Ohio man spreading kindness for 12 years with a smile and a sign (and honestly we need more people like Bob Votruba in the world)

One man's mission to share kindness is on its 12th year

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - He’s a man on a mission.

Bob Votruba has been dedicated to his mission of spreading kindness for a “very long time” -- 12 years in fact.

Votruba is the man behind the “Be kind to one another” sign that Clevelanders pass at major intersections in the city.

Votruba’s bus, blanketed in quotes about kindness and friendship, is always parked nearby and helps him spread the word.

Ohio native Bob Votruba has been traveling the US for 12 years promoting kindness.
Ohio native Bob Votruba has been traveling the US for 12 years promoting kindness. (Source: Michael Dakota)

“I’m just trying to make a difference,” Votruba said. “Trying to remind people to be kind.”

Votruba was moved to start his mission when on April 16, 2007 there was a school shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech.

The shooting inspired Votruba to carry his sign and spread kindness.

He has ridden more than 26,000 miles on his bike to bring attention to abused children.

“I ride to honor those kids that have a challenge in their lives,” Votruba said while holding his sign at East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

After 12 years Votruba said people know him and welcome him back, drivers will wave and that brings a smile to his face.

“People want to to know about kindness,” Votruba said. “They want kindness in their lives, it’s just so important we try to make that happen for everyone.”

His mission was admittedly suppose to be a ten year one, however as he moves into his 12th year Votruba doesn’t appear to be slowing down and wants to continue to be the voice of kindness.

“We can all think about being kind, and want to be kind, but it’s not until you actually do the physical acts of kindness that you’re actually making a difference,” Votruba said before turning towards his intersection, sign in hand and waving to his audience.

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