A Legacy of Kindness & My Proudest Professional Accomplishment
One of my proudest professional accomplishments to date is the creation of the Kind Like Joey Website (https://www.kindlikejoey.org/).
Why does one website, when my team has worked on several dozen (if not 100+) get this accolade? Some explanation of the circumstances around why this website was ever needed in the first place may help.
About a year ago, my good friends Dan and Marina lost their 14-year-old son to a sudden and tragic auto accident. This was especially sad because we knew the family so well, and Joey was an exceptionally polite and respectful young man. But what happened after his passing is what makes this story truly exceptional. We found out later that their son had built a reputation as an extremely kind individual. Dan and Marina were inundated with letters and stories of their son helping others without ever worrying about getting credit. Walking kids to their locker and classes so they wouldn’t get bullied. Talking friends through rough periods. In a world full of negativity and bullying, here was this wonderful young man doing great things under the radar, taken from us too soon.
What Good Can Come of this Tragedy?
In the days and weeks that followed Joey’s passing, the community was struggling to find solace. So we decided to build on Joey’s legacy of kindness. We created a Facebook group that has grown to 900+ members and an Instagram that has 1300+ followers, many of whom are Joey’s peers. We also held a golf outing in Joey’s honor in May 2019, and we’re proud to say it sold out and crushed the original fundraising goal thanks to the overwhelming response from local businesses, friends, and complete strangers. We’re now going to make it an annual tradition.
Then we decided to take it a step further to formalize as a 501(c)(3) — a process that took several months and was made official a couple of weeks ago. The Foundation’s mission is to honor Joey by encouraging others to spread random acts of kindness, to offer a college scholarship annually, and to provide assistance to families that have experienced the sudden loss of a school-aged child in the Greater Philadelphia area. The college scholarship doesn’t ask the typical GPA and activities types of questions. The criteria revolve more around living up to Joey’s legacy of kindness. We’re proud to say that we were inundated with amazing stories of kindness that we gave out several scholarships in May to graduating seniors at Joey’s high school (see the picture of our board members at the award ceremony).
So How Can You Get Involved?
Some specific activities that our Foundation has taken on need regular support.
We regularly send checks to families who have suffered a similar sudden loss to cover unexpected funeral expenses. These expenses can be well into the tens of thousands of dollars, which most families cannot readily cover.
We host and cover the cost of a therapist for a monthly bereaved parents support group.
We support other foundations to increase awareness of their work.
We run ‘kindness rocks’ campaigns to spread kindness (see our Facebook and Instagram pages for examples!).
We offer student scholarships based on Kindness
We promote a “Kindness day” on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to encourage people to do a random act of kindness in their community in Joey’s honor.
We are also excited to promote a 5K on October 20th in Chalfont, PA. Even if you don’t run, there will be many family fun activities to help bring the community together.
These are a few of the reasons why the website the &Marketing team created is my proudest accomplishment. It has the chance to positively impact the most people and leave a legacy of which I’m incredibly proud.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind. ”
About the Author:
About the Author: Rajat “Raj” Kapur is the founder and Managing Director of &Marketing, and a board member of the Kind Like Joey Foundation. After a career working with large, global companies, he’s dedicated to providing small and medium sized businesses unparalleled marketing support.
In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.
&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.