BEACON, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Great story to coincide with National Random Acts of Kindness Week – February 14-20, 2016.
When Amy Gopel found herself physically and emotionally bruised at the hands of her husband, she was concerned for the impact it would have on her young daughter.
"When you go through something really tough, something that very legitimately threatens your life, it causes you to step back and take a serious look at things. It forces you to ask the bigger questions. I didn't want my daughter growing up thinking it was normal to hurt other people. It's not. How would I instill this in her?"
Amy knew she needed to find a way to restore her daughter's faith in others and in life, and she did so through acts of kindness.
"I wanted to show her, by example and through her own personal experience what it meant to do good and feel good," said Amy.
Kindness became a regular part of their lives. In school, her daughter and a friend put kindness notes on the lockers of other children. Amy and her daughter regularly go on kindness missions and are on the constant lookout for opportunities to be kind and inspire others to do so as well.
"By the time my daughter was 12, I had remarried to an amazing man. His father was terminally ill, and we brought him home with us to care for him in his final days. It's not an easy thing for an adult to deal with let alone a child, and I recognized when he passed, we were yet again faced with the opportunity to show her how to positively respond to a negative situation."
How did she do it? Amy took all of the flowers intended for her father-in-law's grave and brought them home. She gathered her daughter and her friends together; they disassembled the arrangements and created small bouquets of flowers. She drove the girls to the mall and together, they began gifting the flowers away to random strangers. They noticed a woman who received a bouquet was crying and upon inquiring, discovered she had recently lost her son and prayed for a sign he was OK. A bouquet of flowers from a young girl was her answer.
"I knew in that moment I wanted to find a way for other people to experience this amazing feeling, something that encourages them to look away from their own troubles and look around for ways to be someone's angel . . . and the idea came!" Amy shared. "I wanted to create a journal that would not only encourage acts of kindness, but actually document a kindness chain so you could see the chain reaction one kind act could cause."
Amy played around with the idea, but didn't know how to make it happen. Her dream sat dormant for over 5 years . . . until a chance conversation with a friend.
"I mentioned it to a friend who loved the idea. She immediately told me I needed to reach out to her friend Keryl Pesce. She assured me she would help me."
With a leap of faith in putting her idea out there to a total stranger, Amy emailed Keryl. To Amy's delight, Keryl replied right away.
Says Pesce, "I knew I could help her. I got on the phone with Amy and said, 'I want you to listen to me carefully. This is a done deal. This is happening. OK? So let's just get that straight. Now, let me talk to you about how you might go about doing it.'"
In her own act of kindness, Keryl who has now become an inseparable friend of Amy's, stepped in and spent months working with Amy, designing, putting the book together and finally publishing. Their book, "Share This Journal" is a testament of what the human spirit, in spite of and sometimes as a result of unimaginable experiences, is capable of doing.
The book allows for people to record their name and contact information in the beginning of the journal. It then prompts them to do an act of kindness, record what they've done and either hand the journal to the recipient of their kindness or leave it in a public place to be discovered. The receiver of the kindness then is prompted to document his or her reaction, perform his or her own act of kindness, document it and pass the journal along to someone else. There are 12 opportunities for acts of kindness with the final act being to contact you as the journal owner and returning the documented chain of kindness. "Share This Journal" is available on Amazon.com and bn.com for $12.95.
They've also set up a website, www.sharethisjournal.com where journal owners can create profiles, share stories and even set up groups to track their journals' progress.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chains-of-kindness-captured-in-new-book-created-by-a-former-victim-of-domestic-violence-300219927.html
SOURCE Amy Gopel and Keryl Pesce