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November 5, 2013

Couple begins 'kindness' journey

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Meaghan Jameson has always done nice things for others, such as picking up the drive-thru tab for the car behind her or paying for a parking ticket on another car’s windshield. When she recently quit her job as an events manager, she figured the time was right to travel and practice acts of kindness wherever she went.

Jameson, 23, and boyfriend Dan Kenny, 26, are embarking on a two-month “Random Acts of Kindness Roadtrip” in her Honda CR-V. The couple plans to travel through 10 states - from Midwest to West to Southeast - visiting friends, sightseeing and offering "pick-me-ups" to as many people as they can.

They'll use money raised from family, friends and strangers on the crowd-funding site GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/RAKRoadtrip). So far they've raised more than $3,000 in donations - some open-ended and others with requests such as helping dancers, animals or farmers.

Jameson has created cards reading, “You’ve been RAK’d," to leave for unsuspecting recipients. She plans to blog about her travels at www.blondegoesbrrr.blogspot.com.

“I wanted to do things like travel and see places before I came back and looked for another job,” said Jameson, who envisions making gestures small and large - paying for dance lessons or a child’s daycare, buying books for a school library or contributing money to a dog’s surgery.

She and Kenny have lined up projects close to home to begin their trip - paying for a senior class portrait and creating cards for local hospital patients. They plan to end their journey in New Port Richey, Fla., in time for a Jameson family Christmas party, on Dec. 23.

The rest is flexible.

“That’s the fun of it," said Kenny, "it’s not knowing what’s going to be around the bend or over the hill. And getting to know people."

Marta Hepler Drahos writes for The Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Mich.

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