A year ago next month, I was in Houston with Lady Gaga and the inspiring men and women from Team Rubicon, mucking out Ms. Pamela’s house after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. I left my home, flew three hours away, and landed in a disaster zone and saw some of the hardest hit sites I’ve ever seen as I toured a neighborhood demolished by the fury of nature and struggling to find a way forward amidst caved in ceilings, schools overtaken by mold, and water lines that rose to the ceilings of once occupied homes. Team Rubicon is an organization that allows veterans to leverage their unique skills and experiences to support relief efforts and this week, as we celebrate Veterans Day, I am grateful for the constant, ultimate commitment that our servicemembers make on behalf of our country.
I am honored to have served, for four hours, alongside Team Rubicon to help alleviate the suffering in Ms. Pamela’s Houston neighborhood. Today, I am waiting for Team Rubicon to arrive in my own backyard, as most of our beautiful state is sandwiched between two raging wildfires, blanketing those parts of California that are not actively ablaze (like my community, for the moment) in oppressive smoke and haze. My family and I are again among the lucky ones, because we are safe and we watch the devastation spread and the heroism of first responders who walk into the fire, bravely.
Today, World Kindness Day feels especially urgent because the world is – in so many ways – on fire. To Born This Way Foundation, and to me, kindness is being in community with people who ask themselves – what does the world need? What unmet need can I help meet today? How can I alleviate the suffering of another person? So in honor of World Kindness Day, in recognition of the challenges our communities are facing, and in celebration of our power – individually and collectively – to make a real, tangible difference, we’re inviting you to join our latest Channel Kindness Challenge: #MultiplyYourGood.
Through #MultiplyYourGood, we’re asking you to give back to a nonprofit organization working to make your community a kinder, braver place. You can help by volunteering your time, giving your gently used items, or making a monetary donation. For every act of good you pledge (and tell us about here!), we’ll match it by performing an act of good for one of our amazing nonprofit partners!
To help bring the campaign to life, we’ll have help from some awesome organizations who share our commitment to doing good, including Zappos and SoulCycle and, to kick things off, we’re teaming back up with Starbucks. For World Kindness Day, we’re co-hosting community events at six neighborhood Starbucks stores – stop by one of the stores listed below today between 1PM and 4PM (local time) and join us and a local nonprofit organization for a cup of coffee, a moment of community, and to take part in an activity in service to others.
- Walnut Creek, CA (my home Starbucks!), with Mindful Littles, Peter Pan Foundation, and Youth Homes
- New York City, with the Ali Forney Center
- Los Angeles, with Children Mending Hearts
- Las Vegas, with Street Teens and The Center
- Seattle, with Youth Cares (this one is 2:30-4PM)
- Austin, with The Kindness Campaign
Let mine be one of many invitations you accept on World Kindness Day – and every day – to look around, acknowledge grief, despair, and trauma and commit to kindness, to community, and to the kinder and braver world that we urgently know is possible.
If you can’t join us in person, pledge to #MultiplyYourGood online at bornthisway.foundation/multiplyyourgood.