We Are Vigilante Kindness

Last night my Facebook birthday fundraiser for Vigilante Kindness was fully funded!!! There was a mad rush of donations at the end to donate the last $20 that had me absolutely giggling with delight!

We_Are_VIgilante_Kindness_pngMy sleep last night was restless because I couldn’t stop thinking about all of you, who you are, who I am, who we are as Vigilante Kindness.

I started writing out things that are true of you and I, what we do, things we love, what we’re going through, where we’ve been, and all the other things that make us who we are.

It leaves me full of love thinking about each of you and leaves me in wonder thinking of who we are collectively.

Thank you for choosing to be a part of our story.

I couldn’t love you more if I tried, so I made you a present, a story of who we are.

Meet Becca McKinnon: Teacher, Photographer, Vigilante

Happy Cyber Monday, Vigilantes. I’m told today is the best day for shopping for Christmas presents online. In the land of teachers, today is known more as, Please-God-Let-My-Students-Have-Gone-To-Bed-At-A-Reasonable-Hour-Last-Night-Day.

I digress.

Since it is Cyber Monday, I wanted to let you know of some ways you can shop online while also supporting Vigilante Kindness. You can, of course, buy any of the remaining paper bead jewelry, paintings or poetry anthologies from our store. You can also buy Bravelets bracelets or shop at AmazonSmile.

But there’s one more way you can shop online while supporting the work we do at VK. We’re big on using our gifts to serve others and I love when you email, message, call, stop me in the grocery store and tell me about your gifts and talents and how you want to use them to partner with us. Seriously, few things make me happier than when the work we love to do collides with what your gifts and talents.

Enter Becca McKinnon.

You know her as half of the couple who shoved money in my hand before I left for Uganda the second time with the directions to “find a kid in need.” That money became a mattress for a kid in need.

Becca teaches with me, poor thing, but her passion is taking photographs. She takes photos that leave me awestruck. Seriously, just look at this one of Balanced Rock.

Balanced Rock by Becca McKinnon
Balanced Rock by Becca McKinnon

I can’t even talk about the photos she snapped of my favorite oak tree on Millville Plains Road.

So when Becca asked me if she could donate part of the proceeds of her photo sales to Vigilante Kindness, I was definitely on board. When she said she wanted to give Vigilante Kindness 50% of the proceeds, I nearly passed out. She actually asked if 50% would be enough and it was all I could do to sputter out, “Y-y-y-yes, fifty percent is more than enough.”

So on this Cyber Monday, while I’m wrangling sleep-deprived children, take a minute to pop over to Becca’s site. Even if you somehow have superhero willpower and don’t purchase anything, you’ll be glad to see the beauty Becca captures through the lens of her camera.

Thanks, Becca, and thanks to all of you Vigilantes who use your gifts and talents to partner with VK in doing the work we love.

Want to be a Vigilante?


2015 is winding down and for Vigilante Kindness, that means we’re gearing up for a new year in wild adventures of Vigilante Kindness and we’d like you to join us. As we prepare for the new projects God is calling us to in Uganda, we’re looking to expand our Board of Directors to meet our growing needs and perhaps you’ve been looking for something more to do with your life, too.

Vigilante Kindness is currently looking for volunteers who possess talents in the areas of:

  • finance & accounting
  • personnel & human resources
  • administration, management & leadership
  • fundraising & grant writing
  • web design
  • non-profit experience
  • community service
  • project & policy development
  • public relations & communication
  • education & instruction
  • special events
  • outreach & advocacy
  • art instruction

If you’re interested in being on the Board of Directors, please email your completed Vigilante Kindness Board Application to Alicia at vigilantekindness@gmail.com.  Tell us a little bit about yourself, what your special gifts and talents are and why you’re interested in being on the board.

