vol. 84 / do good

vol. 84 / do good 🙌

VOL. 84   /  DO GOOD
Richmond is brimming with do-gooders. This week we’ve asked our favorite do-gooder, Becky Crump, to join us as guest editor as we celebrate those who are open, courageous, compassionate, and kind. Take it away, Becky ...
I’ve been the host of Mindful Mornings for 29 months (but, seriously, who’s counting). That’s 29 local do-gooders who have held a microphone to tell their story and share their beliefs about Richmond’s need for change. Several of these speakers lead nonprofits, others lead in their lives through individual action, and all are local change-makers packed full of more kindness than one soul should be able to hold.  
When I think of Richmond, I don’t think of restaurants, shops, or the best brewery. I think of loving, compassionate, generous people! That’s why I’m sharing with you more than just my favorite watering holes, local boutiques, and must-do activities. To be frank, I’m an introvert on the evenings and weekends and don’t get out much, so I’m hardly the person to ask. I’m sharing with you a few of my favorite people, and several of the kindest places to visit in Richmond. 
Meet three do-gooders in Richmond who are working hella hard every single day to make this town better for you, for us. 



When you commit your heart, mind, and soul to living fully in and with the world, you usher in joy—and pain. It’s why so many of us choose to live sleepy lives beneath our covers of comfort. The world is filled with wicked problems that hurt, and we worry we can’t help. In that space of overwhelm and fear, blocking instead of welcoming is a natural reaction rewarded by our body’s desperate need for survival and for happiness. But it’s also an instinct that staves off solutions made possible (oftentimes, probable) when we unite in compassionate community to amplify our individual voices and multiply our actions. That work—both the work of awakening to the world and the work of changing it—requires inner work that cannot be done alone, work that is critical to our own wellbeing, and to our empathetic understanding of the lived experiences of others, and of our natural world.
Rachel is the person in Richmond who won’t let you do that work alone—who knows that living here, being here and being present demands support. In moments, or in hours, she’ll give you all she’s got. Her focus, her energy, her time, and an intensity of attention that comes from her selfless desire for you to feel seen, heard, and supported. She won’t claim to have all the answers—in fact, she believes in living the questions. Whether through the Innerwork Center, where she is the Executive Director, or over coffee at Perk, she will make certain you’re surrounded with who and what you need at this unique moment.
Much of my personal growth these past couple of years can be attributed to the work of Rachel and her team at the Innerwork Center—and I will be forever grateful. Founded in 1994 as Chrysalis, The Innerwork Center is  a welcoming place for Richmonders working to create a more well world and a critical partner for Mindful Mornings.




There’s one fail-proof way to spot a kind person—their smile. It lives in their eyes, through their mouths, and pours out of their soul without invitation. Shep doesn’t stop smiling, and when he spoke at Mindful Mornings, neither did anyone else in the room. That’s because Shep has the joyful variety of peace that only living your passion can provide. 
When we think of the River City, we think of, well, the River—but Shep knows our River is too often only accessible to the people with the ‘right’ physical capabilities from the ‘right’ neighborhoods—and that just doesn’t seem ‘right’ to him. 
That’s why Shep co-founded Beyond Boundaries, to create life-changing experiences that build confidence and courage for everyone. Beyond Boundaries is a non-profit that specializes in guiding participants with disabilities on outdoor adventures.




Meet Alan Delbridge, the approachably earnest, friendly, impassioned volunteer and partnership coordinator for the Enrichmond Foundation. On April 5, in front of a pretty big crew of do-gooders at River City Roll, Alan activated the hearts and minds of 180 people through personal stories of altruism, and with his pragmatic plea for more conscious volunteerism in Richmond. He asked us to get curious about what exactly we want to do in this world. He reminded us not to treat the symptom, if we can treat the cause. He encouraged us to consider how we volunteer our strengths, not only our passions. And he left us with a command that was repeated in every social media post from attendees for days to come: volunteer alongside, not for. 
And right before he left the stage, to much applause, he shared this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
Find Alan at The Enrichmond Foundation, a local nonprofit committed to serving the people, parks, and public spaces of the City of Richmond since 1990.


Before going to a brewery, local festival, or to your favorite Richmond restaurant, consider taking that time and those resources to support these brave few on their journey toward making the world a better place.

And now...my list of the kindest places, companies, experiences, beverages, and people. 
The kindest coffee: Sugar & Twine
The kindest community hangout: Front Porch Café
The kindest community project: The Giving Wall 
*This is my project and I’m terribly biased. 
The kindest eating experience: When Jeffrey Ota (sushi master) energetically thanks me for purchasing my daily philly roll from Ellwood Thompson, while making sure I have all the soy sauce I need.
The kindest entertainment: River City Roll because, well, bowling…#americanpasttimes
The kindest local muralistHamilton Glass
The kindest place to become more kindThe Innerwork Center  
The kindest tattoo artist: Jesse Smith, owner of Loose Screw Tattoo  
The kindest places to host an eventThe Robinson TheaterDogtown Dance TheaterVasen BrewingThe VeilRiver City RollVMFA, and ICA

Join me for Mindful Mornings on the first Friday of every month to hang with the kindest group of do-goodin’ change-makers you could ever hope to meet!

Do Good Perk.

Becky is giving away two Do Good tanks. If you would like to enter to win one, all you need to do is take a picture of the kindest person you know in Richmond, write why, and share it on Instagram, tagging @mindful_mornings_richmond. Two lucky people will be chosen!
Mindful Mornings Richmond