Real Michiana: Spreading kindness one random act at a time
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A South Bend woman is turning her abuse survival story into a chance to pay it forward--one random act of a kindness at a time.
Three years ago, on Kristine Kuroski's 34th birthday, she and her kids decided they would save money from January until June to do random acts of kindness.
"We found it just really exciting to watch someone’s day be changed by a small simple thought," said Kuroski.
That evolved into bringing cookies to fire stations, leaving inspirational quotes on people's cars, paying for someone's groceries, and so much more.
But--what originally led Kristine and her kids to do these acts of kindness wasn't random at all.
“I left an abusive relationship that I was in for nine years that had drug and alcohol use and verbal and physical abuse in it," she said.
“A couple times in the house, I would wake up to my brother crying or see my mom getting beat,” said Hayley Kuroski, her daughter.
“Honestly, we were trying to figure out how to leave and stay alive, like I can remember saying, "If there is a god, you know just get me out of this alive, and I’ll do whatever you want,'" said Kristine.
She held up her end of the bargain by starting Angels in the Attic in 2012, a non-profit ministry aimed at helping women and kids who are escaping abusive situations.
“Where we fill the gap is when women and children are getting into their new home and they have a safe location, we look for gently used household items...Our goal is just to alleviate the financial burden," said Kristine.
They're on a tight budget themselves, but they live by a mantra coined by Teddy Roosevelt: "Do what you can where you are with what you have."
“I’m a firm believer of the law of attraction, positivity out is positivity in...and when you start thinking of others, you’d be amazed at how it turns your viewpoint of life around, and then you notice other people who are thoughtful, and it makes your day so much brighter and so much better," said Kristine.
She credits getting out of her abusive relationship to even being able to these random acts of kindness.
“We didn’t really leave the house that much, so it’s almost a sense of freedom that you can do what you want and when you want," said Kristine.
“Throughout the years, I’ve seen my mom change completely. She’s strong and she’s powerful and she’s just so loving and her heart is so full, and she does anything she ever can for anyone just because we’ve gone through it and we can relate," said her daughter.
“I want people to know that you don’t have to have a lot of money. This is not hard. It takes thought, and it takes time, but it’s really easy to think of others and meet their needs, that if more of us were thinking of others and meeting their needs, the world would be a better place," said Kristine.
Check out another shopper's reaction to the card on his windshield:
Here, they visited the Army recruiting center in Mishawaka:
Look out for more "random acts of kindness cards" on your cars this coming week.
If you receive one, tweet at Jess @JessArnoldTV to share what your quote is and how you plan to pay it forward.
If you know someone who should be featured in the next Real Michiana, let Jess know at email@example.com