If you’re interested in becoming more involved in Vigilante Kindness, but becoming a director isn’t your thing,  or maybe you don’t see your skill set listed above, we want you, too.  Maybe you paint.  Or write.  Or take photographs.  Or ride your bike really far.  Or knit hats and scarves.  Or make jewelry.  Or make music.  Or make jam.  Or teach Zumba.  Or cut hair.  Whatever your gifts and talents are, we recognize them as something valuable, we recognize you as someone who is valued.  We see you.  We want you to join in our wild adventures of Vigilante Kindness.

Malea’s Good Name

In the darkening Gulu evening, my son, Opiyo Martin, and I stood outside, our bellies full of pork and cassava. I smiled at the laughter coming from my mom and my other sons, Otim Geoffrey and Oryem William, seated only a few feet away, their bellies full of pork and cassava, too.

I kept Martin aside for a few minutes. On our walk back from dinner we’d been talking about the chicken farm project and I told him about the people who had donated to make their chicken farm a reality.

“Opiyo, I have to tell you the story of Malea, a darling, blond-haired, six-year-old girl from my city. She loves swimming, she collects rocks and shells, and she’s one of your chicken farm donors.”

I began to tell Martin Malea’s story and his singular response was, “Oh my God, Mum, oh my God, oh my God.” His words weren’t the bubblegum OMG, used so often today. They were reverent, a sacred recognition of the providence of God.

Before I tell you the story, grab a mug of your favorite something, put your phone on silent, and sit down for five minutes to read Malea’s story. You’ll be glad you did.

A few weeks ago Malea’s mom, Anna, Facebooked this photo of Malea, who had emptied out her piggy bank with the express purpose of using her money to help someone in need. Anna was searching for an avenue for Malea to do just that. I told her about Vigilante Kindness, specifically about our chicken farm project because Malea’s savings would be nearly enough to purchase two chickens. Anna talked it over with Malea and Malea agreed that buying a pair of chickens was a worthy use of her eight dollars and change.

Can’t you just picture her sorting precious dimes and pennies, smoothing out her dollar bills and counting it all up? See that envelope Malea is holding in the photo? She made it and tucked her money carefully inside. It gets me every darn time.


As if that wasn’t enough, a couple of days before I left for Uganda, Anna texted me and asked if there was still time for Malea to donate. I told her yes, that I was making a final deposit of a few last local donations that same day.

Malea had sold rocks and shells from her collection. She’d sold enough of her collection to buy herself a new toy and to buy a third chicken. A third chicken. I can’t even.

Sometimes I can’t believe I get to be part of this work, this work where piggy bank dimes and a little girl’s rocks and shell collection become chickens for a chicken farm in Uganda, a farm that will allow my sons and other students to earn their own school fees and to tithe chickens to take care of widows and orphans.

Never in my life could I have dreamed up such a thing.

I understand Martin’s response to Malea’s story because it’s been the entirety of my prayer life this past week. I’m overwhelmed both by your generosity, sweet Vigilantes, and the providence of God working through you. In the face of such sacrifice and such kindness, I, too am lost for words save for, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.”

Malea picked out names for her chickens. Her third chicken will be named Jasmine. Her second chicken will be named, Chickaketta, which is quite possibly the most perfect chicken name ever. Her first chicken will be named, Malea, because, in the words of a blond six-year-old who loves swimming and now has a much smaller rock and shell collection, “Malea is a good name.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Amazon Smile for Vigilante Kindness

Amazon Smile for Vigilante KindnessWe’re over the moon to announce that Amazon Smile has decided to partner with Vigilante Kindness.  That means all that shopping you love to do on Amazon can now benefit Vigilante Kindness.  How does it work?

Bookmark this link and use it each time you want to purchase something from Amazon.  Then Amazon automatically donates 0.5% of your purchase to Vigilante Kindness.  It’s as easy as that.

Unfortunately, you can’t yet use Amazon Smile through the Amazon app.  So if you shop on Amazon through your iPhone or iPad, please be sure to bookmark our Amazon Smile link on your internet browser and shop through Amazon Smile that way.

Would you do us one more favor?  Please share our Amazon Smile link with your family and friends.

As always, thanks so much for your kindness and support.