6 Stories from Kindness Arizona

The Fiesta Bowl spread joy and kindness throughout Metro Phoenix during their second Kindness Arizona campaign.

After launching Kindness Arizona amid the pandemic, the Fiesta Bowl decided to continue the tradition in 2022, making six stops over a three-day tour. 

At each location, Fiesta Bowl volunteers and staff came together to perform good deeds for various communities in Phoenix, sharing kindness and making special memories each day.  

Here are six stories from each stop along the way:

Supporting Seniors at the FSL Recreation Center 

Photo courtesy of Slingshot Photography

To kick off Kindness Arizona, the Fiesta Bowl bus visited the Foundation for Senior Living on March 29 to enjoy a morning painting garden rocks for the Recreation Center.

Photo courtesy of Slingshot Photography

The goal of this stop, according to Fiesta Bowl community relations director Kristina Chumpol, was to alleviate feelings of isolation that many seniors have experienced as a result of the pandemic. 

Having imposed visitor restrictions for the safety of senior residents, the Fiesta Bowl Kindness team was one of the first big groups allowed to visit the seniors in the center since the pandemic began.

“For them, seeing fresh faces in there was a game-changer,” Chumpol said. “They were so excited to be paired with volunteers, not just to paint rocks, but so they could talk and share their stories with new people.”

Going from table to table, volunteers heard war stories, gained valuable nuggets of life advice and helped to recharge the social battery of the seniors, and themselves.

A New Teacher’s Lounge at Alta Vista Elementary

Photo courtesy of Slingshot Photography

The second stop on the road of Kindness was Alta Vista Elementary School, where teachers were surprised with a renovated teacher lounge featuring Fiesta Bowl red walls, new furniture and even a massage chair.

Photo courtesy of Slingshot Photography

“Teachers are sort of always in the thick of it, working with kids and solving problems every day, but especially during the pandemic, it has been even tougher for them,” Chumpol said. “This lounge is meant to be a personal space to rejuvenate and just check out for a little bit so that they can go back and even better serve their students.” 

The teachers themselves had a hand in designing the lounge. They were asked what their needs were and what type of amenities they would like to see in the lounge. Then, the Fiesta Bowl delivered.

The best moment of the day for many volunteers came during the big reveal. Many of the teachers were in tears looking around the room, noticing the personal touches.

“When you are able to learn someone’s needs and then meet those needs, it’s a very touching moment,” Chumpol said. “This lounge was very personal for them and you could see that reflected on their faces.”


Serving a Cup of Joy at Chandler Regional Medical Center

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

On March 30, the second day of Kindness Arizona, essential workers at Chandler Regional Medical Center were told there was a coffee truck outside.

When they went to grab a cup, what they got was even more special.

Fiesta Bowl volunteers greeted them with a human tunnel and roaring cheers as they walked out of the medical center to get a pick-me-up from Urban Grounds’ coffee truck.

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

While many organizations launched initiatives to support and uplift healthcare workers during the pandemic, the Fiesta Bowl wanted to remind them how appreciated they are and recognize their continued impact on our community post-pandemic. 

What these healthcare heroes thought was a simple cup of coffee turned out to be a celebration in their honor.

Two members of the Chandler Regional staff enjoyed the human tunnel so much, they went back for a second walk-through, dancing and singing with volunteers along the way.


Cleaning Up Papago Park

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

More than 50 volunteers descended on Papago Park in Phoenix for the second event of Kindness Arizona day two, which was co-sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The volunteers spent the day refurbishing trails, picking up trash and interacting with parkgoers.

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

As volunteers were working, wearing Kindness Arizona branded T-shirts, many were approached by community members who asked volunteers what they were doing. 

“This event prompted more conversations than any other about spreading kindness and paying it forward,” Chumpol said. 

At the end of the day, the park looked more beautiful than ever. 

“The AOT volunteer group picked up a lot of trash, filled a lot of buckets” said Alena Hicks, director of marketing and partnerships at the Arizona Office of Tourism. “We were really excited to be outside, making our community better and encouraging everyone to appreciate Arizona and leave no trace when they’re enjoying our beautiful parks.”  

“Lunch on Us” at Raising Cane’s

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

For the final day of Kindness Arizona, Fiesta Bowl volunteers surprised Raising Cane’s guests with a free $10 gift card to pay for their lunch.

As customers walked through the door, they were showered with confetti and cheers. Drive-thru customers were greeted by the Fiesta Bowl mascot.

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

“This event was funny because we approached cars wearing a branded T-shirt and the drivers were trying to avoid eye contact and were probably thinking, ‘Oh no, what does this person want,’” Chumpol laughed. “When we tell them lunch is on us, their faces completely change.”

One mother, driving with her son in the back, was brought to tears by the gift. Her son was all smiles as he waved, played and laughed with the mascot, Spirit.

As the two were driving away, they rolled down their window to say, “We love you, Spirit!”  



Clothing Drive-Thru for Kids

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

Wrapping up three incredible days of kindness was a clothing drive-thru for kids from HonorHealth Desert Mission and Assistance League of Phoenix.

More than 500 foster families were impacted by the event, which allowed families to pick up clothes, pantry items and other supplies for children to wear at school and use at home.

“It was way more than giving these families supplies. We made it an experience,” Chumpol said. “There was music blaring, people dancing, our spirit squad was tying up balloons for the kids, it was awesome. We wanted to make sure the kids were thinking, “This is fun” instead of feeling like they were different for coming to get something that they need.”

Photo courtesy of Scott Mitchell Photography

According to Chumpol, some kids enjoyed the drive-thru so much, they asked to go through it again.

“Seeing the faces of the kids and families was the best part for our volunteers,” said Andrea Moreno, manager of community outreach at SRP, which often partners with the Fiesta Bowl on community service projects. “That element of surprise on their faces when they saw how big this was, getting something totally unexpected, was really special.”   

Kindness Arizona was a big win for Phoenix and for the Fiesta Bowl, allowing many different people from varying backgrounds and communities come together to share in joy and spread the spirit of kindness.

“Some of these acts may seem small,” Chumpol said “But the heart in it, the joy behind it, made it the most special event.”


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