Where there’s a will, there’s a way and the death of the Gollihue’s family son left them shaken up and grieving. It also inspired them to interpret their late son’s legacy with not only a Facebook presence but an international presence. With their faith and dedication, they cultivated a movement called RACK, or Random Acts of Cody Kindness. It promotes spreading generosity and friendliness through simple or complex expressions to better the community. It started in the Ashland, Kentucky area, but has since expanded to 78 countries and all fifty U.S. states. The outreach was unbelievable to the family.
The namesake Cody started it all. He died in late May of 2017 during a traffic accident. He was an empathetic person who could draw someone in like a moth to a flame. Greatly influencing today’s RACK by his simple but priceless actions, he left an eternal mark on everyone he crossed paths with.
Lea Ann Gollihue (Cody’s mom) has engaged in multiple speaking opportunities and hopes to continue giving speeches in the future. Although the future of RACK isn’t exactly certain, the family has pondered making it a 501 (c) 3 organization to allow the cause to persevere and developing a support group for grieving moms, but without regard to RACK’s immediate direction they certainly see the need to continue changing lives and inspiring people in their future.
The changing of the grieving process has been greatly affected by this simple movement. It has helped the family in mourning, as well as reaching out to the world that no one is alone in this sorrowful situation. In fact, 53,000 children die each year, leaving more than 100,000 parents affected in the U.S. alone. Long-term effects on parents can be anxiety and guilt among other negative psychological reactions.
RACK doesn’t end in one place. It has formed various connections all over the world and the power and pain invested in the movement will prosper. It may seem small, but it’s larger than life and anyone can help with small actions. Hold the door open for someone or buy a stranger’s coffee from Starbucks, but above all continue Cody’s legacy with actions of pure kindness and empathy. It starts in a small town in Kentucky but ends with everyone.