Every so often, you find an organization that sings straight to your heart. That’s what discovering Matt’s Kindness Ripples On was like for me. My friend would go on to nominate me for their Kindness award and after receiving that, I became more connected to the Kurtz family.
Jackie Kurtz, her husband Ron, and her son Brian run Matt’s Kindness Ripples On, an organization dedicated to kindness and the memory of her son Matt. This story touches deep for me and I am so grateful for the Kurtz family for allowing me to share it.
Liz: Let’s start in traditional Smile Project fashion. Give me a “Happiness is.”
Jackie: Happiness is gratitude for the beautiful moments of everyday life.
Liz: Tell me about your organization?
Jackie: Our organization is Matt’s Kindness Ripples On. We hope to inspire people to contribute kindness to the world, making our world better, one kindness at a time. We give a Kindness Award to recognize and thank people who make kindness a way of life and then we give a shout out about them so other people can be inspired by them too. We also support new kindness projects by providing Kindness Grants to help implement those projects.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Jackie: Our son Matt died by suicide at the age of 32. But the real cause of his death was his disease. Matt was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a thought disorder with psychotic symptoms. He fought hard to overcome it; he abstained from drugs and alcohol and focused on healthy eating, exercise, and meditation but in the end, the disease overtook him.
Matt spread kindness and compassion wherever he went. He was a beautiful soul - smart, nonjudgmental, charismatic, and contagiously happy. After he died, we heard from so many people telling us how his kindness and compassion literally changed their lives. We weren’t surprised, that was Matt.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Jackie: Finding ways to selflessly enrich the lives of others.
Liz: How can people get involved?
Jackie: If you have an idea for an act of kindness project but need some help funding it, submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 so we can help you implement your kindness project.
You can also nominate the person who inspires you most with their kindness and compassion for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award. Share this amazing person so we can all be inspired by them.
*Note – That’s how I met, Liz. She was nominated and won our Kindness Award. We are so honored to have her as one of our award winners. She exemplifies living a life of kindness and compassion and makes our world better, every day! Thank you, Liz.
We also love to share inspirational stories that are sent in to us, and we have one hundred ideas for simple, mostly free, kindness acts you can do if you are looking for ways to spread more kindness.
We’d love for you to join our community of people who are spreading kindness and making the world better, one kindness at a time.
Liz: Anything else you’d like to add?
Jackie: We are committed to giving two Kindness Awards (for people who make kindness a way of life) and two Kindness Grants (helping people fund their kindness projects) every year.
In addition, we accept donations that allow us to give out additional grants and awards beyond the four a year that we are committed to. You can find more information on how to contribute to MKRO, and help fund additional grants and awards at MattsKindnessRipplesOn.com.
100% of contributions go to the grants/awards.
Liz: Do you have a favorite quote?
“Even if we disagree about everything, we can still be kind to each other.”
– Matthew L Jacobson