When Sharri Cagle’s son came home on a Thursday night wanting to do something to help a fellow student who needed a heart transplant, Sharri did not hesitate to jump at the chance to help. Sharri’s family, friends and community came together, build a lemonade stand and helped raise $2,000. That is how Keys to Kindness was born.
Keys to Kindness, an organization in Odessa, Florida, seeks to connect the community for Kindness. In 2016, it kicked off the Kindness campaign in the Odessa community and shared 2016 acts of Kindness. Volunteers of all ages placed K2K Kind Keys throughout their community and shared kindness.
Today the organization helps facilitate and host fundraisers for various causes in their community, implement Kind Campus Programs in schools and for businesses. They provide community service opportunities for youth, Summer Kind Camp for kids, and Student Internship Program for middle school and high school students. The organization also recognizes acts of kindness in their community through the Community Kind Key.
Sharri Cagle is committed to making a difference in her community and is today’s Daily Point of Light Award Honoree. Points of Light spoke with Sharri to learn more about her commitment to service.
What inspires you to volunteer?
Knowing I am helping others and teaching my kids the importance of giving back. Knowing I am using the gifts God gave me and that I want to be a light for Him.
Describe your volunteer role.
I help connect the community to share and encourage kindness through events, fundraisers, and schools campuses. I helped create the Keys to Kindness Kind Key to recognize individuals or businesses sharing kindness.
I support and bring others together for community kind causes; such food drives, families in need, community members with illnesses, supply drives for homeless, veterans, and school supplies.
Keys to Kindness has opened a gift store, which also serves as a gathering place for groups to meet such as special need kids, Veterans, widows, and school kids. Knowing they have a safe place to come and gather and buy or make meaningful gifts.
What has been the most rewarding part of your work?
Providing opportunities for kids and elders together to share kindness and making a difference in our community. Having my own kids right by my side volunteering and creating Kind Campus Programs for schools.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
Volunteering is needed and makes a difference. When you give, you get more back. Volunteering can change your perspective and help you focus on the needs of others instead of negativity in your life. We need to give our youth more opportunities to serve others and schools should make it more of a priority for ALL students.
Are there any future partnerships, programs, or events that you are excited about?
We will be hosting Summer Camp and Internships for Middle School and High School students. We have a monthly drive for Kind causes in the community. We will also be holding a food drive twice this year for a local food Pantry. We will also be continuing and working on growing our Kind Campus Program.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
They learn the needs of others and can step outside themselves. It’s touches hearts and is good for the soul. When we have opportunities for our youth to serve good comes out of it and there is less of a chance for them to get in trouble.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
Kindness touches the heart of the giver and receiver. The simplest act of kindness makes a big difference. Make sharing kindness and volunteering a staple in families and communities.