Blueberry Ambassadors participate in random acts of kindness - WNEM TV 5

Blueberry Ambassadors participate in random acts of kindness

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

What started as a mysterious billboard has sparked a movement that encourages random acts of kindness.

The campaign began last fall and has quite the following.

"I was in the car and I saw a lady and her kids walking down the street with no umbrella. And it was pouring rain and we had an umbrella in our car so I just gave it to them," said Janiya Carter.

Carter's story was one of many shared on Tuesday at the first ever student Blueberry Ambassador's recognition event.

"We can make a difference," said Phil Shaltz, program director.

Shaltz started the campaign with a mystery billboard along Interstate 69. The billboard sports the phrase, "I'm concerned about the blueberries: we told you about it this fall."

"Blueberries are just those little problems or concerns that people need help with," Shaltz said.

Now it's turned into a community movement. Ten local schools took part in the program this year, and Tuesday they were recognized for the ways they're paying it forward in their communities.

"It gives them a platform to do better things, and show young kids can do great things," Shaltz said.

More than 18,000 people from 15 countries went online to vote for this year's blueberry award. The winning school was announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday.

Scott Community School from Flint's east side won this year's readers choice award. Teacher Kathy Savoie helped implement the program in her sixth-grade class.

"One of my students read to a blind neighbor. Another helped shovel driveways in the winter," Savoie said.

The blueberry ambassadors said knowing they've helped somebody else is the best reward of all.

The winning school received a $1,000 prize. Organizers plan to continue the event next year.

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