A group of area kids showed its love for others at the La Crosse Public Library Monday evening.
They are called the "Love Bomb Squad" and they leave handmade gifts as a way to spread kindness, peace and joy to others.
“Random acts of kindness makes other people's days and it makes our day to make their day, so it makes everyone happy,” said Abby Sharp, a member of the Love Bomb Squad.
At the library, the kids left handmade painted rocks and bookmarks for unsuspecting guests to find.
“We keep it simple and inexpensive and we want to bring cheer to people and then inspire them to do the same thing and we hope it’s a ripple effect and so the kindness will spread far and wide,” said Stephanie Sharp, the founder and leader of the Love Bomb Squad, and Abby’s mother.
Stephanie Sharp said she was inspired to create the group because of two organizations in Denver: the Random Acts of Kindess Foundation and The Birthday Project.
“I just wanted to make it a little more personal, so I decided to start my own,” Sharp said.
In November 2013, Sharp and her daughter teamed up with some close friends and family to do something special for someone else. Then they brought up the idea to their church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and encouraged everyone, especially Sunday school kids to do random acts of kindness.
“We painted rocks and wrote post-it notes and then during Random Acts of Kindness week, we 'Love Bombed' the (la Crosse) City Hall a couple of meetings there,” Sharp said. “We went to hospitals and nursing homes and a knitting group at church started knitting scarves and we have a person that makes tabs for them and then puts them around downtown for the statues and they say, ‘I’m not lost. If you’re cold, please take me.’”
Sharp said they don’t usually see people’s reaction when they get Love Bombed, but when they do there are mixed reactions.
“Most of the time it’s confusion because I don’t think people expect a stranger to come up and do something kind. I think that sometimes they’re nervous but I think after they realize what it is, it makes them smile.”
"If you were walking home and it was cold and you had a bad day at work and suddenly you found a painted rock that says you are loved, it would make your day a little better," said Abby Sharp.
The members of the Love Bomb Squad hope they inspire people in the community to start doing their own random acts of kindness.
“Keep the kindness going because I think the world needs that,” Stephanie Sharp said.
For more information on the Love Bomb Squad, visit the organization’s website, Lovebombsquad.com or Love Bomb Squad Facebook page.