Read Stories | Watch Videos

Spreading Kindness in Dupont Circle (DC)

Karma Kitchen in DC is closed until September 12th as the restaurant undergoes renovation. This past weekend, we took the ideas of kindness and generosity to the streets of DC!

Our Sunday experiment involved a "public picnic" in Dupont Circle - an area in downtown Washington DC. Volunteers handed out goodie bags decorated with inspirational messages and filled with homemade baked good, food, CDs, smile cards, blank thank you cards, stuffed animals, and even $5 bills! We also had popsicles, water bottles, and of course FREE HUGS to give out to anyone walking by. Who knew that it could be so difficult to give things away with no strings attached!

Loveena, a KK volunteer, noted "The initial skepticism that we got from a lot of people and after 5 mins of explaining and convincing someone that there really was no catch, we got bear hugs!!

My own personal goal was to brighten at least one person's day and I definitely feel like I accomplished that. My "shining moment" (there were many) was when a girl who was walking by gave me a warm hug and then said that she had always wanted to try the "free hug thing." So she picked up our extra sign (the horror movie one) and started giving out her own free hugs! It was so touching to see the idea of "paying it forward" be implemented immediately...

Roshin, another volunteer, was walking around with water bottles and granola bars and one person he handed it to was curious as to why he was doing this. His answer was so simple. The reason you are asking that question is why I am doing it (not verbatim). There is no why and there is no underlying reason....

Our Sunday activity made me realize that there are ways I can incorporate these ideas into my everyday life. It doesn't have to be confined to a Karma Kitchen Sunday or a random act. There are so many ways we can express kindness, empathy, and understanding in our everyday lives.

Thank you to all the volunteers who came by on Sunday as well as all of the people who stopped by our "public picnic" to get a goodie bag, hug, smile, water bottle, etc.

--Aparna Kothary on Aug 5, 2010

Share Your Own Story

If you have a Karma Kitchen story to share, please email us. We'd love to hear it, and spread the inspiration!