Kindness Cards! Give the Gift of Kindness!
A small act of kindness can go a lot further than one may think. Co-Owner & Operator of Nothing Bundt Cakes (Grand Rapids) Scott Vogel and Consumers’ own Events & Sponsorship Coordinator Adrienne Marks join us this week to discuss an exciting new program to recognize youth for their kind acts.
00:06 Lynne Jarman-Johnson: Money, I’m Home, welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union from finance to fitness, and today, kindness. We are so excited to introduce you today to Scott Vogel with Nothing Bundt Cakes, he’s the CEO and owner. And Adrienne Marks is our own Consumers Credit Union events and sponsorship guru. She actually puts all of the events that you see and hear and actually are virtually involved in. And so, we’re so excited to both of them to be with us today, because we have a really great announcement to talk about. Scott, why don’t you kick it off?
00:41 Scott Vogel: Yeah, well it’s always fun working with Consumers Credit Union, and so, and I have to laugh. When you tell me I’m CEO, I always just think of me as a simple cake ambassador in West Michigan. So I love the upgrade in title. But something that’s been very near and dear to our heart is the partnership with Consumers Credit Union because we’re equally wired in with the communities we serve and the idea is just, how can we give back? And I think we all can agree, right now I guess the world could use a little bit more kindness, and we still believe in the kindness of people. So we put our heads together and we thought, “How cool would it be to launch an initiative called the Kindness Card?” And it’s just that, where basically you do 10 acts of random kindness for those who are 17 years of age and younger, and you’re rewarded for it. And so, I think at a simple, basic level, our hope as a group is kindness begets kindness.
01:47 LJJ: Absolutely. Adrienne, tell us a little bit about the program and your own thoughts and feelings. You’re a mom; you’re working remote at times and sometimes in the office, and I’d love to hear your experience as a mom, too, about kindness. How can people get involved?
02:06 Adrienne Marks: Yeah, it’s pretty easy. We’ve tried to make this as possible for everybody. You can pick up your Kindness Card at any open Consumers location; you can find those on our website. Pick up a card, do your 10 acts of kindness, bring your card back into Consumers, and we will reward you for those 10 acts of kindness with $10 in your Youth Savings Account. And we’ll give you back that card, you take it to Nothing Bundt Cakes and give it to Scott there, and he will reward you with a delicious Bundtlet. And Scott, I am going to join your team because I want to be a cake ambassador. [chuckle] That sounds like a perfect title.
02:44 LJJ: There’s also another partner involved with this, and so that’s in the Holland area.
02:49 AM: Yes, Colin’s Bakery in the Holland area will also be honoring our kindness cards with sweet treats.
02:55 LJJ: So exciting. So Scott, tell us a little bit about how you see this working. I think you’ve already had some fun with your own kids in helping spread that kindness.
03:06 SV: Yeah, so this is a very formal focus group as I’m about to explain it. So we brought a couple of the Kindness Cards home, and we gave them to our three kiddos. So, we have an 11-, a 10-year-old and a five-year-old. So we have an interesting spread. And what was fun is, is that if you’re a parent you can fully appreciate how different your kids are, and so each kid took to it in a very different way. And so a great example would be our middle child, Ryland, who is 10… Or nine rather, he immediately knocked out four acts of kindness. And we go around at the dinner table and have a discussion about the best part of the day, but we incorporate kindness, and it kind of piqued the interest of our oldest who was like, “Oh gosh, I’m kind of falling behind my younger brother.”
03:58 SV: And then as we were talking about, it started a great discussion with our youngest who is five years old, which we really haven’t talked about kindness with much before. She’s still really focused on rainbows, unicorns and mermaids, but she started to engage on what kindness means, and it’s fun because she’s going to follow the lead of her older brother and sister. And so we have debates about, does that count or not? But it’s all done in good fun, and it enters a great way of having a fun and seamless dialogue with your kids and having something positive to talk to them about.
04:41 LJJ: You know, today, we asked our members on our Winning Member Wednesday… Please, join us on Facebook, and you can easily take part in that fun, too. But we asked them to share with us kindness that perhaps they bestowed about on someone or they received, and Krista writes, “I won’t ever forget one grocery shopping trip when a little old lady stopped and asked if she could give my daughter a dollar because she liked rewarding good behavior.” As a mom, Adrienne, doesn’t that just warm your heart and showcase that those little things do matter?
05:20 AM: Absolutely. I firmly believe that kindness and performing acts of kindness is habit forming, and that’s definitely something we have tried to insist is using these cards to encourage in our kids. We have a six-year-old and a three-year-old, and like Scott said, it’s just a great way to open the dialogue between you guys and how… What acts you can consider kindness and how to encourage them. So for our kids, it can be a simple… They’re remote learning, so they don’t… They’re not out and about as much, but it can be really simple as just being kinder to each other. I think when you have siblings, that can be a little bit of a struggle sometimes.
