Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is getting ready to watch his college team, the Oregon Ducks, play the Auburn Tigers for the national championship. It’s the first thing he had on his offseason to-do list. The next item of business for Byrd following Monday night’s game: get back to giving back.
“Morning world! Let’s make a difference #2day,” Byrd recently tweeted on his Louder Than Words twitter page.
Byrd shared with us that one of the things he’s looking forward to most this offseason is getting a jump on his new initiative — “Byrd Seed.” Byrd came up with the idea as an augmentation of his popular Twitter page and Facebook page. These pages are places where fans can share random acts of kindness that they have witnessed themselves or done for someone else. Byrd’s followers have taken on all kinds of things from petty crime to stopping bullies with these tweets and Facebook posts.
Byrd is proud of his online following but as the number of posts tapered a little, he found himself wanting to take all this talk and turn it into action. “I have always tried to lead by example,” Byrd said. “I wanted to be more involved… even though I liked all the stuff I was reading. I wanted to do more.”
On November 23, he set out to take words into action and reward people for their random acts of kindess, so he created Byrd Seed. Byrd Seed is an initiative that encourages Byrd’s fans around the Buffalo area (these fans are called “the flock”) to give out movie vouchers from Dipson Theaters any time they witness someone doing something nice and helpful for someone else.
Byrd’s love for movies was the inspiration for the handout. He recently saw the movie The Fighter and wanted to share something he loves — movies — with those whose actions speak “louder than words.” “It seemed like a good thing to reward people with,” Byrd told us. “And now that it’s offseason, I want to take Byrd Seed to the streets more. It’s hard to keep everything going when it’s the season.”
Turn on your computer or TV and you will likely see the story of Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice, on youtube or the news. His story is a reminder about what an act of kindness can do. Williams, who was recently panhandling on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, and is now being sought after by several media outlets for his voice-over capabilities, got a huge lift from a stranger. Byrd reminded us that an act of kindness needn’t be something so big. It’s the simple kindnesses that get people involved. “It can be as small as callin’ on someone for a lady who got her keys locked in her car,” he continued. “I just want to do my part to try and make the world a better place, and I hope that the more it’s out there, the more other people will feel the same sense of responsibility.”