“A Small, Tiny, Organic, Nice Gesture of Kindness”

“A Small, Tiny, Organic, Nice Gesture of Kindness”


At the request of Coach Lewis, shelter dogs accompanied members of the St. Joseph Cross Country team on an afternoon run. Truthfully, prior to the run, the athletes weren’t all that excited about the upcoming run. However, once the runners met the dogs, things changed. Coach Lewis explained, “It was great. The Kids loved it. The dogs loved it. Once we got there and they saw the dogs. The dogs were just going nuts.” One of the runners even ended up adopting one of the dogs. The runner just couldn’t bear the idea of the dog going back in the cage.

Coach Lewis called this a “small, tiny, organic nice gesture of kindness and it’s something that has resonated with people around the country.”  As a result, athletic directors across the country began calling the St. Joseph athletic director. They wanted to know how to set something like this up. Other schools began doing similar runs and finding ways to help their respective communities.

Joe’s Perspective: Not much to say about this one. It’s simple, it’s easy and it makes an impact. It’s something that anyone can do. There are also about a thousand of other kind gestures that sports teams can do to better their community. My only question is, why don’t more people/teams do something like this?

Your Turn: After watching this video and learning of this gesture, what are your thoughts?



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  1. I think that this gesture is so amazing and kind. It was one small gesture that caused a lot of dogs to have a new and better life. I think this is so important for people to keep doing this and changing the lives of those dogs.

    1. As a dog lover, I think that this is such a beautiful idea and gesture because it benefitted the runners and the dogs. Also, hearing that people heard about the gesture and wanted to expand on it was amazing.

  2. i love this idea! it’s so cute and it makes running fun. i love dogs so much, running with one would definitely get me to start long distance running more

  3. I think that this gesture is super nice because of how one of the dogs got adopted due to it. It is almost like the coach was using the dogs to push the runners harder. Since the cross country team was so overjoyed because of the dogs, it gave them an even bigger reason as to why they should run. I think that more schools should do this often.

  4. I think it was a nice thing that the coach did and didn’t think much about. Then, he realized that it meant so much more to the dogs and to the students. Because the coach did that, so many dogs now have homes and amazing lives with their new families.

  5. I think that this was a great thing to do. The coach didn’t think a lot about it and everyone ended up loving it. I think it is a great way to motivate players.

  6. I think this is a good gesture because it helps the athletes and the animals. One of the dogs even got adopted! It also edged the runners on to run faster and harder.

  7. I think this gesture was great because the coach helped out the dogs and athletes. One of the dogs got adopted and it pushes the runners to run faster.

  8. I think this is such a good idea and i would love to do it because i love dogs. but walking the dogs not running because i don’t like running.

  9. I think this gesture is so so sweet and such a great idea. I have volunteered at a shelter before and I see how sad some of these dogs look and how bad they just want to go outside and play and run and be loved. Doing something like this for those dogs is such an amazing gesture. I would love to do this myself.

  10. I think it was such a cool thing to do and it really made a big change. It helped out a dog shelter and helped get dogs adopted.

  11. I liked this because i thought it was pretty cool. I also think that it helped both the dogs and the athletes on the cross country team.

  12. I think this is a good way for sports teams to raise awareness through activities and events like these. It is a small simple act that creates a large influence. Not only did it affect the group directly but it caused other people to do things like this.

    1. I think this was a beautiful gesture that emphasizes the point that the small details can make a large difference. The more groups that participate in it, the even bugger difference it would make!

  13. I think it was a very nice thing to do. It was a very simple act of kindness that made a very big impact on both the dogs and the players.

  14. I think that this gesture is very impactful. It allowed the kids to get out of their comfort zone and try something new while benefiting the dogs in the shelter. This shows how something so simple as going out for a run can make a difference and spread awareness of an issue. It also shows how everyone is capable of making change and helping improve someone or something’s life if we just put in the time and effort. I thought it was sweet how some of the students adopted some of the dogs and encouraged other people in their community to do the same as well.

  15. I think this was a nice gesture done by the team. Even though it didn’t require much of the team, it made an impact not only on the dogs but also themselves.

  16. I learned that everybody can make a difference in this world. Whether it’s a small act of kindness such as running with dogs from an animal shelter. It made an impact on the dogs and runners themselves. Now this amazing idea has spread nation wide.

  17. I learned that everybody can make a difference in this world. Whether it’s a small act of kindness such as running with dogs from an animal shelter. It made a lasting impact on the dogs and the runners themselves. Now this amazing idea has spread nation wide.

  18. I think this is a good way to get the dogs out of the cages and feel free and it helps them get adopted. This is such a nice gesture.

  19. My thoughts are everyone or every animal can be included to make a difference and it doesn’t have to be a big difference either.

  20. I think that it was amazing that they could do that for the dogs. It was very impactful for the dogs and the kids because the kids got to see how they can impact people/ things and the dogs got to have fun.

