Scientific studies reveal a strong link between random acts of kindness and overall good health, including stress reduction and happiness. Students at four of Iowa’s community colleges will get the opportunity to benefit from this when Ricky Smith, comedian, visits campus this month.  One of his stops will be Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in Creston, where he will perform Tues., September 15, at noon in the Student Center.


Smith is the founder of Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere (#RAKE) – a non-profit organization committed to sharing and showing people performing acts of kindness to inspire others.  Once named an “Everyday Hero” by Men’s Health Magazine, Smith has spent the last two summers traveling across the country and changing people’s lives. He’s literally provided shelter from the rain, offered dollars in exchange for hugs, and fed the hungry. Along the way, though, he motivates others, encouraging them to pass it on.  And that’s what he is hoping to do in Iowa.

“We have some pretty incredible things planned for my first trip to Iowa. I am looking forward to engaging communities with kindness and laughter,” Smith says. “The one thing I always ask is that if people are affected by what I am doing they consider passing it along to others.”

The #RAKEIOWA tour schedule is as follows:
•    Sunday, September 13 – Des Moines Area
•    Monday, September 14 – Peosta/Dubuque Area
•    Tuesday, September 15 – Creston/Southwest Iowa
•    Wednesday, September 16 – Waterloo/Cedar Falls Area
•    Thursday, September 17 – Sheldon/Northwest Iowa
•    Friday, September 18 – Des Moines Area

Special stops are planned at Northeast Iowa Community College, Southwestern Community College, Northwest Iowa Community College, and Hawkeye Community College.

Terri Higgins, Southwestern Community College (SWCC) marketing director, said she can’t wait to have Smith on campus.

“The Pay it Forward movement has been a priority at SWCC for a while now,” Higgins stated.  “Each spring we dedicate a week to educating and celebrating PIF and it’s one of the best weeks of the year.  Ricky will help us expand those efforts and get students active and involved from the first semester they are on our campus."

Smith has always held a passion for helping others. He’s caught the eye of executives from Comedy Central and Cartoon Network – but it’s the more than 30K followers on social media that has the most impact.  Many of those followers aren’t necessarily fans of his work – but supporters and enthusiasts of what he’s accomplished.  #RAKE’s mission is simple: to support communities in positive ways, enrich lives, encourage kindness and promote the act of paying it forward.
Smith encourages Iowans to perform Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere #RAKE within their communities. For ideas and inspiration, follow his journey on social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and through others with the hashtags #RAKE and #RAKEiowa.