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South Bend businesses and organizations come together to #ShareKindness

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -

A small act of kindness can go a long way. South Bend parks and recreation, along with a host of local businesses and organizations, are trying to rally the city together to spread that message -- with a nontraditional approach to a donation drive.

Volunteers have been gathering for a few days for a project called "Keeping Our Neighbors Warm." It's put on by La Casa de Amistad, the South Bend Chocolate Factory, Le Peep, South Bend Brew Werks, Boling Vision offices and South Bend Parks and Recreation.

They have been writing small kindness notes that say things like "Keep warm," "Best wishes for the holiday," or to "Show off your smile."

Wednesday volunteers will be attaching those handwritten notes to hats, gloves, coats and scarves. Then they will hang the donations at high traffic locations like the Transpo building.

"It was really just to spread kindness," said Beatrice Phillips, a community advocate organizing the project. "To do an act of kindness that maybe you didn't think was so simple. And it's everyday things you might have in your basement, old hats and scarves that you might not use anymore. Or stopping by the store and getting an extra hat for somebody that might really need it."

It's an activity for people of all ages to cultivate a giving spirit.

"We are just glad to be able to help different parts of the community so we can engage different volunteers," said Sam Centellas of La Casa. "This is a really unique way for all ages to come together. We've had people sow things, and make things, donate things, people walking around to hang things up. So it's a way to get people engaged in helping others."

There is still time to get involved. The group is asking all who want to volunteer or make a donation to come to the Chocolate Cafe Wednesday from 530 to 630 p.m. And if you see one of the donations and notes around the city, you are encouraged to take a picture and share it on social media with the hashtag #sharekindness.

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