Keeping Track of Kindness

NEWTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Some middle school students in Lackawanna County have connected people in a few dozen states and about 20 countries all through acts of kindness.

The students of Abington Heights Middle School have taken on a "kindness challenge."

Abington Heights Middle School guidance counselor Stacey Bamford first had the idea when coming up with ways to combat bullying.

"It would be really neat to get on the other side of the bullying issue and to focus on kindness and to teach kids to have kindness, empathy, compassion," Bamford thought.

With the help of her son, Bamford built a website.

She challenged her students to log the kind things they do online and then pass along a card and code.

That was a month ago.

Since then, the kindness has spread to many states and several countries.

"It's in United Kingdom, Africa. It's crazy to see it spread. You'd never think that just Abington Heights would make it spread across the world," said eighth grade student Isabella Allen.

In that time, 200 students have volunteered to help kindnesstracker.org continue to grow.

"There's a homeroom that's writing letters to military veterans and as well as troops that are currently out of the country. There's also another homeroom in that team which will be writing letters to cancer patients in the hospital," added Jamison Bessoir.

The students told Newswatch 16 the bigger gestures are often motivated by the kind things their classmates have done for them since this whole thing started.

Nandi Boini received an anonymous note from a classmate thanking her for being a good friend.

"Just knowing that someone took the time out of their day to write an anonymous note to make me feel better, it was just really rewarding," she said.

Last week, students took part in "Thank You Note Tuesday."

Aiza Arshad sent one to all of her teachers.

"I wanted them to feel appreciated because seventh grade, the one I'm in, is a pretty tough grade, and everyone is just kind of rioting around basically. So, I wanted to make them feel appreciated," said Arshad.

A reminder that focusing on the positive, can go a long way.