RED BANK — For the upcoming World Kindness Week, the nonprofit Life Vest Inside, which inspires, empowers, and educates people of all backgrounds to lead lives of kindness, is preparing its annual global flashmob and fundraiser, the Dance for Kindness.

Dance for Kindness has been staged in Red Bank for five years, but this year the event there will be joined by one in New Brunswick, both coordinated by Old Bridge resident Erin Buchalter. She got involved with Life Vest Inside three years ago, and ran Dances for Kindness in Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Maryland, before becoming the worldwide coordinator.

"Life Vest Inside has done a really amazing job of showing the everyday value of kindness," she said. "It's through the simple, small acts of kindness that real change in the world is possible."

In Red Bank, she said, the borough typically closes a portion of Broad Street with the cooperation of the police and fire departments, and draws several hundred participants. New Brunswick is not getting as elaborate as Red Bank, but there will still be flashmobs in both places, and the worldwide goal is to get people in different cities to unite to perform the same dance, to the same song, on the same day.

This year, that day is Sunday, Nov. 11. And it is a fundraiser, but Life Vest Inside has made a pronounced effort to give something back in 2018.

"We have decided that 10 percent of anything that's raised by a group leader in their city is going to be donated back to a local nonprofit," Buchalter said, adding that that equates to about 100 nonprofits around the world which will benefit from these gatherings.

As a New Jerseyan through and through, Buchalter said Garden State residents have always been about doing good deeds for others, so it's no surprise that Dance for Kindness continues to expand its reach in the state.

To register, learn more about the nonprofits that will receive donations, and see action from prior years, go to

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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