'Acts 4 Ash' turns tragedy into a movement

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- On July 22, 2018 one Christiansburg family's life would forever change when 16-year-old Ashlyn Poole was tragically killed in a car crash.

Poole, a star athlete at Christiansburg High School, was known for her smile and desire to be kind to everyone.

"It didn’t matter where you came from, what you looked like, what your background was, she was just going to be your friend no matter what,” said Melissa Poole, Ashlyn's mother.

Ashyln's death hit the small community hard. Months have gone by, but the heartache remains.

But out of tragedy has come a movement that has now gone international.

"Holidays are always hard, when you’ve lost someone special," said Poole. "A friend of mine said that we needed to have something to have a purpose for.”

For the Poole family and close friends, that something was doing exactly what Ashlyn would do -- pay it forward and love each other.

Poole started a campaign now called Acts 4 Ash in late November. The goal was to perform random acts of kindness in Ashlyn's memory.
What started as a local idea has spread like a wildfire.

"Iowa, Hawaii, Washington state, and now it’s international,” Poole said.

More than 100 acts of kindness have been posted on the Acts 4 Ash Facebook page in less than a month.

"We’re planning to give little goodie bags to take to the residents of an assisted living place in Christiansburg,” said Jennifer Trotter, whose family has already done kind acts in Ashlyn's memory.

Family and friends of Ashlyn say they're blown away by the support they've received, and hope Acts 4 Ash will continue beyond the holidays.