In December of 2006, Duvall was hit by a record-breaking windstorm, following which the entire city was without power for a week. When I drove my kids through downtown Duvall after the storm, the businesses were all dark. It was very sobering as Duvall is usually beautifully lit up with Christmas lights in December. My kids wanted to do something to help. They wanted to actually go and help the exhausted Puget Sound Energy workers so they could get the power on faster. We decided to make a sign to post on our road which said, “WE LOVE OUR PUGET SOUND ENERGY WORKERS!!!!” We also handed out donuts to the PSE workers, donated by Tressa’s Bakery. Shortly after we put up the sign, our power came back on. The kids were SO excited. They said, “It worked, our sign worked. They turned our power back on!” They really felt like they had made a difference with their sign.
The images of a dark and mostly vacant downtown Duvall stuck in my mind. I also couldn’t stop thinking about the business owners I had talked to. Many of the businesses lost tremendous business during the power outage. It should have been their busiest time of year instead, many of them were closed. A few businesses had generators but most didn’t, nor could they find one to buy. Some simply couldn’t afford one. I felt like someone needed to do something for the businesses and the community. As I was reading the River Current News, our local Duvall paper, I noticed a story about a Random Acts of Kindness Club at Cedarcrest High School. I was so inspired by Peggy Filer and her club that I decided I was the “someone” that needed to do something. I picked up the phone and called city hall and asked if the city would be interested in having a Random Acts of Kindness Week in Duvall. I felt it would bring the community and the businesses together after all we had been through with the windstorm. Mayor Ibershof supported the idea and Duvall celebrated its first RAK week in January 2007 . During the RAoK Week, I wanted to think of a way that the community could all come together at the same time and show our support. I suggested to shop & “Dine Out in Duvall” on Wednesday to support our local businesses. Carnation, Monroe and Woodinville were asked to join in RAK Week in 2009 to include our surrounding communites.
I am not a Random Acts of Kindness expert. I am just one person who is passionate about helping others and especially the Duvall businesses. Anyone can commit a Random Act of Kindness. It’s as simple as sending a card to someone to brighten up their day. Or it could be as big as buying groceries for someone who is behind you in line at the grocery store. It really doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is that you take the time in this crazy, busy world and just do something nice for someone. Not just because it’s their birthday or their anniversary. Just randomly decide that today is the day you are consciously going to be kind to someone! You will be amazed at how great you will feel. Sometimes a simple act of kindness can literally be life changing for someone who feels hopeless. During RAK week, make a plan to do one simple act of kindness each day.
I know first hand the difference a simple act of kindness can make. When I was going through a difficult time, a complete stranger reached out to me and gave me two little angel coins. She had no idea what I was dealing with but I had just been told I had lost one of the twins I was carrying. Why she gave me two angel coins I’ll never know. It inspired me to start handing out inspirational stones to my friends and sometimes complete strangers.