In today’s society, it is rather rare to encounter someone who is doing something just to be nice. Our first thought is often that there must be another motive behind their actions – do they need a favor, did they do something wrong, are they about to deliver bad news? Rarely is our reaction simply, “Oh … that was so kind of them!”

But simple kindness is the whole point behind A&J Specialty Services’ Restoring Kindness movement. It’s a campaign that has grown tenfold since it was launched in 2015, and I imagine will only keep growing from here. Jocelyn Dornfeld, A&J’s office manager and marketing guru, and owner of Three65 Marketing, is the brain behind the movement.

“Restoring Kindness was developed as a community movement that A&J can use in our own area with our customers and non-customers,” Dornfeld explained. “It’s an opportunity to just do something kind for someone. It is something we so desperately need.”

Dornfeld knows restoration companies care for people every single day – but she and the owners of A&J Restoration, Kent and Lynn Rawhouser, wondered what would happen if people knew you before the disaster because you had built a reputation of kindness.

“This is what we do, this is our industry, we help people,” she said. “We help them at their best, their worst, in the middle of the night, or at lunch. It fits us completely to say we see you in those times, but we want to see you before that. We want to see you before you have the flood, we want to know you before this happens.”

A Growing Movement

In 2015, 17 restoration companies committed to and participated in the campaign. This year, there were 32, and Dornfeld hopes to grow exponentially again next year. The campaigns themselves run during the month of July, but companies that are part of the Restoring Kindness movement are encouraged to take action more than once a year.

Why July, you ask? Dornfeld explained while Restoring Kindness is open year-round, there is a lull in holidays in July. It’s hot, it’s summer, people are busy and on vacation, so there are all kinds of opportunities. Plus, acts of kindness not paired up with a holiday are more unexpected.

“We had companies doing quite a few different things this year,” she said. “We had some company who did ‘You’re Worth 100 Grand’ for a local police department – letting them know they are supported by the community, and giving them 100 Grand candy bars.”

Other companies did things like randomly paying for a family’s admission to the local zoo, handing out water at parks, handing out flowers, writing uplifting messages on sidewalks, and loading up vending machines and RedBox kiosks with notes of encouragement and cash for a treat or a movie. The list goes on and on. 

You Will Be Questioned

Dornfeld said while most people are beyond grateful for the simple acts of kindness, there are people who question the motives of the companies involved.

“This is challenging, it’s not all roses and hearts,” she laughed. “I tell people ahead of time you will get challenged on your reasons, your beliefs, your faith. You can’t go on the defensive, as much as you may want to. You must respond with kindness.”

Getting Involved

If you want to get involved in the Restoring Kindness movement, just head to their website and sign up for their eNewsletter. Dornfeld will start sending out blasts about the July 2017 campaign the month before it begins, and she said there will be some new things in the pot for next year.

But you don’t need to wait to get to work! If you need some ideas, check out what other companies have done by following the Restoring Kindness Facebook page.

“It is a lot of behind-the-scenes work, but we are really excited to team up with various individuals who can help split up the responsibilities of this,” Dornfeld said when talking about all the behind-the-scenes work of a successful Restoring Success campaign. “It is something the restoration companies are seeing as a good thing in their community, and we see Restoring Success continuing to grow – and grow rapidly.”