Laura Reiss has always believed in a world where people celebrate and support each other.
In 2008, she harnessed this belief and started a free after-school Kindness program at Sunrise Park Elementary in Boca Raton, FL where her children attended school. This kindness movement that began as a single club became The Kindness Matters 365 Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that educates children about the importance of being kind to themselves and to others, and contributing to society so they can make a positive impact in their communities and the world. Through the program, children have the opportunity to experience acts of charity and kindness by participating in afterschool clubs, with charitable organizations, and at community events.
The Kindness Matters 365 model is easily adaptable to other communities, schools, and neighborhoods, allowing the organization to grow and expand to serve people outside of its original service area. By tapping certified ambassadors as leaders, Kindness Matters 365 needs only one advocate in a community to get started, making the organization one with limitless potential. The curriculum is created and shared online, and is available to those who are interested in implementing it in their own communities anywhere in the world.
Since inception, The Kindness Matters 365 Foundation, Inc. has spread to nine states, with more than 500 ambassadors and 4,000 members in 90 chapters. As part of their service-learning based and community service projects, these clubs have collected and distributed over $1,347,300 in goods, supported 45,900 individuals, raised $2.5 million in disaster relief, and reported over 613,213 community service hours. Laura shares, “I’m committed to leaving this world better for having been here. I created what I believe is a strong formula to empower people.” In 2018, Laura received the prestigious L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Award, which recognizes women who are making an extraordinary difference in the world.
“Gratitude, compassion and kindness” is the magic formula that Laura encourages all of us to apply to situations that arise in our everyday lives.
“My commitment is that our children, their children and their children are raising their children in a better world. This is possible, this is happening and we are the change.”