#BeKind21: Thank you

September 21, 2019

I was pulling out of my son’s elementary school parking lot when Shadille called me to share the math that she and Mitu had been working on all day, multiplying unique sign ups by committed acts of kindness, adding the communities of our more than 130 partners, and ensuring that we were counting each individual, kind use of our #BeKind21 hashtag. I looked at Hunter’s eyes in the backseat as she said a number larger than any he had ever thought about: 1,969,100 people globally pledged to make kindness toward themselves and others a habit. After hearing this number, I knew to pull over on the side of the road for the next part. I turned towards Hunter as we heard the number of kind acts these wonderful participants committed to: 41,351,100.

Hunter knows these are big numbers, but he can’t imagine the enormity of the movement he inspired but what we both know is that the people in our lives, in our communities, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our nonprofits, and corporations are the reason this campaign has been successful. You are the reason this has been such a success. And from one grateful mom, one proud first grader, our entire family, and Team Born This Way Foundation, thank you.

If you haven’t yet already, click here to join with millions of people working to be kinder to themselves and others through #BeKind21 by 11:59 PM PST tonight. And if you’ve already signed up, share this link with a friend: https://bornthisway.foundation/bekind21.


As Executive Director of Born This Way Foundation, I spoke proudly of your kind acts (and my own!) over the past three weeks but as Maya – a mom that misses too much, a wife that most often tells her husband she loves him via text, and as a friend who has dozens of unreturned text messages – I needed #BeKind21. I tell you this not because I feel sorry for myself and not because I’m any different than those of us that try our best every day to balance all that life throws at us but this year, but because I needed #BeKind21. I deeply needed kindness. To the baristas that saw me on conference calls outside their stores and brought me my coffee outside, to the friends that sent sweet cards to tell me how much they appreciate me because they didn’t have another way to find me in a hectic travel schedule, to the strangers that smiled at me, to the children that let me sit in their classrooms while they wrote about kindness in their own lives, and to the non-profits that hosted me at their kindness activations, providing me the opportunity and space to think about others first. To everyone that was kind to me – thank you, you’ve given me so much.

Some days, we’re capable of being the forces of kindness that we all inherently are, looking for and adding to the good around us. Other days, we rely on the kindness of the people around us to survive. Over the past three weeks of #BeKind21, I’ve been both and along with almost two million of you, we’ve made a difference. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and please, let’s not stop now.

Your kindness challenge today: Invite five friends to #BeKind21 so they sign up by 11:59 PM PST tonight using this link: https://bornthisway.foundation/bekind21. Because, let’s be honest, kindness is a year-round habit so let’s keep at it together.

In Kindness + Gratitude,

Maya Smith
Executive Director