/Pass it along

Pass it along

Young girl’s kindness inspires community

Erick Fredendall

Ryan Hiller, barista at the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House, was handed a twenty dollar bill Saturday morning with instructions to buy the following customers’ drinks for as long as he could.
Neither Hiller nor the benefactor knew how far the simple act of kindness would carry itself.
That is, all weekend.
From Saturday morning through Monday afternoon, no one paid for their own drink orders.
SC4 International Student Services Coordinator Lisa Tobiczyk gave the money to Hiller with a simple instruction: pay the money forward, and when you do, tell them about a girl named Rachel Kolar.
Kolar, Tobiczyk explained, was injured in a serious car accident on Jan. 21 and is currently in recovery.
On her birthday Feb. 23, friends decided to celebrate Kolar’s kindness and compassion by doing a random act of kindness in her name.
“We wanted to celebrate who she is, but we also wanted to bless other people, just like she does,” Tobiczyk said.
Visitors at the coffee shop loved the gesture.
Throughout the weekend, customers would regularly hand the baristas’ more than what their drink orders were worth, followed by three words:
“Keep this going.”
Tobiczyk’s gesture was one of many. On her birthday, Kolar’s Facebook wall was filled with pictures and comments of her friends and family sharing their stories and the acts of kindness they performed throughout the day.
When contacted by the ESG, Tobiczyk painted a stunning portrait of Rachel Kolar: a 19-year old freshman attending SC4, active in the women’s volleyball team, and working at the Fort Gratiot Toys-R-Us.
“She sponsors four kids around the world on her Toys-R-Us income,” said Tobiczyk, “there was a phrase that she always used, ‘love does.’ She got it from a book, Love Does by Bob Goff, and it totally defines who Rachel is.”
Perhaps unknowingly, the customers and employees at the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House receive a small insight into the kind of person Rachel Kolar is by the actions her loved ones made in her name.
And on behalf of the Erie Square Gazette’s editorial board, we wish to celebrate Rachel Kolar’s life, loved ones, and expedited recovery by making the following statement:
Each editor of the Erie Square Gazette pledges to do a random act of kindness for someone in the following two weeks, and continue to tell the story of a young girl who touched the hearts of those she came across.
We encourage our readers to share this pledge and story.

Contact Erick Fredendall at ejfredendall@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MrFredendall.