Yesterday, I was walking out of the grocery store with my two small children and we walked by a homeless family. The father was holding a sign that read “I lost my job. We all need help sometimes.” I read the sign as I passed and smiled at him. I was in a rush, hurrying to pick up dinner and make it home in time for bath time, bed time and one last conference call. We picked up dinner and walked towards the man and his family again and my son paused in front of the sign and asked, “Mama, what does this say?”
Three Pennies Can Make A Difference
I read him the sign and watched his face as he thought about what it meant for this man to be asking for help, and his own ability to help him. We walked another couple of steps towards the car and my son stopped. “I’d like to give him my pennies.” I knelt down next to him and asked him to repeat himself, though I knew exactly what he was asking for. He had found three pennies on the floor in Chipotle and he was clutching them inside the pocket of his Carmel hoodie, so excited to go home and put them in his piggy bank. I told him that if he gave that family his pennies, I’d add my dollars. He ran happily back to the man and gave him all the money in his little hands.
In my son yesterday, and in each of you every day at Born This Way Foundation, I see people whose decisions and conversations are driven by kindness, acceptance, and compassion. I see organizations and groups of people that are committed to crossing boundaries and working together to solve problems. I see passion and commitment to building a kinder, braver and better world and I am honored to do this work alongside you.
Kindness and Compassion Outweigh Hate
Today, Born This Way Foundation is launching Channel Kindness. The work of Channel Kindness will be to identify, train and equip a corps of 50 youth reporters in communities across the country to train their eyes, ears, and hearts to find, recognize and report the acts of kindness that fill our daily lives. The goal of our new program is simple; to channel kindness. The stories of kindness, compassion, and bravery will be told on a new platform and across the foundation’s social channels, shared by our partners and distributed by traditional media. Our hope is that the narrative of an engaged, empowered, collaborative and compassion generation and society will outweigh the divisive, depressing, sensationalist stories that floor our minds every day.
We are not naïve, we know that our country is facing crises on many levels, but we also know that in order to stand together to through today’s crises as well as tomorrow’s, we must not only believe but prove that the good outweighs the bad, that our strength outweighs our weakness and that love outweighs hate. We need to read the signs, hear the words and watch the actions of people asking for kindness, for support, and for community, and do our part to Channel Kindness.
If you’re a young person between the ages of 16 – 24, please apply here and if you know a passionate young person with a story to tell, please nominate them here.