Passing Along Kindness

March 21, 2017                  

Unity World Headquarters Donates Comic Books to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

UNITY VILLAGE, Mo.—Kindness really is contagious.

Unity World Headquarters employees recently raised more than $1,200 to purchase brand-new comic books for children battling illnesses at Children’s Mercy Hospital’s main campus in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The effort was spearheaded by Communications Department employees David Penner, Michelle Trevino, and Kyle Stephan. The money was collected in mid-February during Random Acts of Kindness week.

“I’ve been reading comics since I was 10 years old, and have always found them to be a good distraction when things get tough,” Penner said. “If we’re able to help one kid smile and forget whatever pain or suffering they are going through, even if it’s for just a few minutes, then I personally think the initiative will be a success.”

Penner reached out to Children’s Mercy Hospital to see if it would be interested or even able to accept the comic books, then to A to Z Comics in Blue Springs, Mo., where he’d been buying comics since he was 14. After getting resounding yeses from both, Unity World Headquarters CEO Jim Blake green-lit the project, and Penner and his team were off and running.

The comic books were split into two groups: children (ages 5-12) and young adults (ages 13-18). Titles ranged from Strawberry Shortcake and Adventure Time for children to Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Flash for young adults. The money raised was also used to commission Marvel Comics and Image Comics creator and illustrator Marat Mychaels to do an original Badrock character piece from Image cofounder Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood comic book series with the inspirational quote, “You’re stronger than this!” which will be framed and given to the hospital as well.

“All my life I’ve wanted to help kids out who are suffering,” Penner said. “Whether it’s from going through chemo or any other ailment, I hope this small gesture helps brighten these amazing kids’ days.

“I can’t thank the people involved in this enough,” Penner continued. “My fellow employees at Unity, Children’s Mercy, A to Z Comics, and Marat really went above and beyond in making this all come together.”