Holmes alumna Ashley Crandall  is the founder of The Catching Kindness Project in the Madison community..
Holmes alumna Ashley Crandall is the founder of The Catching Kindness Project in the Madison community..
Holmes Community College alumna Ashley Crandall ('14) is paying it forward in the Madison County area through her kindness initiative. Ashley started The Catching Kindness Project in July 2018 when she saw a need to spread kindness and joy in her community.

“All I saw on social media and the news was negativity,” Crandall said, “and I wanted to do something to change that. The Catching Kindness Project started off as an idea that I presented to a couple of friends and now it has been around for almost a year!”

Crandall has the help of three women: Evangeline Stevenson, Lacey Higgins and Maci Matthews. These women help Crandall keep The Catching Kindness Project going while also spreading kindness in their own communities.

“When we see someone doing something kind, we give them a bracelet and explain why they earned it,” Crandall said. “We also ask for permission to take their picture and post it online. On our Facebook and Instagram pages, we recognize good and promote those who are doing good things. 

“One day, I was at Kroger and one lady working there saw that I was struggling, so she went out of her way to help me bag the rest of my groceries. I actually had some bracelets with me and got to give her one. The Catching Kindness Project is a great way for people to lift others up and encourage them to do good. Crandall said you never truly know what someone is going through, therefore, kindness is essential.”

Jessica Brown, Crandall’s English instructor at Holmes, said that she was a hard worker who made a great impression with everyone she met. Brown also mentioned that Crandall was one of her shyer students and she is so proud to see where she is today.  

“She is just a really delightful person and she wants to make a difference in the world,” Brown said. “What really struck me when I taught her was she was such a hard worker and she never complained. Her positivity is contagious.” 

Crandall is not only making a difference in her community, but she is also making a difference in the lives of those who she comes in contact with. Crandall said that if she can do something so far outside of her comfort zone to encourage others then anyone can.

“Ten years ago I never would have thought that I would be doing this because I was so shy,” Crandall said.

Anyone can get involved by liking, following and sharing The Catching Kindness Project Facebook and Instagram pages. The Catching Kindness Project will also send bracelets to those interested to hand out. Anyone who would like bracelets can direct message The Catching Kindness Project on their social media accounts for more information.

Upon graduation from Holmes, Crandall went on to Mississippi College where she received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education in 2017. After she graduated, Crandall returned to Madison to serve as a kindergarten teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School. She is currently a preschool teacher at St. Francis of Assisi Early Learning Center and also teaches karate.

For more information about Holmes' educational programs, contact Educational Programs Coordinator Wendy Grace at wgrace@holmescc.edu or (662) 472.9072.

For more information about The Catching Kindness Project, contact Crandall at acrandall84@comcast.net.