About six years ago, I met a woman who changed my life. Her name is Cris Linnares and just for the record, she happens to be married to the man who publishes this column. I didn’t know that when I met her. I just knew she had an infectious personality and a heart for God and I needed to be her friend.
Little did I know that she needed to be my friend, too. She was longing to start a non-profit organization to help women connect with mentors, but she needed a partner. Cris and I put our sweat, tears and (thanks to a few paper cuts) blood into a project that is now called Women’s Impact.
One person with a heart to serve can make a big impact in the world, but two people teaming up for change can light the world on fire. I truly believe that. We are better together.
Two Fargo women with a vision, Jamie Mattern and Christy Huber, recently wrote to me about their new endeavor. Their story and passion reminded me of my time with Cris, when all we had was a dream, a computer and each other. I can’t help but share their thoughts with you.
Here’s what Jamie had to say.
“Christy and I met about three years ago when her husband joined my husband’s high school football coaching staff. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much we had in common and we became fast friends.
“We had countless conversations about wanting to make a difference and considered multiple options. We knew whatever we were going to do was going to be bigger than both of us. The moment God placed the idea of a kindness charm on Christy’s heart, she called and shared the idea with me and we haven’t looked back since.
“We came up with the name tlc² which reminds people to Take Time to notice an act of kindness, Lead with Love and Care with a Compliment when they share a charm.
“Two things happen when purchasing and giving away tlc² charms. One, we become more likely to look for and notice all the kindness around us, and two, we join the kindness movement ourselves by making people feel appreciated and loved. Our hope is the wonderful feeling of kindness will stir everyone involved to continue what has been started.
“It’s so exciting to us to realize the potential for how many people this actually impacts. Through the profits from these charms, we get to give back to other organizations who exemplify kindness. Our first give back that we’re so in love with helping is Matthew’s Voice Project, which was started by another Fargo woman named Jenny Schuster. Her organization is beautiful and we’re excited to help fill in the gaps for homeless students in our school system. (Learn more at www.facebook.com/matthewsvoiceproject.)
“We want to create noticers of kindness and reward doers of kindness with these charms. It’s that simple. The more kindness that is noticed and recognized, the more kindness will become the norm of our daily lives.”
The cost for 21 charms is $39. You can learn more at www.kindnesstlc2.com.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.