#BeKind21: Donate to a Local Shelter

September 13, 2021
This story took place in United States

Today’s #BeKind21 message is from Catching Joy, Inc.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is the power of empathy and kindness – these are the driving forces that can change the world.

When I was four-years-old and holiday shopping with my family in Back Bay, Boston, I saw a man standing alone. He was dressed differently to my young mind. He wasn’t wearing a coat, hat, mittens, or socks. In one hand, he grasped a tin can, and in the other hand, he held a cardboard sign with one word: “help.” My parents and I put some change in his cup, and I heard a “clink” sound. I wondered to myself whether his cup was empty, how long he was there in the freezing weather without help, and if he was invisible to others because people seemed to be ignoring him. Before this experience, my sheltered young self did not know or understand that not every person has food, clothing, shelter, or support.

Since my earliest memories, I have been leading Catching Joy, Inc., a nonprofit that promotes volunteerism and acts of kindness beginning with kids, teens, and families. I organize hands-on service projects to help share the responsibility and joy of giving. For over a decade, I’ve helped mobilize an estimated 100,000 people, mostly youth. I aim to empower my generation to get informed, get involved, raise our voice, and take action. I’ve never forgotten the man I saw when I was four-years-old. His story is a part of my story, and now it’s part of your story, too.

Your kindness challenge today: Donate food, toiletries, or socks to a shelter serving people who are unhoused in your community. These necessities keep people safe and healthy, and also offer comfort and dignity. 

In Kindness.

Maxwell Surprenant
CEO + Co-Founder of Catching Joy, Inc.

P.S. Invite someone to join the challenge: bornthisway.foundation/bekind21.