The Short of It
After losing their 4-year-old daughter Brighton to RSV in January, Utah parents Kevin and Bethany Tenney decided to honor her memory by promoting random acts of kindness.
It all started when stay-at-home mom, Dana Pruner, heard about the little girl's death on social media. She didn't know the family, but the story touched her. So, she bought several gift cards for Tenney's Pizza, which is a chain of restaurants owned by Kevin and Bethany, and gave them to people she thought needed cheering up. She called her campaign #spreadkindnessforbrighton.
"I didn't know Brighton or her family, but I was heartbroken for them," she told People. "I have two young daughters of my own and couldn't imagine losing them. Brighton's loss is a reminder to us all to love one another and spread joy."
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Others agreed; more than 800 people joined the pay-it-forward movement, prompting the Tenneys to wonder how they could keep the random acts of kindness going.
"We thought, 'What if we asked people to do good things for others year-round and called it 'Brighton a Day?'" Kevin explained. "So we started a website and a Facebook page, and within several weeks, we had 7,000 followers."
Anyone who has "Brightoned" someone's day is encouraged to post about it on the sites with the hashtag #Brightonaday. So far, stories include everything from paying for strangers' groceries and car repairs, to paying for others' drive-thru orders and delivering hot meals to friends in need.
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I can't think of a better way for the Tenneys to honor their daughter then by turning heartbreak into hope for so many others!
"Paying it forward is the best way to show how much we appreciate all the love that was sent to our family after we lost Brighton," Kevin said.
In addition to the "Brighton a Day" campaign, the couple has recently set up a "Brighton a Life" scholarship fund at Utah Valley University for students who have lost a close family member.
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"To me, doing things like this in Brighton's memory is the only way to make it seem like her death has a purpose," Kevin said. "If this 4-year-old can help people change the way they think, then our days, as hard as they are without Brighton, are brightened as well."