Some people spend their 60’s counting down the days to retirement. But for 62-year-old Bob Votruba, each day brings him one step closer to reaching his goal of performing one million acts of kindness.
In the wake of the Virginia Tech Shooting in 2007, the father of three college students decided that spreading kindness was one small way he could help to change the world for the better. So he sold all his possessions, bought a bus, and set out on the road with his trusty sidekick, Bogart the Boston Terrier.
The bus is covered with facts and sayings that help depict the reasons for the Kindness Bus Tour and message that Bob hopes to spread. The word “peace” is written in 49 different languages all over the bus, alongside phrases like, “End all forms of hatred!” and, “Love never fails.” Bob’s chief call to action is front and center, reading, “Spread kindness to everyone every chance you get.” This message encapsulates Bob’s personal goal of inspiring every person he meets to set their own goal of performing one million acts of kindness in their own lifetime.
Bob picks a different cause to devote his time to each year. From college campuses to firehouses and police stations, Bob has traveled the country speaking out on the things he cares about. One year focused on wounded warriors. Another was devoted to ending bullying and adolescent suicide.
This week, the Cleveland native is back in his hometown raising awareness for children with special needs, specifically those diagnosed with autism and down syndrome. Staci Brown, whose three-year-old son has down syndrome, spoke with a local news station about how much Bob’s efforts mean to her. She spoke of times when her child had been discriminated against because of his down syndrome, and how important inclusion and acceptance is for her child’s future.
Bob says he loves his work, and plans on continuing it for the rest of his days. To learn more about One Million Acts of Kindness and to follow Bob’s Kindness Bus Tour, visit the non-profits web page at www.onemillionactsofkindness.com.