If people around town seem a little nicer than usual, one group of local students knows why.
"Anywhere from simple ideas such as volunteer at an animal shelter or bake cookies for a new neighbor,” said Isabella Busacca. “It’s just little special ideas for people to give back to the community.”
The Dream Catchers of Liberty High School organized "Pay It Forward for Wendy Wayne Day."
People simply picked up a good deed hanging in Jastro Park on Monday. The event is about doing a random act of kindness for someone in the spirit of humanitarian and community activist Wendy Wayne, who died June 17th from cancer.
"Our mom always had the expectation of us doing something positive for the community and doing something for people other than ourselves,” says Benji Tackett, Wendy Wayne’s son. “These students are a living example of what she thought people should do with their time.”
On Saturday, at a special memorial service for Wayne, hundreds packed the Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield to say goodbye.
"Dear sister, she would always say, put it in perspective, you have nothing to complain about and so much to be grateful for," said Wayne's sister Cindy Chernow.
Family and friends paid tribute to Wayne in poetry and song.
Jarrod McNaughton of San Joaquin Community Hospital sang "What a Wonderful World," one of Wayne’s favorites. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer, registered nurse, and children's advocate, among her many titles.
People "Paying It Forward" on Monday say it’s their way to give back to honor someone who gave so much.
"Wendy was always about giving to others and helping others,” said Lori Tholl, who picked up a slip with her daughter. “I believe community service is very important, and I think it's important for kids."
Mayor Harvey Hall said he was honored to give the proclamation of Wendy Wayne Day. "That’s what it's all about, pay it forward beyond today,” he said. “We gave 400 suggestions, now we want you to carry it forward."
From picking up the tab for someone to smiling at a stranger, many hope these extra efforts will continue.
"Wendy was a great inspiration,” said Mary Kent, who picked a slip that said 'invite a friend for coffee.' “A lot of the things you already do, but kind of set your day out to do that. If we all lived that way it would be a pretty nice world to live in.”
If you weren’t able to make it to Jastro Park, you can go to www.dreamcatchersatliberty.blogspot.com
which has more suggested random acts of kindness.