Carmen George

Day promotes random acts of kindness to remember Molly Griffin, killed in Fresno accident

The meaning of Molly Day

Molly Day, first held Aug. 26, 2015, honors Molly Griffin, who was killed by a suspected DUI driver in February 2015. People are encouraged to promote random acts of kindness. In 2015, her parents, Doug and Doris Griffin, helped hand out doughnuts
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Molly Day, first held Aug. 26, 2015, honors Molly Griffin, who was killed by a suspected DUI driver in February 2015. People are encouraged to promote random acts of kindness. In 2015, her parents, Doug and Doris Griffin, helped hand out doughnuts

Random acts of kindness were no random occurrence for Molly Griffin.

Emily Krieghoff, who was in the car with Griffin when she was struck and killed by a suspected drunken driver in northeast Fresno in February, says her best friend shared her kindness all the time.

Griffin regularly complimented others, Krieghoff says, and did things like buy groceries and coffee for people whose credit cards were declined.

Griffin also was instrumental in her parents’ decision to adopt Paige, now 10, from an orphanage in China in 2007.

Krieghoff misses her friend’s beautiful “vibe and spirit.”

“She could really make you feel so much better about yourself just by being there. She didn’t have to say anything; it was amazing. It was incredible what she could do.”

To honor her life, Griffin’s family and friends are asking people to perform a random act of kindness on Wednesday, Aug. 26, which would have been Molly’s 24th birthday.

Just be kind. … It could create a huge effect.

Emily Krieghoff

They’re also asking people to share their act of kindness on the Molly Day Facebook page and other social media sites with the hashtag #LiveLikeMolly.

“We are just encouraging someone to do something nice for somebody, whether it’s buy a cup of coffee or lunch, or do a favor to help someone in need,” says Griffin’s father, Doug Griffin of Fresno. “Whatever it is, just show kindness and love toward another person.”

Krieghoff hopes people aren’t shy about sharing.

“I know it’s not about that,” she says, “but I would love to see how many people have done it that day.”

Griffin had just finished showing Krieghoff her soon-to-be new home under construction in the Copper River Ranch community when their vehicle was struck Feb. 21 by 23-year-old Hector Castillo-Pichardo, who ran a red light. Castillo-Pichardo was arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. His next scheduled court date is Tuesday.

We thought it would be better to remember how she lived than focus on how she was taken from us.

Doug Griffin

Griffin died at the scene and Castillo-Pichardo’s passenger, Oscar Felix, 32, of Fresno died at the hospital. Krieghoff sustained serious injuries, including a lacerated aorta, fractured hip and brain trauma.

Krieghoff returned to school at Fresno City College this semester, where she is studying to become a nurse like Griffin, who was working in the surgical department at Madera Community Hospital.

Krieghoff and Griffin’s family are trying to focus on the positive.

“We chose not to be bitter,” Doug Griffin says. “Even through our pain, we wanted to do something positive for her and her memory. She was a very positive person.”

Krieghoff says something similar: “To partake in what she did every day is the best way to honor her life.”

I’m hoping this will really be a testimony about love and about grace.

Doug Griffin

Doug Griffin says family, friends and faith in God are helping pull them through the pain of losing Molly.

“We know where she is and we’ll see her again,” he says. “That gives us hope going forward. We do believe what the Bible teaches, that God will use this for good somehow.”

He says Molly Day is about creating a legacy for his daughter that reflects the kind of person she was.

“I’m hoping this will really be a testimony about love and about grace.”

Carmen George: 559-441-6386, @CarmenGeorge

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