Atwood kindness has long-distance impact

This past spring, Atwood Primary students got a terrific lesson on the impact that kindness can have and how the ripples of kindness can continue to spread.

Keith Hartzell, a regional sales manager for Von Drehle Corp and an Ocean City Councilman, was installing toilet paper dispensers at the school when he noticed something different about Atwood students. Every student he met was friendly, kind, and polite.

Hartzell was so impressed with the students, that he sought out Principal Jennifer McGee and pledged to donate $1000 to Atwood Primary every year until the last of these students graduates high school.

To express their gratitude, every single student in the school sent Hartzell a thank you letter. Hartzell wanted to do more to reward Atwood students for their positive behavior, so he put together a collage of newspaper articles about how their actions had led to his donation and acquired a proclamation and joint legislative commendation for the students.

When Hartzell walked back into Atwood, another surprise waited for him.  The students and staff had all gathered in an assembly in his honor.  The students all held hand made signs, and he was treated to an Atwood dance party and a video of each student thanking him.

The kindness that the Atwood community showed him had a profound impact on Mr. Hatzell. In a recent article in the Ocean City Sentinel, he said he had been “upset with political division in the country and “wasn’t myself'” before making the service call to Atwood in April.  

“After interacting with the students and seeing how friendly and courteous they were, Hartzell said he reflected about his own life.

“I need to go back to basics and be more like this. More sensitive, more caring,” Hartzell said. “I’m very grateful for what I have.”

See the full Ocean City Sentinel article here.


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