06:03 LJJ: There’s some wonderful acts of kindness that are on our Facebook page: Buying co-workers breakfast, especially during the pandemic, surprising them; getting groceries for neighbors, as many cannot go out if they’re older, perhaps are not as finessed at Shipt or something that gets groceries to the door. And Scott, there’s one from Laura Ann that says, and this is pretty big. “I recently received a random person buying our entire baby registry, is that crazy?”
06:42 SV: Wow.
06:42 LJJ: So Scott, tell us a little bit about why you really have decided to jump in with both feet and help people spread that kindness at a time when it feels a little bit rocky out there right now?
07:00 SV: Well, I guess for us is you take a step back and you sometimes feel helpless with whatever the negative energy or what’s going in the world and that’s independent of COVID, right? So it’s just the world with the current world affairs of COVID and what have you. And well, you have a choice; it’s like do you want to feel helpless or do you want to start a positive dialogue? I genuinely believe there’s so much goodness out there and especially in West Michigan, there’s something very special about this corridor in Michigan, from Kalamazoo up to the Lakeshore, to Grand Rapids and north of Grand Rapids, there’s amazing people.
07:45 SV: And so the thought is, let’s reward people for things they’re probably already doing, and the other thing is, let’s just start a great positive dialogue. And the fun thing about the whole program in general is you don’t have gatekeepers going, “That was not a kind act”. You decide, right? If you buy the whole registry, you could decide those are just acts of kindness; I won’t dispute that. Or holding a door open for someone, that’s awesome, that counts, too. We’re not sitting here to give you all these rules, we’re just here to say, “Guys, there’s a lot of goodness out there. Let’s highlight the positive, and let’s have some fun.” And I think that’s needed right now, and I think for us, that’s something we can buy into because our goal at the bakery is to deliver happiness one bite at a time to the community we love. And so, it fully aligns with who we are, and we’re excited about this.
08:49 LJJ: Adrienne, it’s people like Scott with Nothing Bundt Cakes and Colin’s Bakery in Holland that help you do your job. You had to pivot quite a bit this year, when all of a sudden it looked like everything was going to go virtual. This is fun because it is… It’s a little bit virtual in the sense that people can share what they’ve done with the kindness cards, but you must love the fact that we’re spreading joy a little bit of a different way this year.
09:22 AM: Oh, absolutely. Like Scott said, if you follow the news sites that are going around, it seems like everybody’s doing… The term I’ve heard is “doom scrolling.” It just doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of good news out there. So if we can help spread a little bit of joy just through simple small acts, I think that’s phenomenal. And you can do them in your own home with your own family, or if you’re out and about, you can share them with your neighbors in your community, and that’s… I think every small act of kindness that we do will beget another act of kindness.
10:01 LJJ: Let’s recap one more time exactly what people need to do to start to really get those Kindness Cards going. And I know that this actually runs through October, but it sure… You know it sure sounds like something we could continue different times throughout the year. Everybody needs kindness. Adrienne?
10:20 AM: Yeah, absolutely. So to grab your Kindness Card, just stop by at Consumers Credit Union, follow instructions on the card, do your kind acts, and then bring your card into Consumers for your $10 in your Youth Savings account, and then bring it to either Nothing Bundt Cakes or Colin’s Bakery for your sweet reward.
10:42 LJJ: Scott, we can’t thank you enough for your business partnership. This is one that has grown to even be as a world record-setting cake walk partnership, and I’ll tell you if that doesn’t make you grin, I don’t know what does.
11:00 SV: No, it’s all about partners and friendship, and I think Consumers exemplifies it. You don’t think of a bank as an ally, but I think you can, not I think, I know you can with Consumers Credit Union—you’ve walked alongside us. And it’s fun when you throw challenges of spreading kindness, that you wouldn’t expect the first person to raise their hand and jump up and down with your bank and credit union. And it is. And I think what’s really fun is the throw-down positive challenge is that in, well, I think our accountants may not see the return on investment on this, I see 1,000 times. We want to give away 1,000 Bundtlets, and that’s our personal-sized cakes, and 1,000 Bundtlets means 10,000 acts of kindness in West Michigan.
11:53 LJJ: Wow.
11:54 SV: And so I think we can hit that; I think we can exceed that. And here’s the deal, if we have 10 acts of kindness or 10,000 acts of kindness, that’s just a little bit more joy in our community. So I’m just really excited about this.
12:10 LJJ: Well, thank you guys both so much. If you have an act of kindness that you spot and would like to share it, please do so on our social media pages, too. We’d love to see those. And we’re going to have different hashtags, absolutely #KindnessCards, #NothingBundtKindness, #LetsBakeKindness, and then #CUBeKind. So we’re going to have a lot of fun with this this month, and we need it more than ever. Scott and Adrienne, thank you so much for your time today.
12:45 AM: Thank you for having us.
12:46 SV: Thanks for having us.
12:48 LJJ: And if you’ll do me a favor, pick up those Kindness Cards. Thank you for listening in. Thanks Jake Esselink for his wonderful production skills. And if you have an idea, you’d like to share an idea with us or you’d like to share a topic with us, please do so, we sure would love to hear from you. Everybody have a wonderful, kind week. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson. Money, I’m Home, from finance to fitness and kindness.