A Baseball Village vendor spreads a message of kindness

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Tucked away in the College World Series Baseball Village is Marlon Taylor’s “Kindness Shoppe,” with tables covered in hundreds of colorful shirts, all with the same message: kindness destroys hate.

“Our society dictates a lot of things to us, and I think we just need to be nice again,” says Julie Wyssman, owner of J’s coffee and donuts as she sports a “Kindness Destroys Hate” t-shirt.

“It’s also a message that we just need to spread, because if we’re kind to each other, everything is better,” adds Chris Matson, another salesman wearing his kindness shirt as he sells Cutco Cutlery.

Marlon Taylor began spreading his message in 2020, it was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, and thousands of people were taking to the streets calling for racial justice through protests.

Some of them became violent, notably in Omaha when James Scurlock was shot and killed.

“When this young man was shot downtown, it really touched my heart and I thought, I don’t care what other people do. I’m going to do something to change the atmosphere from downtown Omaha.

Amid the chaos of 2020, Marlon found himself in the Old Market every week, handing out lunches, sandwiches, fruit, crisps and water. They were meant for anyone who wanted or needed them, all for the purpose of spreading kindness.

“It wasn’t about black, white, yellow, brown, it wasn’t about old young, it wasn’t about rich or poor,” Marlon says. “If you passed me, please take this. I called my little individual mission “kindness destroys hate” because that was my goal. Here, in the midst of all this racial outcry in America, is a person of color, standing downtown and being nice to everyone.

As he continued to share meals and spread joy, a group of volunteers soon arrived.

For the sake of cohesion, Marlon created t-shirts for his volunteers that read “Kindness Destroys Hate”. It didn’t take long for people to start asking if they could buy the shirts from him.

It all started there, and now his message has grown massively. He shares it on his CWS booth for the second year in a row.

Marlon also sent shirts to places like Scotland, Australia and places in Europe. He says he never expected a simple t-shirt to have such an impact.

“I just wanted to help my city, and like I said earlier, I had no idea that helping my city was something that helped the world.”

“You know, it’s back to basics, it’s being a good human,” Wyssman says.

“It even speaks for itself, kindness destroys hate. You kill people with kindness,” says Wyssman employee Drew Carlson.

“Be nice to people, treat people with respect, they’ll treat you the same,” Matson adds.

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