This week has just been touched by God. I want to tell you a bit about my week but I first want to share with you that I am completely honored and thrilled that Daddy Russ and I are featured on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News regarding the 26 Acts of Kindness Movement. Yesterday morning I received an email from a wonderful reporter at the Express-News named Michelle Jaffee. I was completely caught off guard that she had read my blog and wanted to interview me. I debated for a bit about doing the interview – I didn’t want people to think that I was doing the acts of kindness to get exposure for the blog. But after praying I felt that maybe if I did this interview and it inspired even ONE person to commit an act of kindness then that would be the most important thing I could do. So I hopped on the phone with her and began trying to explain to the best of my ability about why this movement was so important to me. Several times holding back tears, I explained that I had to DO SOMETHING. I had to share a little bit of goodness. I had to give Luke a strong foundation to grow on. I had to recognize each and every one of those victims.

Each day this week, I’m constantly glowing as I read all these wonderful Facebook and Twitter posts of different acts of kindness that people are doing and it just makes my heart smile. Throughout each day I’ve been trying to not only commit at least one act of kindness but I’m also trying to smile at as many people as possible, tell people Merry Christmas, drive a little nicer, hug Daddy Russ and Luke and tell them I love them a little bit more, and just try to be a better overall person. Even Luke seems to have join in. Yesterday while at the grocery store I swear he told atleast 50 people “HI!” with a little wave. Every day I’ve been praying that God will let me know where he needs my assistance the most. Each time I commit an act of kindness it makes me feel so incredibly good. If you’d like to see the different acts of kindness that I’ve committed so far just visit my first blog post by clicking here.

I want to say thank you to all of my wonderful readers who have joined this movement with me! Thank you for sharing your stories – you truly brighten my life! I’d also like to say thank you to Michelle Jaffee for covering this story that is so dear to my heart. I hope that someone will read it and join in as well!!

WANT TO JOIN IN? Here’s a free printable for you!

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Mommy Tori

san antonio news express

Kindnesses are multiplying far beyond 26 acts

By Michelle Koidin Jaffee
Updated 10:59 pm, Thursday, December 20, 2012

To view the original article click here.

San Antonio mom and blogger Tori Johnson drove up to a food truck off U.S. 281 this week and handed the cashier a $10 bill and a card with the name “Olivia Engel” circled among the names of the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.

She told the cashier she wanted to buy lunch anonymously for the next construction worker to approach, in memory of 6-year-old Olivia.

Then Johnson got in her car, turned to the backseat and held the little hand of her 19-month-old son Luke. Her head bowed, she said, “Thank you, Lord, for this child, who lost her life too soon. Put her in your hands at this time.” And she drove away.

Johnson is among the tens of thousands of people across the country joining a social media movement called “26 Acts of Kindness,” started in honor of the 20 children and six teachers and administrators gunned down one week ago in Newtown, Conn.

“When I heard the news about Sandy Hook and for the days following, I couldn’t pull it together,” said Johnson, 29, who has no personal connection to Newtown. “I found I was crying throughout the day, and I had this feeling that I needed to do something.”

She is not the only one.

The “26 Acts” movement has gone viral on Facebook (48,000 likes and growing late Thursday) and Twitter (hashtag #26acts), sparked by NBC News correspondent Ann Curry and a question she posed after the massacre: “What can I do?” She came up with the acts of kindness idea and shared it via social media.

Two days later, Johnson’s husband, Russell Johnson, was leaving lunch at Paesanos restaurant in Alamo Heights when he spotted a stranded motorist. He removed her car battery and cleaned it, then jump-started her car.

That became No. 1 on their list.

On her blog, Johnson posted the card she designed with the victims’ names, along with her family’s “acts” so far. No. 2 is writing Christmas cards to Newtown residents. No. 4 is making a donation for a playground to be built at the Summit Christian Center.

Friend Tanya Daye saw Johnson’s post and discussed the idea with her two children, ages 18 and 13.

“I was feeling that kind of ‘What can you do to help?’ — but you’re in a different city, a different state,” said Daye, a 46-year-old estate and financial planner.

The “26 acts,” she thought, “would be good for me and my kids just to do.”

“This will teach them to pass things forward, and hopefully they’ll teach it to their kids,” she said.

The sentiment resonates with Catherine Ryan Hyde.

The author of the 2000 book “Pay It Forward,” which became a movie starring Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment, developed the idea after her engine caught fire in a bad neighborhood late one night in the 1970s and two male strangers pulled over, put out the blaze and then — while she was occupied talking to firefighters — left before she had a chance to thank them. She had no way to “pay it back,” so she started helping other people who were stranded.

After the book and movie came out, Hyde began hearing anecdotes of others who were “paying it forward.”

The movement surged a little, then seemed to taper off, she said by phone Thursday from her home in Cambria, Calif.

Then about five years ago, the Pay It Forward Foundation that Hyde founded introduced a Livestrong-style bracelet that reads “Pay It Forward” and began shipping them across the country and the world by the boxful.

Today, they’ve distributed 1.7 million bracelets to 123 countries, foundation president Charley Johnson said.

Meanwhile, as Facebook became ingratiated into American life, multiple “pay it forward” pages began to pop up.

“I don’t think there was a catalyst,” Hyde said. “It simply planted root. People were out there doing it, and it began to multiply.”

What does she expect will happen with the “26 acts” movement?

“I don’t think it can come close to healing what happened. But let me put it like this: I absolutely guarantee you the world will be better than without it,” she said.

“Let’s keep this going,” Charley Johnson said. “This is not something we do just when something bad happens. This is an every day thing.”

The key is aiming for moderate change rather than night-and-day change. Said Hyde, “If we were all out there doing something like this 26 acts, imagine how big that change could add up.”

These small acts, she said, are contagious.

It sure seems so looking at Tori Johnson and her friend Tanya Daye.

“When I saw that Tori had it on her blog,” Daye said, “I just thought, ‘It’s a sign.’ It was a sign that I needed to do it.”


14 Responses

  1. Amanda G.

    Tori – it’s so fantastic that you are helping get the word out! Isn’t the power of our blogs and social media so wonderful!?


      I really appreciate your kind words, Amanda!! The power of blogs and social media is truly incomprehensible! I’m overjoyed to see it be used for the greater good.

  2. Meagan

    Great Article and a wonderful way to do something special from so far away!


      Thank you, Allison!! Merry Christmas!!


      Thank you so much! You’re such a doll!! Merry Christmas!


      It’s certainly my pleasure!! It’s just small acts but I hope it makes the difference to at least one person.

  3. Katie

    Congrats! That’s awesome that ya’ll were in the paper. I love the acts of kindness with the printable you made.


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