PF Michigan Group Goes Above and Beyond to Spread Kindness to Local Community
On Aug. 18, PF Michigan Group’s Westland, Garden City and Wayne, Michigan, locations all participated in The Kindness Rally along with 54 other teams throughout Michigan.
This year, for the first time, general manager of the Westland PF® Karen Ryan helped organize The Kindness Rally and chaired the event, which aims to spread simple acts of kindness through friendly competition. Even though this was Ryan’s first year helping orchestrate the event, PF Michigan Group, owned by Bryan Rief and Pete Hopkins, has been participating in the event since its creation in 2016.
Formerly known as Rally for Redford and started by the Junior Chamber International in Redford, Michigan, The Kindness Rally was presented at a conference in the Midwest earlier this year, giving it national exposure. During the rally, teams are presented with a list of tasks, all necessary supplies and a time frame in which to complete them. The team that completes the most tasks is heralded as the winner and goes home knowing that they did all they could to brighten the day of community members.
“I was managing the Redford location back in 2016 when the program began. The first year PF sponsored the event, our donation was allotted toward T-shirts for the event,” said Ryan. “We participated in the event that year with a team that consisted of myself and a few members of Planet Fitness®. In 2017, the event began to grow, and PF participated in the same capacity but via the Westland Jaycees. Our sponsorship reached a statewide level last year, so we outfitted all participants in many communities. Finally, in 2018, I was asked to chair my own event! We still outfitted the whole state with Kindness Rally shirts.”
Some of the acts of kindness this year included leaving handwritten thank-you notes to restaurant owners or managers, leaving 15 Post-it notes with encouraging messages in random spots for people to find, putting quarters in candy and toy machines for kids, prepaying for ice cream and sending care packages to soldiers.
For Ryan’s first year chairing the event, the turnout was about what the organization expected. “Our branch of The Kindness Rally did over 100 acts of kindness alone,” she said. “I hope team members can see how a small random act of kindness can really improve someone’s day. This event was based off the idea of paying it forward, so that is what we hope the people touched by our acts of kindness will do. Ultimately, we hope to make the world a better place by choosing kindness.”
The Kindness Rally is gaining significant traction and has expanded from a national level to an international level with one event being held in Australia this year.
“The Kindness Rally has been such an amazing experience for me. Getting to see several clubs come together and volunteer their time and effort to give back to their communities and spread kindness to everyone was beyond rewarding,” said Ryan. “I am humbled and honored to be a part of such a fantastic team of people.”