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Random acts of kindness at heart of youth movement

"His smile was kind of like his disability ... you never saw him without it!"

These are the words of one of Josh Steven's best friends as he stood up and spoke about the great friendship they had at Josh's memorial service. Josh was a unique spirit - full of life, with a heart as big as a lion and enough love to share with everyone he encountered.

Drew Stevens, Josh's father, will give a presentation to the Park Rapids area community on the importance of being kind at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 at Century School. He will also give presentations to students during the school day Nov. 7 and 8.

Drew Stevens is from Nevada and speaks to communities and students about being kind.

One month before his son's 13th birthday, he lost his life in a tragic accident. The Josh Stevens Foundation was created to honor his life and the example he set for us all to follow.

Josh was always doing something kind for someone else. When he was kind to others, seeing how it made them feel, it inspired him to pour out more kindness. It was a necessity to him. And when a person would say "thank you" to him, it filled him so full, that it would make his day. This is how and why the Josh Stevens Foundation and the kindness card were created. It's a simple way to "catch" a child and let them know that their genuine kindness can change the world. The hope is that children being "caught" will be inspired to be more kind, more often.

The Josh Stevens Foundation has partnered with youth sports and schools. The hope is to spread awareness about the Josh Stevens Foundation and its goal of recognizing and rewarding a child's heartfelt kind act. The foundation started with Paseo Verde Little League because this was where Josh played baseball for six years. The program has been expanded to schools and other organizations to spread the message of kindness.

The foundation has created the "You've Been Caught Being Kind" trifold gift cards. These cards are presented to a child "caught" being kind by a member of the "Kindness Patrol." The card includes a poem about the importance of their kind act, Josh's inspirational story, a silicone shoelace charm and shoelace, as well as a gift card donated by a child friendly business/sponsor.

The purpose of the Josh Stevens Foundation and the tri-fold card is to remind children that there is a whole wide world in need of more acts of kindness. The foundation wants children to know that people really do appreciate their kind actions, even though most times they go unnoticed.

People involved in the Josh Stevens Foundation have reported liking the ease of the program. It's simple, just "catch" kids being kind.