ODESSA, Fla. — A new gift shop in Odessa is hoping its unique message and purpose gets people to do a very simple task: something nice for someone else.
It started off with kindness keys. You pass them around, leaving them in areas for people to find. The message on them is pretty simple,
"You have stumbled upon keys to kindness kind keys," said Sharri Cagle, reading the message on the card attached to the key. "Please keep your kind key or pass it on and let it serve as a reminder to share an intentional act of kindness."
Cagle is the Executive Director of Keys to Kindness, a local non-profit.
"We've done some for our first responders, fire departments, we would like to share 2018 acts of kindness with our community," Cagle said.
The keys are now unlocking the door to a storefront in Odessa, giving the kindness message a brick-and-mortar home. It is called Gifts and Gatherings, the non-profit's next step in giving back.
"We have things for moms, things for teachers, things for grandmas, things for kids," Cagle said, showing off some of the meaningful gifts made by hometown businesses you can buy.
A percentage of each sale will raise money for Cagle's non-profit organization to help people in need.
You can also make your own gift, hold a do-it-yourself workshop or volunteer.
"We already had a couple ladies ask if they could hold their women’s group here," said Cagle. "I love it because were already serving our community by giving people a platform and a venue to do different things."
If you decide to make a gift, you will receive a kindness key and a free bird house to paint and hang up in a spot for someone else to find.
"Sharri is contagious. You can see kindness exude from her everywhere she goes," said Scott Meister, owner of Annabelle's Fine Furnishings at the other end of the shopping center.
It is one reason his store donated furniture and bags of sample quilts Cagle and others are re-purposing into unique items.
"One of the hardest things about having this is that you get involved with a lot of tragedies and sad things," Cagle said. "But out of that you see the good that happens and the good that comes from it and the relationships that are established."
Making it all worth while.
The store officially opens February 17, but you can do one act of kindness right now.
Grab a pair of shoes or sneakers and drop them off in the box in front of the store located at 8738 N. Mobley Road in Odessa, Cagle will be donating the items to folks in need.