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2020’s Most Memorable Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness are just that — unexpected gestures of goodwill done for an acquaintance, loved one or even a stranger. We believe that these small acts of generosity can have a tremendous positive impact on our community, which is why Desert Financial took Random Acts of Kindness to a whole new level during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It all started with a phrase American journalist Anne Herbert scribbled on a placemat: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Her children’s book based on the concept of random kindness was published in 1993. News media outlets began picking up stories of unexpected good deeds, and soon the phrase bloomed into a social movement called Random Acts of Kindness.
Here at Desert Financial, sharing success is what we’re all about — which is why Random Acts of Kindness fits so well into our community giving efforts. We started our #Kindness Revolution in 2018, and to date, we have performed thousands of kind acts across the Valley and beyond.
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a crazy and unexpected year, but our Desert Financial team still managed to perform over 9,000 individual Random Acts of Kindness in Arizona! With so many touching stories and great responses, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Still, we wanted to share some of our top tales of kindness with you.
Here are five of our most memorable RAK moments of 2020, in no particular order:
On the Hunt for Gold at ASU
We sponsored ASU’s Gold Patrol for the fall semester of 2020. If you’re not familiar with this program, the Gold Patrol is a student-run initiative where members of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), along with Sun Devils mascot Sparky, award awesome prizes to students who wear gold on Fridays. They also give out gold t-shirts to individuals who aren’t wearing gold so they can get in on the fun. Members of Desert Financial’s Random Acts of Kindness committee joined ASU to hand out extra surprises like Apple watches, ASU merch, gift cards and MacBooks. Check out the Gold Patrol video on ASU’s Instagram page.
Happy Tears at Assistance League of Flagstaff
In 2020, Desert Financial expanded our charter to serve all of Arizona, not just the Valley. To start building new relationships in our expanded area, we connected with the Assistance League of Flagstaff (ALF), a nonprofit organization that raises money through 10 philanthropic programs that focus on enhancing the well-being of the Flagstaff community. Thanks to the proceeds of its Cedar Closet Thrift Shop, ALF was able to give back more than $200,000 to the Flagstaff community last year!
Our team members headed up to Flagstaff, where ALF gave us an extremely warm welcome. Our team toured the thrift shop and even got to take a look behind-the-scenes at Operation School Bell, which provides new books, clothes, and health kits to children in Flagstaff elementary and middle schools. At the end of the day, it was time to give ALF a BIG surprise – TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! Their reaction is priceless. (Tip: Grab your tissues, this one’s a tearjerker!)
Talking Turkey at St. Mary’s
Not everyone is able to purchase a plump turkey big enough to feed an entire family for the holidays. To help those in need for Thanksgiving, we donated $100,000 to St. Mary’s Food Bank to match each turkey donated on Super Saturday. With our donation and other funds raised, St. Mary’s was able to help nearly 11,000 families have a proper bird for their Turkey Day gatherings.
Helping Two Members Plan for the Future
Two members arrived at a Desert Financial Wills & Trusts seminar. The couple, married and both recently diagnosed with cancer, had attended their first chemotherapy treatment together a few days earlier and were looking to solidify a plan for their family. Unfortunately, with their medical bills, the couple could not afford the costs of setting up a will or trust.
After our team heard their story, we worked together to set up their estate plan at no cost to these two wonderful members! In addition, our Camelback branch purchased supplies to make the pair more comfortable at their chemo sessions, including slippers, blankets and books.
While this Random Act of Kindness may not provide the healing that this couple desperately needs, we hope it lifts a huge weight off of their shoulders, allowing them to focus on their health and well-being. Desert Financial is with them as they fight this battle together!
Out of the Wild with SWWC
In 2020, Arizona was scorched by wildfires that, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, burned more land than in 2018 and 2019 combined. Knowing that hundreds of animals would be injured or displaced, we wanted to step in to help an organization that cares for these creatures — the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWWC) in Scottsdale. The facility focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife in Arizona, with 70% of its rescued animals going back into the wild.
“Wildfires have increased our numbers,” says Linda Searles, SWWC Founder and Director. “Primarily what it does is destroy the habitat, which pushes those animals out.” Not only have the fires caused a drastic increase in the animals they are taking in, but the current pandemic has also slowed the tourism the center relies on for financial support. With Desert Financial’s $10,000 donation, SWWC can continue its mission of caring for animals affected by Arizona’s wildfires.
It’s thanks to our members that we can share success with our community through these amazing Random Acts of Kindness and so many more! To learn more about our Kindness Revolution and see kindness in action, visit our Sharing Success page. We also invite you to follow @DesertFinancial on social for regular updates on our Random Acts of Kindness Program — and info on how you or someone you know could become a kindness ambassador!