Random acts of kindness encouraged on birthday of Trestle Trail shooting victim

Remembering Olivia Stoffel
Remembering Olivia Stoffel

FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) – Dec. 7 marks what would have been Olivia Stoffel’s 13th birthday. Stoffel and her father, Jonathan, along with Adam Bentdahl were all killed in a random act of violence in May of 2015. That’s when a shooter opened fire on the Trestle Trail Bridge before taking his life. The gunman also severely injured Olivia’s mom, who was shot while protecting her children. She survived.

Now a public call has been put out for people to help celebrate Olivia Stoffel’s life on her birthday.

Addie Teeters and her two young sons, Noah and Isaac, are coloring cards to help celebrate the 13th birthday of Olivia Stoffel, a girl they didn’t even know.

Teeters says, “We’ve been praying for them and you want to do something to just reach out and let them know that you’re thinking of them, especially this time of year. And to know that we can do a random act of kindness and spread some joy in the community, you never know what kind of impact that can have.”

The Teeters plan to stuff their homemade cards with coffee shop gift cards and then hand them out to people to help put a smile on their face. They were inspired by a Facebook group bearing Olivia Stoffel’s name.

“Olivia’s Heart” asks for people to help celebrate and honor the girl who had “a beautiful giving heart” on her birthday, December 7th, by performing a random act of kindness.

Tom Dunsirn, owner of sunset hill stoneware, learned about the random act of kindness campaign from a local police department contact. Dunsirn was more than happy to donate goods for the department to use as part of its participation in Olivia Stoffel’s life celebration.

“I read about it and about her and how she was always willing to help people and had a big heart and it’s just a shame she was taken from us too early, so I thought, whatever we can do to help would be great,” says Dunsirn.

The acts of kindness planned by Teeters and Dunsirn are just two of the many in the works, according to the “Olivia’s Heart” Facebook page. One family plans to hold a toy drive at their child’s school. And, another posted about helping a Ukranian family living in poverty.

Whatever people plan to do, those organizing the act of kindness campaign simply ask people to share Olivia’s story.