Abby & Hannah's RAOK
On January 10, 2015, lifelong best friends Abby Liefer, 19, and Hannah Porter, 20, were the victims of a fatal car crash on a rural highway outside of Red Bud, Illinois, when an approaching underage drunk driver crossed the center line and hit them head on.
My name is Alison; Abby was my little sister. She was only 19 years old. She will never be able to finish college, watch her nieces and nephews grow, get married, have kids, and most importantly, she will never get to continue to share her smile with the world. Her best friend, Hannah, was also killed that night.
Two families torn apart. Two families that will never have a normal Christmas again. Two families that will always be missing someone in family pictures. I am determined to help make the world a better place through the memory of them and random acts of kindness (RAOK) became my outlet.
As part of my personal effort to make the world a better place through the girls' names, I held an online event through Facebook that asked family and friends to participate in an act of random kindness on the one month anniversary of their death. By the time the event took place, over 10,000 people committed to participating. Every state in the United States, along with countries including the Philippines, Australia, and the Netherlands, were represented. Local and national news stations covered the story and helped me spread their spirits through others. It was simply amazing and humbling. Teachers implemented a lesson for that day for students and many told stories of how they helped with chores for their parents, told them nice things, held doors open for someone, or simply just smiled at people walking by. Others told stories of how they paid in line at fast food places and it continued for hours. Some put lottery tickets on windshields or taped them to gas station pumps. Some handed out flowers. Local businesses gave out free haircuts, products, and candy for Abby and Hannah. Some even went so far as to go to city hall and paid for a random person's electric bill that was behind.
These RAOKs went on all day, all week, all month, and some are doing it to this day. Because of the absolutely amazing widespread kindness, the state of Illinois officially declared February 10, 2015, Abby & Hannah's RAOK Day, in memory of the girls. Now, when you "Google" their names, the first things that pops up are not the story of how they lost their lives, but how they have changed other people's lives. That was my entire goal. I plan on continuing my pursuit by spreading the word once again on February 10. A day that will change lives, even if it's just for a day, all in the name of Abby and Hannah.
Check out our Facebook page for more information and to "join" our event.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. My sister's favorite quote was from my dad, "Remember who you are" and I will always do everything I can to make sure people will remember who SHE was.