By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts
REDLANDS >> Random acts of kindness helped bring cheer to residents and helped usher in the 30s for two natives.
Twins Heather Kershaw and Allison Arney passed out gift cards and lotto tickets to random strangers waiting in line at grocery stores or at the Krikorian Redlands Cinema 14 while they waited for a midnight showing of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Popcorn was taped to a Redbox outside the CVS in downtown Redlands with a simple note, “Enjoy this popcorn on your movie night.”
“We’ve been planning this for a while and we figured we would make this part of (our birthday),” said Kershaw, who now resides in El Centro. “We were both adopted at birth and we had extended family who has given us more than we needed.”
Both Kershaw and Arney credit their parents for instilling the idea of giving back into their minds at a young age and the website, theCHIVE, for inspiring the idea.
Both women put up their own money to purchase the gift cards and other items used in the giveaway and spent several days around their birthday — Aug. 10 — distributing them.
Arney credits her sister as the “mastermind” of the whole thing.
“She’s kind of the brains behind the operation. She gives me ideas and I do all the research and legwork,” said the now Phoenix resident.
The two picked Redlands as their Random Acts of Kindness destination because of their attachment to the town. Their parents still live here, both women said, and they were born at Loma Linda University Medical Center, which was one of their stops.
The twins said they had fun passing out gifts.
But, they added, it wasn’t easy.
“There were some people who were hesitant at first. We would walk up to them … and say, ‘Hey, we would like to buy you some Coldstone on us.’ Some would reply, ‘What do you want for this?’” Arney said.
The twins’ giving nature did not stop at their birthday-themed Random Acts of Kindness activity. They are currently fundraising for a Lupus Walk in Phoenix in September in honor of a friend, Laura Litvinoff.
“(That) is one of the biggest things we are doing,” Arney said.
To donate to the cause, visit http://lupus.donorpages.com/ArizonaWalk/TeamLB/.
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