Although sometimes hard to remember, the sun still shines behind the dark clouds that have enshrouded our society in recent months. And in the midst of all the fear, illness, anger and loneliness, a group of “kindness enthusiasts” has set out to brighten our days and remind us how powerful the light of kindness can be.
Pranavi Reddi, founder and CEO of Kindness 4 All, and a junior at Centennial High School, has always loved doing random acts of kindness, but after watching the world spiral into some dark places in the last few months, she decided it was time to do more. “My parents have always put a focus on helping people and the community. They have always taught me that the greatest thing you can do is to help the people around you,” Reddi says. “So, in early May, I started this organization … because a little bit of kindness can go a really far way in making the world a better place.”
On the website she built herself, www.kindness4all.org, she adds, “We see the value in everyone … we want to be a catalyst for positive change.” And in just three months, what began as a Canva flyer she created and texted to everybody she knew has become an official non-profit that is now known nationwide.
In July, Reddi was featured on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, where she shared how her organization spreads kindness. “Each month, Kindness 4 All partners with different non-profit local organizations in our area to bring service projects to our members … projects people can do from their own homes,” Reddi explained to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. “Some of our previous projects include writing encouraging letters to women facing breast cancer, thank you cards to volunteers at a local food pantry and notes of happiness to cheer up the elderly in nursing homes that aren’t getting visitors anymore. For the month of July, we started to mix things up a bit and one of our activities was making origami pets for the elderly in a senior home in our area. We also delivered cupcakes and thank you cards to a lot of frontline workers, fire fighters and healthcare heroes in our area.”
Articulate, poised and impressive, Reddi insists she wasn’t always this way. “I used to be really shy,” she quickly admits. “I would honestly say it’s okay to be shy. I think as you grow older, you learn more, you see more, you experience more and when you do stuff that you’re really passionate about, or something you really enjoy doing, I think that’s when you really become your true self and find confidence.”
And Reddi has most definitely found her passion. “Kindness is a superpower that we all have,” Reddi emphasizes. “Just helping somebody else is probably one of the most influential things you can do. It may be a small task to you – like holding the door open for the person behind you – but you never know how much significance it could have on that person. It could totally make their day. It’s just a ripple effect … one act of kindness can spark another. And in turn, hopefully it will spread positivity and happiness around the world. And that’s the end goal: making the world a better place.”
As her organization continues to grow, Reddi has used trial and error and her experience with school clubs to create a formal structure for her organization, with its officers ranging in age from middle school to high school. Her sister, Shree Lakshya, seventh grader at Lawler Middle School, serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and other student-aged executives serve as Social Media Managers, Outreach Directors and Blog Writers. And with the recent media coverage, Kindness 4 All currently has members across the nation, so Reddi now offers the ability to start your own Kindness 4 All chapter in your community.
“Nowadays, I feel like the people in our youth are not aware of the importance of kindness,” Reddi says. “I think it gets pushed to the side with grades, SATs and school. People forget about how important it is to help others around you and how critical kindness is. Our biggest dream goal would be to get more people to join our cause, and in turn, learn more about why kindness is important so that more people will implement that into their lives and serve the community.” And in the end, people will discover how helping others has a boomerang effect. “Kindness really works both ways,” Reddi explains. “When you do an act of kindness, you’re not only helping the person you’re encouraging, you’re actually helping yourself. When you spread kindness, it really helps you feel more positive and happier. I think it can really help a lot of people feel better in this pandemic.”
Along the way, making new friends and building stronger bonds with your community may surprise you. As Reddi said on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, “Because of Kindness 4 All, we’ve really had a great platform to bond – learn more about each other and become closer friends in the process. I’ve also been able to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends.”
In addition to the pre-defined Kindness 4 All events every month, Reddi says it’s easy to spread kindness right where you are. As she states in her blog, “With summer plans canceled and millions stuck at home, it may be overwhelming to deal with the isolation that has come out of this pandemic. However, we can still spread kindness. Not all acts of kindness have to involve going out and physically doing stuff. You can do amazing acts of kindness from your very own home.” Below, Reddi shares 10 ideas for spreding kindness, without spreading COVID-19. “Remember, even the smallest act of kindness has the potential to change the entire world around you.”
“The greatest superpower we all have is the power of kindness,” Reddi says with conviction. “I think once we all start trying to be kind to other people, it will really change our perspective about the world around us. I think it will help us be more loving toward one another and hopefully take out the hate between people. That would be so amazing in a time like this. A little bit of compassion can make the world such an amazing place.”
And if each person does their part, we could truly change the world, one act of kindness at a time.