In the wake of a tragedy, sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much. One New York firefighter has been doing his best to bring some joy to those who were impacted by the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Tommy Maher has traveled 9,500 miles to visit the towns and cities of those killed in the shooting, as he explained, “[My goal] is to always try to do what I can to make a difference.”
During a stop in Shippensburg, he honored a father and coach killed at the Las Vegas music festival, Bill Wolf, by putting quarters in envelopes at the local Laundromat.
Maher named his mission Honor 58, which includes giving bracelets with names of the victims to people in each town to motivate them to pay it forward with an act of kindness in the victim’s memory.
He explained of his trip in November: “It was very emotional, especially when I got to meet family members.”
The gestures were small, but had a huge impact, as Maher only planned to use $1,000 to pay for his acts of kindness. Karma paid him back when he visited a casino and, playing a penny slot machine, earned $2,500. A friend of his had also started a Go Fund Me Page, which raised $7,200.
Maher said of his kindness tour: “It’s really about all of us and how if you just take the time, which isn’t much and you can do a random act of kindness just by turning and saying hello to someone or smiling at someone.”
He was motivated to pay it forward when one of his friends died at Ground Zero on 9/11, as he explained, “It’s all just to keep the good going.”
Maher now has plans to visit Parkland, Florida to continue his random acts of kindness for the families and victims of the recent tragic high school shooting.
Those addressing Maher’s mission on Facebook spread their words of kindness, with one person noting:
“Our family is grateful to Tommy Maher for his desire to spread love and kindness to so many as well as keeping the memory alive for all 58 lost loved ones. My heart smiles thinking of someone receiving Neysa Tonkss bracelet and paying it forward. I hope these 58 bracelets continue to make a change and help to make the world a more kind place to live in.”
Others added: “You all give hope to many that there are still good, caring people in this world! Love watching this journey unfold and seeing the lives you are touching” and “Been following you from the start as I lost a dear friend in the Las Vegas tragedy. I love what you started.”
Another commenter said: “Nice! Thank you Tommy for all you have done to honor these men and women! You’re very much appreciated!”
Many others praised him, including one commenter who noted: “With all these tragedies and all the bad news it is so helpful and refreshing to hear about angels like you. Thank you so much for all the hope you raise, you are a credit to humanity.”