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‘Everybody has kindness in them,’ says locksmith who laundered lost white coat

Caught in the rain without an umbrella and her arms full with books and her lunch bag, Tomeka Greene was rushing to a meeting when she dropped a very important item ― her white coat —in the parking lot of Penn State College of Medicine on Feb. 6.

Greene, a student in Penn State College of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, got to her meeting on time but realized she was missing the coat.

“I was convinced it was gone for good, and I’d I have to order a new one,” she said.

The next day, she was surprised to get an email from Physician Assistant Program Coordinator Jodi Verbos asking her to come to the office, where she was handed a gift box containing her white coat.

“The coat wasn’t soaked, muddy or stained…It had been cleaned, pressed, and all pins were reapplied as if I’d never worn it at all,” Greene said. “I was extremely thankful.”

Rod Snell, a locksmith with the Facilities Maintenance Department, was behind the kind deed.

“It looked like it had been run over and had a lot of road grime on it. I figured if I just turned it in, the stains would never come out,” said Snell, who took the coat home and treated it with stain remover before washing it.

Snell downplays his act of kindness, saying it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Verbos disagrees and says Snell could have simply brought the coat to her office, still wet and dirty, but at least returned. “It’s kind acts like this that make it so nice be among the people who work here,” she said.

Says Snell, “Everybody has kindness in them. It doesn’t require any special knowledge or skill – you just need the opportunity and a desire to help.”

Today is National Random Act of Kindness Day

Here are a few tips on how to make kindness the norm.

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