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Peace Award

'Kindness' creator wins peace award

by Tom Maurer

 

Jamie Adams may be only 4 years old but she knows what she wants. In this case, it was a small, green-and-blue stuffed elephant.

 

Jamie's mom tried to convince her daughter that she really wanted a cassette and book about circus animals. But Jamie kept hooking her thumb toward the stuffed elephant on the table amid stacks of educational toys.

 

Another 4-year-old, Angelica Gaxiola, carefully surveyed and examined just about every toy on the table before making her choice -- a plastic tool set.

 

"She's not into dolls too much," her mother, Ana, said.

 

About a dozen kids hovered over the stacks of Discovery toys Monday morning in Chuck Wall's Human Relations class at Bakersfield College. It was like Christmas all over again. They could pick any toy they liked.

 

The occasion was Discovery Toys' presentation of the National Project Peace Heroes Award to Wall for his Kindness Inc. campaign that has been recognized nationally for urging people to "Commit a Random Act of Senseless Kindness" each day. The project has spread into schools and communities throughout the country.

 

Wall is one of only three people in the United States and Canada to receive the award, which included a $1,500 cash prize and $3,500 worth of educational, non-violent toys, books and games for local charities.

 

Wall donated $1,000 worth of the toys to children whose parents attend his two Human Relations classes. The rest of the toys were donated to local organizations such as Community Connection for Child Care and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

 

"It is no small thing what this gentleman has achieved to help guide children on the path toward peace," said Charlene Hisayasu, sales director for Discovery Toys, which sponsored the national competition. The others to receive the awards were from North Carolina and Calgary.

 

The competition rewards community leaders and educators who integrate the "three C's" of peace in their projects: compassion, conversation and cooperation.

 

Reprinted with the permission of The Bakersfield Californian

 

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