Arlington challenges citizens to do random acts of kindness

"If you see something, say something.” — That phrase is typically used to report something suspicious or wrong.

But in Arlington, the phrase is taking on a different meaning. City leaders want citizens to report when they see someone doing something kind.

The new city initiative started when Lisa Smant witnessed an act of kindness from her co-worker at the Southwest Branch Public Library. An elderly gentleman walked into the library to check out some books.

"He was on crutches, had a leg brace, obviously needed some assistance, and was checking out his materials,” recalled Smant. “Our customer service agent Lisa decided that she would help him out to the car because he had his crutches and his books, and it would obviously be difficult for him to get out to his car."

The initiative to report acts of kindness began with a challenge from Mayor Jeff Williams. With the Arlington’s population at 400,000, the mayor is asking citizens to do 400,000 random acts of kindness.

To report the act, people download the city app ‘Ask Arlington,’ click on submit a request and then 'report an act of kindness.’ Fill in the form and submit.

"And to continue to put on the mind of each one of our citizens to be kind to yourself neighbor, be kind to the visitors that we have coming here to our city,” Williams said.

The mayor says cities like in California, Kentucky and West Virginia have seen a noticeable difference from their kindness initiative. He hopes the same pay it forward attitude is just as contagious here.