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Community celebrates 'Random Gestures of Compassion' in honor of Reese Grant-Cobb
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DENVER — This Wednesday, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock proclaimed July 20, 2022 “Random Gestures of Compassion Day.”

The recognition is in honor of Reese Grant-Cobb, a 17-year-old who was killed in 2018, just weeks before his 18th birthday. Grant-Cobb was a standout on the East High School football team and his friends called him a “Renaissance man.” July 20 would have been Grant-Cobb's 22nd birthday.

“The month of July is the hardest month of the year for me because the beginning of the month is the anniversary of his death — he was attacked on July 1 and then died on July 2 — then July 20 … is his birthday,” said Beverly Grant, Reese’s mother. 

Colorado Voices

Community celebrates 'Random Gestures of Compassion'

After Grant-Cobb died, friends and loved ones told Grant-Cobb's family that he helped them through dark times in their lives when they were experiencing things like suicidal thoughts and bullying. Beverly Grant told Rocky Mountain PBS that at the time of her son’s vigil, she learned about all the random acts of kindness her son showed people. Because of her son’s compassion toward others, she organized the annual Random Gestures of Compassion Day event.

“It’s so healing, and it’s restorative, really. I mean, I’ve been fighting back tears every time I look around at all these beautiful faces gathered here,” Grant said at the event, which took place at Fuller Park in Denver’s Whittier neighborhood. “We’re across the age span [from] toddlers through grandparents, all here through alignment all because of that spirit.”

Random Gestures of Compassion Day aims to bring people together, which Grant said is exactly what Wednesday did.

“Every horrible act that occurs, there is good that can emerge thereafter, and the good has to be our foundation to move us forward,” Grant said. 

Lindsey Ford is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at lindseyford@rmpbs.org.

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