Day of Kindness is Saturday, Aug. 5

In 2016, the First Congregational Church of Princeton served a free lunch on the Aug. 20 Day of Kindness, serving free food to neighbors, friends and other guests of the day.

The third annual Day of Kindness runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at 24 locations throughout Princeton, where community members will provide free goods and services to anyone who needs them.
Day of Kindness organizer Robyn Bayerl, who also works at the Thrift with a Twist store and directs His Givers, both nonprofit programs, said the kindness has grown since the first year’s event when there were 15 entities participating. She’s thrilled to have more giving going on and excited about the new-this-year breakfast that Bethel Church will host from 8:30-10 a.m. to kick off the day.
Various businesses and organizations in the community offer an item or service that anyone in the area can come to receive. Food items such as ice cream, coffee, slushies, pop, hot dogs, cookies and chocolate treats are offered in some of the locations and will be easy to find.
People can pick up clothes, shoes, gift cards, toilet paper, laundry soap and free toys. There will be opportunities to swim and play basketball free as well as beat the heat at the Princeton Splash Park. Kids can get their faces painted, and people of all ages can jump into free cardio or Crossfit workouts. Visitors can seek out a light car wash and books and CDs. There are also people distributing school supplies and toiletries in a few places.
So why do a Day of Kindness? Bayerl operates the Thrift with a Twist store and the His Givers ministry and knows of need in the community. She also knows what a huge difference just a little extra kindness can make.“It’s God’s heart,” said Princeton Book and Bible owner Debbie Trulson about why she participates.
She adds that Bayerl does a “beautiful job” coordinating the event, and she wanted to help. Trulson said the support from the community is obvious.
It will be the second year for the Christian book store to participate by offering free books and music CDs. Trulson said on the Day of Kindness, the store shares the demo music CDs it receives and offers for free any of the books in its sale room.
She said the system worked well last year, and the store tracked the complimentary merchandise. Trulson said some people have never had or cannot afford Christian books or music, and the Day of Kindness makes it easy to do outreach.
Martha Ahlschlager of the Sterling Pointe assisted living community said they offer ice cream treats that the residents enjoy handing out. For the 2017 Day of Kindness, Princeton-based Ruff Start Rescue will be at Sterling Pointe with animals. Ahschlager said the complex has adopted an emoji theme for the event.
She said everyone has been so gracious in past years, and everyone there appreciates the positive comments about the community. She said Day of Kindness is a great opportunity to give back to and welcome in the community.
“Our tenants love to see all the people that come,” said Ahlschlager, “especially the children. They love giving them the treats.”
Bayerl said people can get a map of locations plus a full description of the activities by picking up a flier at Thrift With a Twist, 31540 125th St., or by visiting the event’s Facebook page, Day of Kindness Princeton.