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By Christina Couch |


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The 10 most impressive families in America

The Helping Hands

Patience Salgado and her family in Richmond, Virginia know that the best way to get love is to give it. Dedicated "kindness workers," the family of six brainstorms and executes kindness projects that range from "ding dong ditch" missions, where children leave flowers and nice messages on strangers' doorsteps, to a movement to show appreciation for garbage workers. All are detailed on Patience’s blog, Kindnessgirl.com. "It really brings us together and it feels good," says Patience. "I also want [my children] to really connect with people and care about the world." The Salgados' fans agree, and they're more than willing to spread the love. For the family's Magic Wand Project, the Salgados took 100 old magic-wand party favors, attached invitations for recipients to perform three acts of kindness and left them all over Richmond. When the acts were complete, kids could send in pictures then leave their wand in a new location or make another one for someone else to find. Within 48 hours of launching the project, wands were reported in five states. There are currently more than 2,000 floating around along, with a teacher guide for classrooms. "If you want to see love in the world, you've got to be love," Patience says. "If you want to see goodness in the world, you have to be that thing. I want my kids to see themselves as powerful agents in the world of change, that they can be part of something they want to see."

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About Christina Couch

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Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a freelance writer based in Richmond, VA, and Chicago, IL. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101(Palari Publishing, 2008). Her work can also be found in Playboy.com, Time Out ChicagoWired magazine, MSN.com and Yahoo! Finance.

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