Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Ronn Harris: Evanston resident's initiative rewards good deeds
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 782 times since Wed Oct 27, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"You've got to accentuate the positive/

Eliminate the negative/

Latch on to the affirmative/

Don't mess with Mister In-Between"

The lyrics above may be from the Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters song "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," but Evanston resident Ronn Harris has applied them to his life.

Harris, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, goes about rewarding people for good deeds they do—usually with a $10 or $15 gift card for Starbucks, Subway or McDonald's (although he recently gave a cleaning woman cash).

Back in 2019, "I started doing this because I was changing—for the worse," Harris told Windy City Times. "If you look at a lot of things on television, YouTube or social media, a lot of the language is combative. Even the body language is combative. And I fell into that trap.

"But I knew I was in control of myself, and I needed to find out how to get back in control. I just saw so many negative things."

However, one small thing turned Harris' life around. "One day, I held a door open for a woman, and she thanked me for doing that. That was the catalyst that sent me over. I thought, 'If that interaction can affect me that way, what can I do that can affect other people?' It's easy to say, 'Oh, yeah—I'm going to change the world'. But what about the day-to-day situations? You never know how you can affect someone."

Thinking about this made Harris wonder about what else he could do. He said, "Saying thank you is good, but I started wondering, 'What could I do to make people have an experience?' You don't want to give people money.

"That's when I discovered I had a couple gift cards, and I decided to give them away. In the beginning, people would look at you like, 'What are you doing?' COVID was being talked about, and people were a little standoffish. Then, they understood what I was doing and were very appreciative."

With the COVID pandemic, Harris admitted, "I had to change my approach and speech. People had their face masks on, so I had to be [more gentle]. Soon, people realized that I wasn't some guy who was randomly talking." However, not everyone has been accepting, whether it's because of suspicion, profession or even religion, Harris added before coming up with the idea of asking those who refuse to pass the card on to someone else.

However, after he started distributing the cards, Harris soon realized that he was benefiting himself as well. "I thought I was giving to people—but I learned I was also giving to myself," he said. "I look for people to give these gift cards to. No longer am I looking for negativity, but I'm looking for [positivity]—and I didn't realize that at first. I'm now looking for blessings.

"I really do believe that big things happen through small changes—and I realize there are good people out in the world who care for other people beside themselves. We all have to start from somewhere."

And it's not as if Harris is a multimillionaire. He left his job in the airline industry last year. "The point is to think outside of yourself," he said. "It may sound cheesy, but [giving away the gift cards] helps me with my stress and my health."

If nothing else, Harris proves that adage: Actions speak louder than words.

This article shared 782 times since Wed Oct 27, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Canada's House of Commons unanimously votes to ban conversion therapy 2021-12-02
- Canada's House of Commons voted unanimously to ban so-called LGBT conversion therapy, the BBC reported. The legislation would make it illegal to have a child undergo the practice or have anyone unwillingly undergo it. Conversion therapy—which ...

Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago supporters, CDPH official commemorate World AIDS Day with event 2021-12-01
- AIDS Garden Chicago supporters and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) commemorated the 34th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 at the Belmont Yacht Club with a sneak preview of the garden. The 2.5-acre ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal to Justice Kavanaugh: Not in our name 2021-12-01
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case that has the potential to directly or effectively overturn landmark precedent protecting the right ...

Gay News

CDC: Tougher restrictions set in response to new COVID variant 2021-12-01
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the United States is moving to require that all air travelers entering the country show a negative COVID-19 test performed within one day of departure in ...

Gay News

COVID Two states and territory come off Chicago's travel advisory 2021-11-30
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) removed two states and Guam from its weekly COVID-19 Travel Advisory on Nov. 30. No new states were added to the advisory, which now stands at 38 states. California, ...

Gay News

HRC encourages LGBTQ+ people to sign up for health insurance plans 2021-11-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is encouraging LGBTQ+ people to sign up for health insurance as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's Services (CMS) kicks off its LGBTQ+ Theme Week (Nov. 28 - ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: World AIDS Day, 'Benedetta,' books, wine in a can 2021-11-26
- —World AIDS Day event at Belmont Harbor: —The Chicago Parks Foundation will hold a World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1, 9-10:30 a.m., at the Belmont Harbor Yacht Club. Antonio King, LGBTQ health and outreach liaison ...

Gay News

New COVID variant discovered in South Africa 2021-11-26
- Global authorities reacted with alarm to a new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, with the European Union and Britain among those tightening border controls as scientists tried to find out if the mutation was vaccine-resistant, ...

Gay News

BIPOC LGBTQ+-led orgs and spaces adapt to continued effects of COVID-19 2021-11-25
- s the world continues to grapple with the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some BIPOC LGBTQ+-led bars and community-building organizations have adapted by implementing increased safety protocols and strengthening ...

Gay News

COVID Chicago's travel advisory back up to 40 states and one territory 2021-11-24
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) added two states to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory on Nov. 23. The advisory stands at 40 states and one territory. Connecticut, whose daily COVID Case rate per 100,000 ...

Gay News

WORLD HIV case, Ireland items, Kim Petras, actress' illness 2021-11-21
- A woman in Argentina has become only the second documented person whose own immune system may have cured her of HIV, NBC News noted. Researchers have dubbed the 30-year-old mother, who was first diagnosed with HIV ...

Gay News

COVID U.S. opens boosters for all adults 2021-11-20
- On Nov. 19, the United States, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allowed COVID-19 booster shots for all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, ...

Gay News

HHS acts to prevent discrimination, strengthen civil rights 2021-11-19
--From a press release - Washington D.C. — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced actions to further ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ equality in nine Illinois municipalities detailed in Human Rights Campaign Index 2021-11-18
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...

Gay News

COVID Chicago's travel advisory down to 38 states, one territory 2021-11-17
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) removed three states and returned one to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory on Nov. 16. The advisory stands at 38 states and one territory. Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee—all of ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.