Kindness Crew: Project Night Night
Do your kids have a bedtime routine? Maybe they read a story before falling asleep or have a special blanket. Unfortunately, many children cannot say they do. In fact, they do not even have the security of knowing where they are going to lay their heads at night, which is how a non-profit based in San Francisco was born.
Project Night Night provides homeless kids with a little security -- some comfort gifts to help them fall asleep. With the need here in northern Nevada, I contacted the founder, Kendra Robins, and asked if we could expand the program here. With the Kindness Crew's help, we made it happen.
It all started as a call to action from Thinkkindness.org's founder, Brian Williams, who asked for volunteers to meet us at Walden's Coffeehouse to stuff Project Night Night tote bags. The next day, a handful of people arrived ready to help.
Thanks to donations from Project Night Night, our Kindness Crew filled nearly 50 bags with homemade blankets, stuffed animals and bedtime stories.
"I think it's so awesome for the little kids. They're going to love it! The animal, the book, the blanket, it's going to be so great," said Jamie Jackson, who volunteered to help.
Brandy Fierro agreed. "Oh, I'm excited to drop them off and see the smiles on the kids' faces. I can't wait to do that."
The Kindness Crew met again at the Family Shelter on Record Street in Reno, where on any given night, you will find some 50 kids. According to Sandy Isham, the Development Officer with Volunteers of America, which runs the shelter, nearly half of those children are three-years-old or younger.
The mothers here say they do their best to provide for their children, but it is often not much and they long for a way to let their kids know at night that everything is going to be okay.
When we arrived, you can imagine the look on their faces. The children lit up when they opened their bags. Babies immediately grabbed onto the stuffed animals and didn't let go.
The books were, perhaps, the biggest hit however, which made our next surprise even better. "Have you guys ever heard of 'Where the Wild Things Are'?" asked Brian. "Yes!" they yelled back.
One of our volunteers, Nikki McGuire, dressed up as Max from the book and read to the kids.
And with that, our random act of kindness came to a close.
"I would just like to say, thank you to everybody who came here," said 10-year-old Wiley Hickman. This random act of kindness took just a little of our time, a whole lot of heart and a reminder to children that others care. Hopefully, it will make for even sweeter dreams ahead.