  21. I think this was an amazing idea! If I got to run with dogs it would make me more excited to run long distance! It was also very impactful for the dogs.

  22. I thought that the gesture was very kind. It was great that joe was thinking of ways to help and he came up with a really great idea. Not only did the dogs get to run but the shelter also got a lot of recognition and therefore a bunch of the dogs were adopted. This act of kindness shows how far a little idea can go.

  23. What a great person and great act of kindness. I would totally do something like this because I care about a lot of things. This makes me happy because a lot of them woolens do not do this because they just have to. This is very sweet.

  24. I think this is adorable, genius, and amazing. This is an excellent morale booster for a team and just because it is a small act, it had huge effects.

  25. I think that this gesture is amazing. I could see my team doing this exact gesture. But this gesture made my heart happy. It is what society should do.

  26. I think that the coach was really cool for making the runners follow through with the run. They may not have enjoyed the actual running but they really loved the dogs and I commend the coach for giving them that experience.

  27. This gesture is super impactful. It allows both the dogs in the shelter and the kids to have a positive impact on one another. It would be so much more fun to run with a companion and it’s great because it benefits the shelter.

  28. I think this was a very kind and cute gesture. I thought it was also cute how one of the dogs even ended up getting adopted. And I thought it was good that this activity drew a lot of attention from other athletic directors to set up similar events for their own schools

  29. I definitely think this gesture was incredible, and I think that schools should do this more often. It’ll help the students become better people.

  30. I think this idea is so cool and the fact that the dogs were adopted makes me so happy. I love that they got to make those dogs so happy and they got to get out and run.

  31. I think that having the dogs run with the kids makes a big impact on both of them. It helps the runners to enjoy a run that they might not usually enjoy, and it helps the dogs to find a forever home with these people. These little acts of kindness can make bigger impacts than the most grand gestures, and I think that this is important for people to think about.

  32. By doing things like this, sports teams can raise awareness for issues like this. Running with the dogs probably made the dogs feel more loved and the dogs brought joy to all of the people who read/saw the story.

  33. I think this small gesture made a huge impact for everyone, not just the runners or the dogs. It shows that it doesn’t take a huge grand gesture to create happiness in someone’s life. More people should focus on the small acts of kindness that make someone smile.

  34. I think it was very sweet of them to run with the dogs from the shelter. Many of those dogs are sad all day because they are stuck in cages. It’s a great way for everyone to get great exercise, and it makes us all feel good overall.

  35. This was a very kind gesture. I think more sports programs out there should be doing activities like these. It will not only benefit the team but it will impact the community too. I just know these kids impacted those dog’s life that day.

  36. I think that what the cross country coach did shows that just one small, kind gesture can make all the difference in what can happen to a group. It was also awesome because the dogs got adopted and the shelter started getting more business once this happened as well. I think that even more schools should start doing this because it does so much good for not just the dogs but also the community.

  37. I think this gesture was a really smart way to bring awareness of how simple a kind gesture could be and how every team could do something like that.

  38. Something like this is easy, fun, and hard to find a down side for. If it has all of these boxes checked off why wouldn’t you do it? It helps you, your community and your team.

  39. I love this gesture it makes the dogs happy because they’re getting a chance to get out and see the world and it also allows them to let their energy out. It also helps the dogs to get adopted because they look like they would be a good companion for people’s families. It also helps the high school students to get out and have fun with the dogs. This video is so amazing I loved watching it. In my opinion, this was such a good thing to do and they didn’t haven to do much in order to make the dogs happy. In all, the dogs are super cute and the high school students are doing a good thing for our world.

  40. More teams should do this because it is a team bonding activity and it can also be very beneficial to the community. The athletes learn how to be better people

  41. I think this situation demonstrated the impact of being open-minded. Originally these runners were not thrilled to participate in taking the dogs with them for their run. However, after experiencing it their feelings changed. I think the dogs could be a good reminder for the athletes of how good they have it. Additionally, these dogs might help decrease the athletes’ anxiety. This taught me that giving back to your community does not have to be big or complicated; It can be simple.

  42. This was such a sweet gesture that not only improves the mood of the runners and of the dogs! What a great way to involve the community!

  43. I love this idea! I love dogs, and think this will motivate me to run long distance. Also will improve my over view on running and change me mood and feelings about it!

  44. I think it’s a cool act that gets a team involved, along with another group. It could motivate more than one group of people in many different ways.

  45. I like this. Not only did it help the runners make their run more fun with the dogs, but it also gave the dogs the chance to run around and interact with people and other dogs.

  46. It’s really cute because I can see the dogs and how they get all wiggly when they’re excited. This post can be applied to other aspects of life as well, not limited to running with a dog. The bigger picture is neat to see.

  47. I think that this is a good idea because a lot of people love dogs and running with a dog can naturally make you feel happy and can make any activity more enjoyable.

  48. I think this was a wonderful idea! I with my coach would allow us to run with dogs, it would make distance workouts more fun! And it would help the dogs to feel loved, and to help them get outside and exercise.