Random acts of kindness ease pain a year after NJ boy’s death
Last year on June 24, 10-year-old Christopher D'Amico fell off a pontoon boat, then was fatally struck by the vessel during a family outing on Lake Hopatcong. Ever since, Christopher's family has kept his memory alive by dedicating the 24th of every month to paying it forward.
The effort is called Kindness for Christopher, and it is "not monetary, though it can be," according to Chris D'Amico, Christopher's father.
"It's turned into quite a phenomenon over the last year, and it's been very helpful in our family's healing," he said.
Practicing random acts of kindness is at the heart of the group's mission. D'Amico said efforts have extended as far away in this country as Arizona and Hawaii, and globally as distant as Italy, both by people who know his family and those who don't.
"It can be something as simple as holding a door open for somebody, carrying somebody's groceries, helping a vet, volunteering, donating to an animal shelter," D'Amico said. "We want it every day, but we'll take it on the 24th of every month."
One recent twist is that someone has anonymously been leaving rocks with handwritten notes at various local landmarks around Mount Arlington. The notes remind passersby to do these random acts of kindness, and in many cases, direct people back to the group's Facebook page. For more information, you can visit that page at facebook.com/KindnessforChristopherD.
Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.