After the shock of losing their friend in last fall's shooting in Las Vegas, a group of Tara Roe's lifelong friends are performing random acts of kindness to honour her memory.
Roe lived in Calgary but was born and raised in Brandon. She was killed in the Oct. 1 mass shooting at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, including four Canadians.
Roe's circle of friends in Brandon — a group of roughly 15 who grew up with her and kept close after she moved to Alberta — decided they wanted to do something to keep her spirit alive.
"It's a way for all of us to try to find some comfort and just try to really spread her love — the deepest spirit of her love — and keep her generosity alive," said Megan Nevin, who grew up with Roe in Brandon. "She was just such a beautiful person. She was truly caring, compassionate and loved to volunteer in her community."
Tara Roe's tight knit circle of friends are all taking part in the pay it forward campaign. (Submitted/Megan Nevin)
Nevin said the group was inspired by #honor58, a social media campaign that's seen a New York firefighter, his daughter and her friend travel to the 20 home states of the 54 U.S. victims of the shooting to perform random acts of kindness.
Over the holidays, Nevin kicked off the campaign in Manitoba by picking up the cost of someone else's photos with Santa at St. Vital Shopping Centre.
She left a note for the recipients explaining the gesture was made to honour Roe's memory.
'It kind of makes your heart smile'
Since then, Roe's friends have made donations to local charities, given away gifts at random, left substantial tips, and paid for other people's meals, always being sure to leave a note about Roe.
"It's a way to put some love and happiness back into what was a very dark, very sad and unfair world for us for a while," explained Nevin. "She was one of the most thoughtful people we ever knew who would always do stuff to support the community, and her friends and family.
"If you can just make that one person smile that you don't know, it kind of makes your heart smile in return through the sadness."
And the gestures have encouraged others outside the group of friends to get involved too.
Last weekend, one of the friends paid for another table's whole bill after grabbing a bite at a Brandon restaurant, while another left a "pretty large tip" for their server.
The two actions set off a chain reaction of customers paying for other bills throughout the day.
Nevin said that's exactly what the tight knit group of friends hoped would happen through the campaign, and it's why they're continuing on with the idea even now that the holidays are over.
"The world needs a lot more good and people need to take the time to support each other," she said. "Hopefully, whether it's on behalf of Tara's memory or one of the 58 victims, or just someone you know that you have lost, just keep it going — pay it forward — and make someone's day a little brighter."
Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/brandon-tara-roe-kindness-1.4474181