can brighten someone’s day more than you will ever know.”
Participants say it is the perfect way to brighten up what has been a dark week.
“The only thing that drives out darkness is kindness and light,” DeLong said.
“The world could be such a better place if instead of reacting in bad ways, that we reacted in better ways and say that we are going to be better than that,” Bourne-Hulsey said.
Art Feeds is keeping track of random acts of kindness on social media under the hashtag #ArtFeedsRAOK.