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Why this Kelowna couple shared hundreds of dollars with strangers yesterday

Kray Mitchell was sharing $5 bills with strangers who were willing to call loved ones and tell them they're loved.

Kray Mitchell and Kim Radomske hit the streets of Kelowna Saturday to do something surprisingly difficult — give away free cash.

“Free money…” he offered to strangers at the corner of Pandosy Street and West Avenue.

Most people are expecting a catch and of course there is one, but not one you’d think.

“Free money,” Mitchell says as one young man approaches. “All you have to do is call someone and say you love them."

"Oh yeah,” the young man said and carried on.

They had $385 worth of five-dollar bills to share with strangers. Mitchell just wants to spread love.

His mom lives in a care home where many of the residents have family who don’t call or visit – and that makes him want to reduce the amount of loneliness in the world.

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“It’s been a rough couple of years,” he said. “Not enough people get to hear that (they’re loved) these days. So we’re just trying to get people to call someone on their list who they haven’t talked to in a while that could use it.”

Many of those spontaneous phone calls ended up turning into long conversations, he said.

Mitchell and Radomske got the money from the Neighbourhood Small Grants.

They were given $500 to execute the project but had to spend $125 to insure the event – an obligatory cost. So 25 five-dollar-bills went to the insurance company, just in case something went wrong handing out five-dollar bills.

It’s actually been a lot harder than you’d think to give away money today,” Mitchell said. “A lot of people have given me the side-eye, like ‘What’s going on here? Who gives away money?’”

Those who didn’t need the five dollars had the option of donating it to a local women’s shelter instead.

“So everybody wins – as long as I can get them to stop,” he said.

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Anneka Twack from Kelowna earned $5 today by calling someone she loves and saying
Anneka Twack from Kelowna earned $5 today by calling someone she loves and saying "I love you."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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