FORT COLLINS, Colo. (NewsNation Now) — Make a difference for one person and it will have a ripple effect.
That is the message retired Fort Collins teacher Tony Garcia hopes to spread with his “Kindness Challenge” to students.
As social media trends have become increasingly popular, in some cases they have become harmful.
The recent “Devious Lick” challenge promoted stealing items from schools and destroying property in school bathrooms.
Saddened and stunned to hear several schools were vandalized, Garcia set out to create a different kind of trend.
“I decided to see if I could put out a different message,” Garcia said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “And that’s where the kindness letter was developed.”
Garica took to Facebook and penned a letter, challenging students to spread kindness online.
“It takes much more courage and strength to be a loving, caring person than it does to vandalize a bathroom,” he wrote in the post.
“It’s as simple as stepping aside in the grocery line when you see somebody’s got their arms filled,” he said. “I don’t think kindnesses is an act. I think it’s a way you go about handling your business.”
And he has received an overwhelmingly positive response to his letter.
“It has now over close to 120,000 shares and I think close to 7,000 comments,” he said.
His message struck a chord with people, so much so he has “gotten comments from as far as South Africa, Germany, Canada, and then most teachers in just about every state I can think of,” he said.
“It has been wonderful to see that this has gone so far,” he said. “It’s been amazing to watch unfold.”
Parents and teachers have been sending Garcia videos of kids engaged in acts of kindness.
“I truly believe that kids are great at it. Kids are kind,” he said. “They just need to be recognized for it.”