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When it was about to hit 10 years in business in 2019, KC's Pub in Guilford felt the need to do something big to celebrate. To carry on owner Kelly Carney's kindness campaign of Hugs Over Hate, KC's decided to sponsor a new charity each month in hopes to raise $10,000 by the end of 2019.
Hugs Over Hate was started three years ago after Carney's friend, Brittany Whiteman, designed a T-shirt in honor of the Orlando Pulse shooting victims. Brittany was inspired to spread a message of love and unity through the image.
"In a world filled with hatred, violence, and despair it is important to remember love is out there and if we stand together, we can make the world more hopeful and united," says Carney.
In 2018, Carney put the logo on her staff's uniforms at the restaurant in order to spread the message and encourage good deeds in the community. Since 2016, the campaign has donated more than $13,000 and KC's offers annual Days of Kindness, during which they buy the meal of every 50th guest in hopes they will pay it forward. Hugs over Hate's message is simple—small acts of kindness matter.
With so many great charities to help, Carney focuses on working with organizations that are committed to spreading kindness and unity, in honor of her sister Kaitlin who passed away in 2007. For the 2019 goal, some of these charities include Guilford Community Fund, Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, and Women & Family Life Center.
"Kaitlin was kind and empathetic," says Carney. "Friends and strangers were always comforted by her smile and all she wanted in life was to help others."
Recently, Carney also opened a retail store—Mindful Goods—in the same plaza as KC's. The shop is committed to selling products that do social good, are eco-friendly, or are handmade in small batches.
Mindful goods also specializes in CBD, a component of the hemp plant that can offer relief for many aliments. Carney started taking CBD almost two years ago to help battle anxiety and depression. After being impressed with the results, Carney partnered with a manufacturer in Colorado who works with the largest grower and distributor of CBD products to develop LivKind. LivKind is now a featured brand at Mindful Goods and donates 10% of its profits to the Hugs Over Hate campaign.
Carney discovered that CBD also has benefits for pets.
"My 90 pound pitbull, Cassius, was limping every day and was barely able to get up on the couch," says Carney of her dog faced with two torn ligaments in his back legs. "CBD was the only thing that helped him. After being on CBD, he was back to his goofy full of energy and very active self. Check him out on Instagram @cassiusandfriends."
As KC's reaches the end of the year (and officially celebrated its 10th anniversary on Oct. 14), the team is on track for the $10,000 goal. Follow what KC's is up to on facebook @kcspubct.
This information was provided by KC's Restaurant and Pub, located at 725 Boston Post Road, Guilford. For more information, visit kcspub.com or call 203-453-0771.
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