SALT LAKE CITY — What Hannah Beardall best remembers about her friend and former classmate Alaina Petty is the girl's kindness.
She remembers Alaina — an LDS 14-year-old who was among the 17 shot and killed last month at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — volunteering with Mormon Helping Hands mucking out homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
"It's really physical work, but Alaina always did more than the physical work. She was just caring. She would do anything she could to make the families feel safe and to help them emotionally, too, to feel better," Hannah, 15, recalled.
Inspired by Alaina and the others who lost their lives in the Florida tragedy, Utah lawmakers plan to present a resolution, HCR22, on Wednesday naming the month of April #MSDKindness Month after the Florida school.
The idea for the resolution came from the state of Washington, where Ernie Geigenmiller, who attended BYU with Alaina's father Ryan Petty, decided to act.
In an article for southwest Washington's Lacamas Magazine, Geigenmiller describes his feelings upon hearing the news of the shooting and urged people to "be loving, respectful, charitable to those closest to you. … Lift others around you."
"Do something kind for those (who) in your mind may least deserve it. You never know what’s happening in one’s heart or mind. People act out because they feel anger, insecurity, pain, suffering, loneliness," Geigenmiller wrote.
He started a #MarchKindness campaign, in which he writes a daily feature story for the magazine about various acts of kindness from those in the Washington community.
In the first #MarchKindness article, for example, Geigenmiller shared the story of a group of more than 100 women who offered a check for $8,700 to a group that offers support to families in need of counseling and basic assistance.
The next story highlighted the efforts of a group of more than 100 high school students who volunteered at a Washington food bank.
Another act of kindness profiled two women who conduct weekly "street outreach," offering assistance, food and the use of a mobile shower to homeless people in their area with the help of local churches.
Less than two weeks after Lacamas Magazine announced the campaign in a YouTube video, Utah lawmakers decided to bring the idea to the Beehive State.
"We're going to pick it up in April and do the same thing, and we're encouraging other states to also do that, to carry it forward for the whole year," said bill sponsor Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield.2 comments on this story
During April, lawmakers hope to encourage Utahns to "participate in random acts of kindness" and to record acts of service on the SafeUT mobile app, according to the resolution.
"(The Pettys) were part of the Helping Hands in Florida and different things," Ray said, noting Alaina's commitment to service.
Ray said he plans to present the resolution to Utah lawmakers in the state Capitol Thursday morning.
Ryan Petty, who was at Florida's state Capitol Tuesday with other families of victims advocating for the protection of children, will "most likely" visit the Utah Legislature on Thursday for the presentation of the resolution, Ray said.