Random kindness spreads $10 at a time

December 15, 2017 06:42 PM

The next time you go to your mailbox, you may be one of hundreds of Capital Region residents to discover an unexpected holiday package waiting for you, with some surprising contents – cash.

It's not a tax refund and it's not some kind of unclaimed funds. It's one organization's way of encouraging you to spread a little holiday cheer.

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"I opened it up and all these sparkling things came out at me," recalled Barbara Wampole.

She was a little confused when she went to her mailbox recently and discovered someone had sent her a crisp $10 bill.

"When I got to the $10 bill, I'm saying, 'Are these people crazy? Sending out $10 to everybody,'" she admitted.

Then, she read the note that came with the cash, encouraging her to spend it on a random act of kindness – and she smiled.

"Wonderful, really wonderful and everybody will feel like somebody cares,"

That "somebody" in this case is Leah Slocum and her team at Peak Giving Tree, a charitable foundation and offshoot of her Peak Real Estate team.

"The mission of our team has always been giving back," explained Slocum.

Things ramped up a bit after Slocum met the man behind the Netflix series – "The Kindness Diaries."

"His mantra was, "with kindness we never walk alone," and that just kind of resonated with me, so I called my two partners and I'm like, 'Guys, I got an idea," explained Slocum.

That idea was to package up hundreds of $10 bills. So far, around 300 of them have been sent out, with a note explaining the "Peak of Kindness" campaign and have mail carriers deliver their invitations to pay it forward.

"I just kind of thought like, 'Wow, the world needs more like this especially this time of year, you can't have enough kindness,'" pointed out Jessica Gallo.

She is a local speech language pathologist and she's going to have her young students work with her to figure out how to spread the most joy they can for $10.

Wampole's employer has a charity that supports less fortunate youth in Rensselaer County. That's where her money will go.

Slocum admits to tearing up when hearing about how thoughtful people have been with the money and hopes that spirit lasts even longer than their $10.

"Kindness is more than just money. It's more than just what you do in community. You can smile at someone and say 'hi' to somebody and put your head up instead of looking at your cell phone and that could change that person's day. It could change that person's life," noted Slocum.

Another piece to this, inside the package is a stamped postcard where recipients can write the name and address of a friend or relative and then send it back to Peak Giving Tree. They'll send another $10 to that person, who can then nominate another and so on.

Slocum says she hopes it will last well beyond the holidays.

More information:

Peak Giving Tree


WNYT Staff

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