LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - When tragedy brought this nation to our knees last week, it prompted a Lufkin couple to reach out to others in our own backyard.
"December 14th was kind of heavy on our hearts after the school shooting so I woke up December 15th wanting to do something that would spread a little bit of hope," said Katelyn McWilliams.
After a little brainstorming, Walker and Katelyn McWilliams decided to do 15 random acts of kindness.
The couple gave gift cards, baked cookies, left money at a Laundromat and wrote a letter of appreciation to a soldier, thanking him for his service.
They hope it's a reminder that there is still good in the world.
"To spread some joy because that's what people need and to spread some hope, we want to encourage other people to do the same," said Walker McWilliams.
Katelyn says before people would accept the gifts, they would have to explain why.
"From thank you to shock, just why on earth are you doing this some people looked a little scared," said Katelyn.
The couple's mission goes beyond the holiday season, they hope to encourage people to give 365 days a year.
"Every single day is a day to celebrate Jesus' birth and every single day is a chance for love and reconciliation and we hope to spread love and kindness every single day," said Katelyn.
The couple says while it takes courage to approach a complete stranger, its worth it if they pay it forward.
"It was really uncomfortable for us to put a face with our gift but it takes going out of your comfort zone sometimes to change a life," said Katelyn.
And changing a life for the better is what these random acts are all about.
The McWilliams' say that 15 random acts of kindness is something they plan to continue each month and they are encouraging others to do the same.