By John Fulton
Kindness Acts 20:35 is a Christian-based organization founded by Shannon Myers of Vicksburg and her friends and family. The vision for a Christian organization doing random acts of kindness began for Meyers in 2013 after being inspired by a friend who started the Pittsburgh kindness initiative.
Last year Kindness Acts received two generous donations that allowed it to offer a kids’ camp and a fall carnival for children who live or have resided at the Gospel Mission. The owners of the Dome in Schoolcraft, Josh and Amber Baird, are very generous and allowed them to use their facilities for the camp and carnival. Next Level Performance also provided elite sports training and leadership development for some of the campers. Myers said, “We could not have hosted the camp without the partnership of the Dome and Next Level Performance.” Local restaurants including Jaspare’s, Wendy’s and Little Caesar’s have donated meals for the camp. Big Air Bouncers have donated bounce houses several times.
Kids attended the camp Monday through Friday. Random Acts rented buses to pick up and return the them to the Mission at the end of each day. This year about 40 kids attended. They gather for worship, a message and of lots of games and fun, Shannon said, “The volunteers are exhausted at the end of the day but feeling very rewarded.” Another major focus is the fall carnival coming up in October. Last year 80 kids came to the carnival.
Before the camp could get off the ground, Myers needed to find people willing to invest time, energy and finances to support the fledging organization. Myers developed a PowerPoint presentation and invited family and friends to her home to share her vision. About 70 attended that first meeting.
The organization’s name is based on a scripture, Acts 20:35. The scripture in part reads, “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Some of its projects have included feeding people at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, providing 2,500 survival packs, and donating large household items to help families needing to reestablish a home after being homeless with items such as fridges, stoves, beds, tables. They also host Bible studies for men and women at the KGM. “We aspire to connect families in need with mentors that pray, encourage, and support them with basic life skills, Myers said.
Myers has partnered with the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission in this endeavor for five years. Myers’ family and friends have been involved from the beginning. In 2015 she had a new, supportive and enthusiastic partner join in the efforts, Eric Meyers, her husband of nearly three years.
While talking about growing up, Shannon and Eric discussed how kid’s camp was so very important and fun for them. They wanted to offer that experience to other kids.
Myers said, “We could use 300 volunteers tomorrow. The need is that great.”
If this sounds like a project that you, your church or service club would like to help with there are many opportunities. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. “We need delivery drivers, mentors, prayer warriors, volunteers for the camp and carnival, donations of household items, creatives, technology and financial support.
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @KINDNESS ACTS 2035. Their website can be viewed at kindnessacts2035.com. There you can find out more about the organization and see photos of the projects they are involved in.