Thursday, November 26, 2020

Collier County Embraces Kindness Awareness

Submitted Photos: The Kindness Bus

Submitted Photos: The Kindness Bus

By Jory Westberry

Having a conversation with Bob Latruba, the supporter of One Million Acts of Kindness and The Kindness Bus is like looking into a gentle heart, filled with compassion and dedication to his cause: Stop Bullying – Be Kind.

His mission, ever since the shooting at Virginia Tech on April 17, 2007, is to touch as many lives as he can and encourage each to perform One Million Acts of Kindness in their lifetimes.

Bob and his traveling buddy, Bogart, a Boston terrier, visit schools, communities, colleges and public events to bring awareness of his One Million Acts of Kindness mission. He has been on the road for five years with the Kindness Bus and recently added a bike with signage to be more visible and reach more people.

“Most of us

Bob reads to children at St. Mark’s Preschool.

Bob reads to children at St. Mark’s Preschool.

think that changing the world is impossible. The world is too big…too many people in it…too many problems to solve. Do you often feel this way? While it’s understandable, be assured that it is not true! Let’s start smaller. How many kind thoughts of others can you have in a day? How many people can you encourage? How many people can you help in a small way? Now we’re onto something…”

According to Bob, “One Million Acts of Kindness is a goal for each person to individually perform in their life. Can you imagine a greater goal for one’s life? It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years. Doing for others and kindness in your heart for everyone. It is my wish

Bob Latruba, holds the Kindness Awareness Celebration proclamation, granted by Collier County Commissioners.

Bob Latruba, holds the Kindness Awareness Celebration proclamation, granted by Collier County Commissioners.

that you will dedicate your life to a charity…and find the passion in your heart for something or someone in need.”

A 13-year-old honor student, named China Howard, killed herself recently in Chicago after being severely cyber-bullied and bullied at school. She kept it a secret and shared her trauma only with her sister. China was a smart, wonderful girl and just couldn’t take the abuse anymore. Her parents want to make other parents aware so they will talk to their girls and listen to them. Losing any child to the cruelties of bullying is tragic. If our society changes to model kindness and live positively, think of the lives that will be saved.

Bob has met many parents and children through his travels around the United States including many visits to

Bob gets a friendly greeting from the Lely cheerleaders.

Bob gets a friendly greeting from the Lely cheerleaders.

Collier County. He’s listened to and spoken with countless students, staff and parents at almost all of Collier County Schools and, because of the tragic stories, he motivates all to be kind and save lives.

Cheerleaders from Lely High School in Naples did a cheer for the Kindness Bicycle as Bob rode by at the Swamp Buggy Parade. They agreed that all schools should be bully-free.

Saint Mark’s preschool on Marco Island invited Bob to come and visit to read Bogart’s new book, “It’s Always a Good Time to Make a New Friend.” There were many smiles and giggles in the crowd. “It’s very clear that Bogart has a big hit on his hands…I mean paws,” laughs Bob.

On December 12, 2016, the Collier County Commissioners declared that Collier County would observe Kindness

Bob and Bogart with WWII veteran Walter, in Naples.

Bob and Bogart with WWII veteran Walter, in Naples.

Awareness Celebration, January 8 – 15, 2017 to raise awareness about kindness. This event is not limited to Collier County, it just originated in this very caring community. Schools, businesses and organizations are asked to do something very creative on this day for the benefit of families, individuals and those in need of a helping hand.

How to Participate in the 2017 Collier County Kindness Awareness Celebration

Schools, businesses, organizations, individuals, families, neighborhoods can take part. Decide what type of act(s) you will do between January 8th and 15th. Register and email your kindness plan and group’s name to TheKindnessBusTour@gmail.com. You’ll receive a personalized poster of your planned actions to hang in your window(s). Last, act upon your kindness plan!

For more information, go to www.onemillionactsofkindness.com. Talk about stomping out bullying and adolescent suicide. Go to Facebook: CollierCountyKindnessAwarenessDay and embrace kindness. 

 

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