We spoke with Mary Beth Campbell, Chief Revolutionary Officer at Boom Boom Cards. Encouraging guerrilla acts of kindness, Boom Boom Cards takes “paying-it-forward” to a really fun new level. We found out how to restore faith in humanity, the most delicious way to Boom Boom, and which generation needs to practice kindness most.
There are so many “kindness” revolutions and companies today. What makes you different?
There are a lot of kindness revolutions out there and we are thrilled about that. The more kindness the better! And while we all want the same thing, to create a kinder world, I think what sets us apart is that our singular goal is not to just spread kindness, but to make it go viral both in real life and online. Unlike other companies, we combine the use of social media with a line of thoughtfully created products that inspire real life connections and encourage us to interact with each other. We produce our items with the sole intention of creating and inspiring real world connections of kindness. We believe physical products not only serve as great reminders to do simple, kind acts, but also encourage us to be more conscious of our day to day actions, and consider the ways in which kindness can be inserted into them. Our social network provides access to a community of like-minded people who are moved and motivated by kindness. Together, this makes us more than a “kindness company,” it makes us a full scale movement inspiring kindness on a variety of fronts, both virtually and in real life.
How do you Boom Boom?
Well, technically you “Boom Boom!” any time you are kind or do something nice for someone. The term is derived from a “boomerang” which, as you know, comes back to you after you throw it (like when you put kindness out there, and it always comes back to you). Boom…you put it out there….Boom…it comes back to you.
To Boom Boom! with Boom Boom! Cards, register your deck on our website and perform the actions on the cards. Each time you “play” one of the cards (in other words, perform the action), go online and tell us your story. Your story will be posted on the site, and also drop a pinpoint on the map to show where it happened. Then, you pass the card on to someone else and they do it. Then they go online, tell their story and it gets registered on the map as well. The coolest part is you can follow your card’s path and see all the other acts of kindness your original act of kindness inspired!
If you could only choose one, is it more important to teach kids, teens, or adults about giving?
My first thought is, “This is an impossible question!” However, after some serious reflection, I would have to say the answer to that scenario is adults, and here’s why: as long as adults know the importance of being kind and giving, and live these values in their daily lives, they will be, through their everyday actions, teaching children and teens about kindness. which in turn will mean that eventually everyone will “get it”. And THAT will change the world.
What’s your favourite way to pay-it-forward?
By surprising someone with something unexpected…whether it be a cup of coffee, a meal, a nice note, a potted plant, a handmade card or some other thoughtful item. I LOVE to anonymously give these kinds of things to unsuspecting people. I may know them, or they may be strangers who crossed my path that day. I love doing this because I think it makes people feel great and, to some degree, restores faith in humanity.
What does it mean to “Plate it Forward”?
It means to bake some yummy treats, put it on our special “Plate it Forward” plate and give it away to someone…but the plate is not theirs to keep! The plate has instructions on it to do the exact same thing for someone else. The idea is that the plate never stays in one place for too long and is continually passed on with delicious baked goods, perpetually spreading cheer and deliciousness.
What’s the difference between your various decks?
There are four decks, the Original, the Teen, the Green and the Family. Each deck is meant for different types of people who want to contribute to the Revolution in different ways. The Original is for adults that are looking for simple ways to enfold kindness into their lives and be more mindful of it on a day to day basis. The Teen is for teens looking for ways to be kind and spread kindness both in school and at home. The Green Deck is for those who want to be kind and gentle to Mother Earth; it’s full of eco-friendly actions you can do, as well as facts and tips about living a greener life. The Family Deck is a great way for the whole family to perform acts of kindness; it comes with a progress chart and stickers to keep track of all the kindness you’ve performed together.
Where is the strangest place a Boom Boom Card has been found?
I personally didn’t find it, but someone contacted me and told me they found Card # 1 from the Original Deck (the action was to “Buy a Stranger a Cup of Coffee”) in the restroom of a coffee shop. Not sure why they put it there, but I thought it was kind of funny.
What do you get when you give?
You get a better world.