Whitney Pastorek
February 07, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Some 50 young men and women blanketed NYC on Jan. 26 and 27, distributing free stuff and hailing cabs for frozen passersby, and since God works in mysterious ways, along with each good deed came a card: ”This random act of kindness was inspired by Joan of Arcadia, Fridays at 8 p.m. on CBS.” On a mission, according to street team leader Jake Stevens, to ”heighten awareness,” the paid participants gave away some 1,500 subway cards, 1,300 hand warmers, 1,500 lottery tickets, 1,750 cups of coffee, and 750 cups of soup, and did approximately 250 loads of laundry. (A big step up from the Veronica Mars magnets Stevens gave out in L.A.) But giving wasn’t as easy as you’d think. Witness Heather, ignored by many as she stood outside a midtown restaurant repeating, ”Can Joan of Arcadia buy your soup today?” One guy did offer a reason for the brush-off: ”I work for CBS.” So in a way, Joan already bought his soup. Touching.

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