Local Man Spreads Kindness Through The River Valley With Positive Yard Signs

VAN BUREN, Ark. (KFSM) — A Van Buren man is spreading love and kindness through the River Valley with positive yard signs.

Unfortunately, someone has reportedly stolen some of those signs.

Alan Swaim says he won’t let thieves stop him from completing his mission.

“About three weeks ago I was praying, my health is bad, and I said 'God there’s a reason I’m still here what is it you want me to do?'," Swaim said.

Swaim says after he saw a senseless case of road rage he got his answer.

"At 3 o’clock the next morning God woke me up and gave me a very clear message of what he wanted me to do, and that was try to spread kindness, love and friendship," Swaim said.

In a matter of weeks, word of Swaim's mission spread and the demand for signs blew up.

He originally intended to put out just 40 signs but that number has grown to 1,100.

Shannon Burgess heard Swaim's story and wanted to be a part of it.

“When he sets his mind to something and his heart to something he has the biggest heart I know and so I’m not surprised that his message has made it," Burgess said.

This week Swaim learned that five signs had been stolen. No police reports have been filed, and while Swaim is disappointed he has no problem replacing them.

“I’m hoping they’ll read the sign after they steal it and get the message. Maybe go put it back or put it in their yard," Swaim said.

Swaim along with his friend Lewis Stutts drives around Van Buren installing the signs and he’s also got help in Fort Smith and Alma.

He hopes this story will inspire others.

“I’m hoping we get back to the old fashion values that we had many years ago of being a kind friend, of being kind to one another, to show manners to one another, and just make it a kinder, gentler River Valley," Swaim said.

Swaim gives the signs away for free.

He's paying for them out of his own pocket, but some people have provided donations. It costs about $6.50 per sign.

Swaim says if you want one just message him on Facebook and he’ll be happy to put in your yard.

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