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In Ann Arbor, we took part in a “Do−Good Progressive”−a series of small acts of kindness toward strangers intended to spread some joy and love to others in memory of Ty. Our 14−person event covered two hours and 1.25 miles over a series of six events. The events were:

  • Make a holiday card for a child at Mott’s Children’s Hospital
  • Give two different strangers a genuine compliment
  • Buy someone coffee at a coffee shop
  • Smile and greet everyone you pass
  • Chalk the Diag (University of Michigan’s heaviest foot traffic area) with positive messages
  • Give someone a bear hug

The whole event felt very Ty−like. We felt awesome doing these small things for others and knowing we had just improved someone’s day, even a little. The day proved Ty’s incredible ability to bring people together is living on. Only two of the 14 participants had ever even met Ty. The remainder knew someone who knew him and wanted to be involved in memorializing who they thought sounded like an awesome guy. The small acts we did really brought a little happiness to others’ days. We brought smiles to strangers’ faces…exactly the way Ty would have.

At one point, I was nervous approaching a stranger at a local coffee shop to tell him I would like to buy his coffee as a small act of kindness in memory of my friend Tyler. After explaining to him why I wanted to do it, he responded, “Wow. Thank you so much. Tyler must have a been a really special guy.” And he was. And the fact that we could demonstrate that to others in one small moment made me realize how powerful a day CommuniTyler was−we truly spread his joy, his spirit and some good in the world in small, simple ways.

−Carryn Christianson

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