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Meet Jim Di Ciaula of Random Acts Matter in St. Charles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Di Ciaula.

Jim, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In summer of 2016 I was evaluating what my next steps would be in serving and giving back, as I have been engaged in non-for-profit work for a long time and have done extensive volunteer work via various non-for-profit organizations, my work and my church. I was feeling called to do something new and I was evaluating options and considering areas of need and impact. I had several conversations with some of my trusted advisors and as those conversations evolved the idea of being local, within our community, was important and we were moved by the need for people to be more caring and compassionate. With that as a back drop and inspired by a quote that a million small acts could change the world. To that end, Random Acts Matter was born. With a mission of providing care and compassion through random acts of kindness. We launched in February, 2017, during Random Acts of Kindness week and today, one year later, we have helped to facilitate over 60 random acts (more than one per week) and over 400 recipients of these acts. This week, we are in the midst of campaign, Paint the Town Orange, Orange is our color for our charity. It’s humbling to see what is happening in this town; there are over 45 teams registered, performing random acts of kindness all over town; students, schools, businesses, individuals, etc. are all engaged in this effort. Random Acts are happening all over town and Saturday, Random Acts of Kindness Day, we are holding a rally to celebrate Paint the Town Orange and to thank all that were involved. It should be a huge event. If you follow us on Facebook at randomactsmatter.com you will see all that is happening.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Random Acts Matter has been surrounded by an amazing group of volunteers and leaders, since day 1; we had a good base to start and it continues to grow. We have kept the message simple and the focus local, which has attracted many volunteers to our charity. If there is a struggle, it’s making sure that our volunteers find value from their volunteer experience. As we continue to grow, we will look for new opportunities to fulfill random acts of kindness further in the community. For example, we are sponsoring a scholarship for a graduating senior, of each of our local high schools, who demonstrate care and compassion as a way of life, representing who we are. The more awareness that is created of Random Acts Matter and its mission, the more we can do to have an impact in our community.

Please tell us about Random Acts Matter.
Random Acts Matter’s vision is Community Helping Community and our mission is to provide care and compassion through Random Acts of Kindness. We are in the kindness business. We engage our community in looking for opportunities to provide care and compassion and encourage them to nominate the individual/family/organization for a random act of kindness. We evaluate the nomination against our by-laws and approval criteria and once approved we engage our volunteer team to go into action and provide a random act of kindness. It is beyond heart-warming. I think what sets us apart is that we are local, helping others in our local community, that is really important to our volunteers and donors and secondly our volunteers are amazing, they have a huge heart to help and serve others and it’s sincere; it’s a winning combination.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
The time spent hanging out with my friends; I have a close group of friends and a few that I have had most of my life. Experiencing life with others is an amazing gift.

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