In the sky above Richfield Saturday evening, approximately 120 balloons were freed.
The balloons twisted and bobbed their way to the northeast, following the currents of the wind.
The family of Kamree Newby released the balloons on her birthday. Kamree is a young woman who was lost to suicide in March 2019.
The balloons, all the colors of the rainbow, symbolized not just Kamree, but the good deeds that have been done in her name in the past week.
Her parents, Brady and Amber, as well as her siblings, started with a simple idea to remember Kamree — be kind.
“Every year, we didn’t ask her to do it, she would go to the Light Up the World machines and make donations,” Brady said. He said the donations were just part of her character. The Newby family wanted to do something that encapsulated Kamree’s giving nature.
“It started out as something that was just going to be our family,” Amber said. Family members started doing kind deeds for strangers and leaving behind a card with the words, “Please enjoy this random act of kindness done in memory of Kamree Newby.”
It was a way to recognize Kamree’s birthday week among the tightly knit family.
Soon enough, friends started asking for cards. Then the hashtag #kindlikekamree started popping up on social media.
People began doing the acts of kindness and leaving behind the cards. Many of those doing the acts send pictures of what they’re doing to Brady and Amber, who then post them on Facebook and Instagram. The posts are not a form of bragging, as they are anonymous, but as a way to show good being done in the world.
“We just want people to see all the good that is being done,” Amber said. She said one person posted saying, “I love that there’s something positive on Facebook for once.”
The group following Kind Like Kamree grew to more than 600 in a week.
“It’s definitely made this week bearable to see all the different things people have done,” Amber said.
Some of the acts have included meals paid for by strangers, money stashed in products used by new mothers, litter being picked up and lots of other things. Some of the acts have been fairly common sense, while others have being extremely creative, Amber said.
The good deeds are stacking up. Due to requests, the Newbys have printed 5,000 of the business cards, and most of them have already been translated into good deeds.
“It’s crazy where I’ve mailed these,” Amber said. She said cards are being used in Hawaii, Oregon, Spain and other parts of Europe.
The kindness has come full circle. When the Newbys went to pick up the balloons for Saturday’s release, someone had already paid for them with a Kind Like Kamree card attached to the receipt.
“It’s something we thought would just be our little family thing, and it’s grown,” Amber said. “We hope she’s proud.”
The Kind Like Kamree effort can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and at kindlikekamree.com.