This year I have had a series of posts about kindness to highlight that kindness makes a difference. Some stories included a volunteer becoming a client, how to be kind to those who are different, and how to make habits of kindness in your family. Today’s organization is on a mission to spread kindness.
Life Vest Inside is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading kindness, empowering people to see their potential and building self-esteem and self-value. They use inspirational films, a newly developed educational curriculum, and a social platform that connects people across the globe. Life Vest Inside has an exciting kindness experience to bring back the human connection. This connection helps people become more aware of their surroundings, not just by words, but through gratifying and uplifting acts of kindness. Kindness is a universal language.
Orly Wahba always knew in her heart that she wanted to make a difference in the world; “I wanted to leave my mark and I wanted more than anything to bring people together under the banner of peace, respect, and kindness.” Orly had a difficult time in middle school and high school until one day she looked in the mirror and asked if this was still the girl that was going to change the world with kindness. “This would not be my end; it was just the beginning. I promised myself back then that I would rise back up and that I would be there for people the way I had wished someone would have been there for me. Been keeping to that promise ever since.” That promise led her to work with community service organizations, led her to become a middle school teacher, and ultimately led to Life Vest Inside.
So what’s with the name “Life Vest Inside”? In January 2007, Orly was on a plane to head off on a family vacation when she received the tragic news that a young girl in her community had passed away. Her mind immediately went to her 7th grade students who had just begun to open up about a classmate who had passed away just three years earlier. Her eyes became fixated on a small sign that read “LIFE VEST INSIDE” and felt instant comfort. “A life vest stays afloat regardless of how much you push down upon it. The message hit me to my core. How do you stay afloat? Your life vest is inside! Through the kindness you bestow upon others and through the kindness others bestow upon you we can keep each other afloat through life’s rough seas. We can’t stop or prevent life’s tragedies or curve balls from coming our way, but we can most certainly extend a lifeline to someone in need. And hence, Life Vest Insidewas born.”
The philosophy of the organization is to Inspire, Engage, Educate and Connect. They strive to use these four steps to guide people from mere inspiration to follow through.
- Inspire: They inspire and instill faith, hope, and belief in a better, brighter tomorrow through the production of inspirational films as well as the use of social media. Their first short film, Kindness Boomerang has been viewed by over 20 million people.
- Engage: The organization offers an exciting and accessible kindness experience, so that people will become more aware of the opportunities that surround them. Experiences will include Kindness Mission Days, Flash Mob Events, Acts of Kindness Cards, and an upcoming mobile app. In addition, in February, they will be raising funding by participating in the Disney Princess Half-Marathon.
- Educate: Life Vest Inside is educating children in kindergarten through high school to see the beauty within them. They seek to empower the youth to raise their voices in kindness, love and respect through our wonderful and interactive Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Kindness Curriculum.
- Connect: Life Vest Inside is working to connect people and organizations through a worldwide volunteer database making it fun and easy to turn inspiration into action by allowing individuals to be matched with organizations that match their interests.
The organization is based in Brooklyn, New York, but anyone around the world can become involved.
- Most importantly, you can spread the message and raise awareness about the organization by sharing this post.
- You can also make a monetary donation through the Life Vest Inside website.
- There are also volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in film, computer programing, graphic design, music, social media, education, blogging, or pretty much anything else, Life Vest Inside can find something you can help with. You can connect with them about specific opportunities on their website.
- If you are interested in participating in the Disney Princess Half-Marathon, visit www.runforkindness.com.
- You can learn more about the kindness curriculum and sign up your school their website.
- They are also interested in connecting with volunteer leaders to help plan and organize events and fundraisers to bring awareness to the organization. You can e-mail the volunteer contact on their website to learn more.