MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — “I started our small business as a hobby after I was laid off and it turned into something people really loved, so it grew bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Madison Heights resident Kymm Clark.
“We do metal fabrication, wood fabrication, re-upholstery and furniture restoration,” she explains.
Kymm Clark has always been hands-on in her work.
She started Clark’s Fabrication out of the garage of her Madison Heights home.
“Running a small business is hard, but getting into it is easy in our city – actually, our city has a lot of great resources to help that along,” said Clark.
As the business grew, the garage got too small, so she and her husband went to the city with their vision. They opened shop three years ago in a vacant container store business.
She’s made it her mission to attract new business to Madison Heights, offering space in her warehouse to new startups.
“I personally would like to bring in five more businesses. I’ve brought three to the city already, I’d like to bring in five more,” said Clark.
That’s when she decided to be hands-on again, diving into local politics, running a grassroots campaign.
“Using only social media, I was able to run for city council and win,” said Clark.
Clark used Facebook to connect with the voters.
With no fliers and only a handful of doors knocks, she won the city council seat by three votes.
“With social media being involved, I can reach thousands of residents at a time,” Clark added.
The momentum continues with Facebook Live question and answer sessions, streaming council meetings and inspiring others to get involved.
“Over the past year and since I’ve joined city council, I’ve connected with a lot more people willing to volunteer and put themselves out there,” said Clark.
“Her enthusiasm is contagious and it’s a ripple effect. She has so many ideas for the city that are obtainable, if you build, they will come,” said resident and co-volunteer Vita Palazzolo.
With the city’s 20-year plan for developing a downtown, Clark is working to expedite the plan so her daughters will grow up, go away to college and come back to raise their families in Madison Heights.
“It’s nice to feel like you’re a part of a much bigger family,” said Clark.
Clark is helping by giving back for the good of her community.
“Yes, this is it. This is what it’s supposed to feel like when you plant your roots," said Clark.
Random Acts of Kindness Week in Madison Heights
Madison Heights is celebrating Random Acts of Kindness week, a tradition the city has been upholding for 24 years.
And earlier this month, Madison Heights made an official proclamation that Feb. 16-23 is Random Acts of Kindness Week in the city.
This year’s theme is “Keep Kindness the Norm”, urging residents to extend this giving mindset beyond the week and into our everyday lives.
The city encourages residents and businesses to promote “kindness” events and let their fellow citizens know that they can change the world by doing one random act of kindness at a time.
Here are some suggestions of how to work Random Acts of Kindness into your days:
-Smile and say hello to people you don’t know
-Drive safely and be courteous to others on the road
-Collect canned goods for a food bank
-Clean up litter on the street
-Say something nice to everyone you meet
-Leave a kind note for a family member or friend
-Tell your children/grandchildren why you love them
-Shovel snow for a neighbor
-Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
-Buy extra at the grocery store and donate it to a food pantry
-Buy flowers for someone (postal worker, grocery store clerk, bus driver, etc.)
-Compliment a colleague on their work
-Send an encouraging text to someone
-Let a car into the traffic ahead of you
-Take a gift to new neighbors and introduce yourself
-Pay the bus fare for the passenger behind you
-Cheer up a friend who needs it
-Offer to babysit for free
-Let someone go in front of you at the check-out line
-Take blankets or warm clothing to a homeless shelter
-Help an elderly person care for their pet
-Volunteer or donate to local causes
-Stop into a nursing home to spend time with the residents
-Be patient with others
Back in 1995, Madison Heights was among the first cities in Michigan to recognize the importance of Random Acts of Kindness as a grassroots campaign, and local activities have earned nationwide recognition over the years.
Citizens have done everything from clearing snow for disabled residents, offering free services to seniors and helping conduct winter safety checks on vehicles.
The origin of the movement in Madison Heights goes back to former City Councilwoman Margene Scott, when a stranger at a local restaurant paid the bill that had been delivered to Scott and her husband Jack, writing: “There are too many ‘Random Acts of Violence’ in this world; so I try to offset this with ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ ” Moved by this gesture, Councilwoman Scott then approached the City Council to suggest the city play a role in boosting this movement.
Local businesses were eager to take part, it became wildly successful and has been going strong worldwide for 25 years. City leaders are looking forward to seeing the wave of positivity that this week brings to the community.