Seven champions for good deeds will be sharing in $1.1 million USD ($1,453,760 CAD) to support their efforts thanks to the KIND Foundation, in partnership with media and entertainment company SoulPancake, co-founded by actor Rainn Wilson (The Office).
The KIND Foundation is the charitable arm of KIND Snacks, known for its variety of healthy bars, bites and clusters made from whole nuts, fruits and whole grains.
The foundation's mission is "to foster communities that are healthier, more empathetic and embrace our shared humanity." The foundation does this through things like its KIND Causes program, where each month they give an worthy individual or organization $10,000 USD ($13,216 CAD) for support, and the method the foundation used to dole out this latest award, the KIND People program.
The biggest Kind People award of $500,000 USD ($660,800 CAD) went to Doniece Sandoval and the Lava Mae organization, which converts retired transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels that are then used to serve homeless people in the San Francisco, CA area.
"These remarkable human beings capture the spirit we need to elevate and the values that make America great, including kindness, respect and the conviction that we can make a positive difference in each other’s lives," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of KIND/KIND Foundation president, in a release. "Most notably, these KIND People show us how to take steps toward understanding those who seem different, but deep down share our humanity."
Others receiving $100,000 USD ($132,160 CAD) each include Jo Dee Davis and Healing Broken Circles, an education, training and enrichment program for prisoners, Lam Ho and the Community Activism Law Alliance, which gives free legal service to underserved populations, Monica Lewis-Patrick and We The People Of Detroit, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Detroit citizens, Sandra Goldberg of A Silver Lining Foundation, a Chicago-based organization that helps financially disadvantaged people get access to cancer health care treatments, Phyllis "the lunch lady" Shaughnessy, who delivers almost 20,000 food packages to families in need each year in Washington state, and Jodi Rae Ingstad, a "joyologist," who works to improve the lives of the homeless, elderly, and families in need in and around North Dakota.
The KIND Foundation uses suggestions and votes from its community to help determine who they'll donate money to each month. For the KIND People program they also enlisted the help of Thrive Global's Arianna Huffington and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to help select the recipients. Almost 5,000 people doing good deeds have been suggested to KIND since beginning this program last January.
"The response to the program reaffirmed our belief that good work is being done every day, and the extraordinary people leading this work deserve recognition and support. By showcasing their stories, we hope to encourage people everywhere to discover the kindness inside of themselves and take action in their own lives," said Dana Rosenberg, director of The KIND Foundation.
Watch a video explaining who KIND people are:Asics Onitsuka Tiger