Acts of kindness: Teens pump parking meters at Liberty Center

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Local teens celebrate "National Acts Of Kindness Day" by pumping coins into parking meters at Liberty Center.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

About a half-dozen Lakota school students from a local teen center decided to spend a little known national holiday promoting kindness by pumping parking meters for strangers at Liberty Center.

The result was a lot of shoppers and diners at the expansion retail and restaurant center in Butler County were pleasantly surprised when they returned to their parked cars and found someone else had already paid for more parking time.

Wednesday was "National Do Something Nice Day" and the youths from the Edge Teen Center near Lakota East High School had been planning and saving coins for weeks.

It was a first for both the teen center and Liberty Center, which has been open for about a year.

The teens raised $65 in coins and energetically bounced between parked cars for about an hour — the coins ran out quick — checking which meters needed to purchase more parking time.

“Me and my colleague surprised three people (in person) and they were really surprised. It’s been really fun,” said Lakota East Freshman School student Demitrius Johnson.

The charitable strategy was the idea of Annie Droege, operations director of EDGE.

“It’s a random act of kindness for the Liberty Center shoppers,” said Droege.

And it was also one of the more visible signs of a partnership between Liberty Center and the Edge Teen Center.

The youth center is one of the local charities designated this month to receive funding generated from Liberty Center's parking meter program, which uses proceeds to assist local groups on a rotation basis.

Brenda Yablonsky, a member of the Edge Teen Center board of directors, said, “this effort is also a way for our teens to do something nice for Liberty Center, who has been so supportive of Edge Teen Center. We were selected as one of the recipients of the Liberty Center Foundation’s 2016 Change for Charity Program.”

Bre Wolterman, of Liberty Twp., paused from her shopping and said the teens’ charitably left her impressed.

“I think it’s awesome that high schoolers are doing acts of kindness and it’s always good to put that out into the world,” she said.

Jude Glen, a ninth-grader at Lakota East Freshman School said, “it feels pretty great to do this because not many people know we are doing this.”