RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Kindness is contagious. We've seen the evidence of that in our weekly "Acts of Kindness" feature here on NBC12 where we've been bombarded with calls and emails from people eager to pay it forward. But a Richmond mom has made kindness a way of life for decades and her crusade has garnered international attention. Something you can read all about in this month's "O" Magazine and she's here today to talk with us about it..
SABRINIA: Even her name is a virtue. I am thrilled to be talking with Patience Salgado, local mom of four, also known to legions of her devoted blog readers as Kindness Girl, and tapped by none other than the queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey as a local hero. I got to tell you, when I opened this month's "O" Magazine, I was so excited, I ripped the page out of the magazine and I want to share the headline. It says "Patience Salgado, master of the small act of generosity, making the world a friendlier place." And you really do believe that one small gesture with make a big difference.
PATIENCE: Yeah. I absolutely do. I think that's the beauty and power of kindness, is that it doesn't take a lot of money. It takes a willing heart, but you never know, like, who you're going to cross or what that one act will mean to someone or what they're going through or even what it does for you as a person offering it.
SABRINIA: And on your blog, you give people the tools and resources to spread kindness themselves. Tell us about some of your favorite kindness missions.
PATIENCE: Oh, I have to say my all-time favorite, and it's also my children's favorite, is called ding-dong ditching, and we'll drive around the community and we'll leave either have flowers or little card or sometimes even ding dongs, and we run up to the door and we leave a little present and we ring the doorbell and we run away. And I think there's just something so fun about the excitement of it and not knowing if you will get caught. It's just really fun.
SABRINIA: And you've given these missions a name. You call it gorilla goodness. I know people are going ape over it, but what does that mean?
PATIENCE: Guerilla goodness are small intention acts of kindness for families, friend, strangers, and also part of our community in public places.
SABRINIA: And anonymous, is that a part of it?
PATIENCE: It doesn't have to be anonymous, but I think there's something really special and valuable about offering something with not necessarily anything in return and believe it or not, I think there's -- the return is there, it's just not one we see.
SABRINIA: One of the things I was touched by is the fact that you said on your blog, the Oprah article came -- this big break-through -- at a time when you were experiencing a bit of a breakdown. I think some people might be under the false assumption that you have this advertising agency, this marketing team, but it's just a mom trying to make a difference. What was going on at the time?
PATIENCE: I think I knew or I was hopeful that the message of kindness was so powerful that it could be carried on, and quite honestly, I think I was a mess and wasn't sure I was the right person to do it and I had kind of all about given up. I would always continue my kindness, but it was a huge break-through for me to realize that I could be broken and still have something to offer the world. And I think that we all are kind of there.
SABRINIA: And people are getting the message.
SABRINIA: You're hearing from people all over the world.
PATIENCE: I am.
SABRINIA: Thank you for spreading kindness and making a difference in this community and elsewhere. Patience Salgado, pleasure to meet you.
PATIENCE: Thank you, Sabrina. Thank you so much.
SABRINIA: Thanks a lot.