As a board member of The Arc of Umatilla County I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the five members of the ALMS Kindness Club who came out on February 16th to support The Arc's Valentine's Dance. These caring young people signed and distributed Valentines to all of the individuals in attendance so that everyone would receive multiple cards. They also got involved by dancing alongside of attendees and encouraged participation in various dances such at the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance.

These students showed what kindness looks like by stepping out of their comfort zones to make the day a whole lot brighter for people with developmental/intellectual disabilities. I am also grateful to their staff adviser, Mariangela Summers for facilitating this valuable volunteer opportunity for these students.

It is very easy to talk about kindness yet it takes a real effort on the part of the individual to actually make a positive influence on others by showing kindness. These students from ALMS definitely "walked their talk" and should inspire all of us to reach out to others in a real way. Let's all ask ourselves what we did today to show genuine kindness to another person. As one student commented to his adviser while at the event, "I just feel so happy inside!" Thank you Kindness Club for being a conduit of happiness for others!

Kristi Smalley


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