Updated Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:23 am
By Sarah Hawley Messenger Staff Journalist
For the past five years Bob Votruba has traveled across the country spreading the message of “one million acts of kindness,” a message which is about to go global as Votruba embarks on a bike tour of London, England later this year.
On Monday, Votruba made a stop near Ohio University meeting with those walking along Court Street and sharing the mission of kindness.
The two-day stop in Athens came as Votruba travels to Yellow Springs from the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.
The idea on the “Kindness Bus” began following the shootings at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.
Driving from his home near Cleveland to the Virginia Tech campus three days after the shooting, Votruba was inspired to start the one million acts of kindness campaign. After selling all of his possessions, Votruba embarked on the Kindness Bus two years later, taking his mission to college campuses around the country.
“One million acts of kindness” centers around the idea of global kindness, compassion, respect and gratitude.
Votruba’s goal of one million acts of kindness is now branching out to a mission of schools as a deterrent to bullying.
To date 25 schools have signed on to be part of the program.
Votruba explained that there are 273 days in the school year (including weekends and holidays).
If you take a school with 900 students, faculty and parents completing acts of kindness, it would take just over four acts each day for those 273 days to complete one million acts of kindness.
This is the third trip to Athens for Votruba who also made stops in the area in 2009 and 2011.
While Votruba set out to make this a 10-year mission, he says it is something he will do for the rest of his life.
He is also meeting with advisors to ensure that the lifestyle and mission of one million acts of kindness continues in the future.
Votruba along with his rescue dog, Bogart, have traveled through portions of North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia over the past few weeks on a new bus that was recently donated to the cause.
The bus is decorated with many of the same statements as the original one, including a message written in Chinese by a student in Athens on Monday.
The message reads, “Kindness will help the world be a better place.”
The message had also been written in Chinese on the original bus by a student at a different campus.
“The donation of the bus saved the mission,” stated Votruba.
The original bus had been stuck in a region of California as it is now unable to climb the mountains to leave the area.
The original bus will now be donated to a professor at Virginia Tech who plans to use the bus to continue the mission of one million acts of kindness on the campus.
In addition to the Kindness Bus, Votruba also bikes through areas as he will later this summer on his trip to London.
Votruba plans to extend the mission to other international cities over the next several years.
For more information on one million acts of kindness visit onemillionactsofkindness.org.