Connect Kindness Podcast
By Connect Kindness
Our mission is to connect people with nonprofit organizations to inspire kindness. By featuring the founders and directors of the organizations on our podcast, our listeners can learn more about the nonprofits.
Episode 74 - Leah Craig Fieser, Executive Director of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue
In today's episode we interview Leah Craig Fieser, the executive director at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Their mission is to better the lives of companion animals and the people who love them. Through adoption programs, a low-cost mobile spay and neuter clinic, lifesaving shelter transfer partnerships, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue impacts the lives of thousands of animals each year. Leah shares how she and her team were able to take a struggling nonprofit, and turn it around to be one of the leading Animal Rescues in North Carolina.
September 28, 2022
Episode 73 - Mark Barlet, Founder of AbleGamers
In today's episode we interview Mark Barlet, the founder of AbleGamers. Their mission is to create opportunities that enable gaming to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Mark founded AbleGamers after his best friend’s ability to interact and connect through video games was nearly taken away by her being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Mark’s vision was to ensure that no one with a disability would ever be without the ability to interact through video games. Mark has infused his passion into a global movement changing the way multibillion-dollar companies operate.
August 17, 2022
Episode 72 - Jean Sicurella, Co-founder of Misión de Caridad
In this episode we interview Jean Sicurella, one of the co-founders of Misión de Caridad. Their mission is to provide programs and resources for refugee, migrant and vulnerable women and children on the Mexico side of the U.S. border. Jean shares with us the origin story of her organization and talks about the programs and resources for women and children on the Mexico side of the US border. We learn about some of the struggles and lessons that Jean has learned while running an international nonprofit. Jean also shares her favorite success story and why she loves doing what she does.
July 19, 2022
Episode 71 - Beth Kempe, Founder of The Uniform Project
In this episode we interview Beth Kempe, the founder of The Uniform Project. Her nonprofit keeps good clothing out of the landfill by recycling uniforms to children who need them worldwide. In the communities they serve you must have a uniform to attend school so each donation enables the kids to now attend which they may not have been able to do before. Beth shares with us why she felt the need to create the Uniform Project and how a chance encounter with her exterminator helped her nonprofit go global. We learn about how she is able to take clothes that would otherwise be thrown away, and distribute them to children in need across the world. It was an absolute pleasure speaking with Beth and learning more about the impact her organization is making.
June 06, 2022
Episode 70 - Sam and Shariff Sayed, Co-Founders of Dayna's Footprint
In today's episode we interview Sam and Shariff Sayed, the co-founders of Dayna’s Footprint, which is a non-profit organization aimed at buying name brand shoes for underprivileged students. The organization’s mission is to combat learning inequity by providing students shoes to wear proudly, subsequently increasing students’ self-esteem and enthusiasm for attending school. During our discussion we learn the amazing inspiration behind Dayna’s Footprint, and how brothers, Sam and Shariff, were able to take an idea for helping kids all the way to the Ted X stage. Their goal is to instill confidence in kids through their footwear program, and carry on the legacy of their sister, Dayna, who taught them lessons that they are passing down to the younger generation. Sam and Shariff have huge hearts and it was amazing getting to know them and learning more about their organization.
May 24, 2022
Episode 69 - Gary Oppenheimer, Founder of Faith Fights Food Waste
In today's episode we interview Gary Oppenheimer, the founder of Faith Fights Food Waste, which is a global awareness program of AmpleHarvest.org. The program gives faith leaders of all religions the opportunity to speak to their congregations about the waste of food in America, each from their own faith perspective. Gary shares how his program focuses on providing faith leaders with sermons that empower each community to combat food waste. We are thrilled to have Gary join us on another Connect Kindness Podcast and this is another very insightful episode. So without further delay, this is our interview with Gary Oppenheimer of Faith Fights Food Waste.
April 18, 2022
Episode 68 - Tracy Chmelecki, Founder of Children without Beds
In today's episode we interview Tracy Chmelecki, the founder of Children without beds. Tracy and her team started a nonprofit in 2017 to answer the calling of children without beds in the Metro Atlanta area. Tracy opens up about how volunteering in an underprivileged community in Atlanta, GA opened her eyes and her heart to starting a nonprofit. We discuss the process of how families can sign up for assistance to receive a bed and also the overwhelming demand that her organization has seen. We also talk about how Tracy has a vision of her organization servicing families nationwide. So without further delay, this is our interview with Tracy Chmelecki of Children without Beds.
March 29, 2022
Episode 67 - Gary Oppenheimer, Founder of AmpleHarvest.org
In today's episode we interview Gary Oppenheimer, the founder of AmpleHarvest.org. Gary and his team envision an America where millions of gardeners eliminate wasted food, malnutrition and hunger in their own community. Gary shares with us the inspiration behind starting AmpleHarvest.org, and how he had the vision of connecting gardeners with local food pantries to provide fresh food for people in need. We discuss how within 5 years of starting his organization, Gary was recognized as a CNN Hero, spoke about food waste on the TedX stage, and was invited to the White House. Gary is passionate about helping people and one of the most interesting change makers we’ve spoken to this year.
February 22, 2022
Episode 66 - Christine O'Connell, Executive Director of Riley’s Way Foundation
In today's episode we interview Christine O’Connell, the executive Director of Riley’s Way Foundation. Their mission is to empower young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and positive change. Christine shares with us the background of Riley’s Way and details the amazing programs that they offer. We discuss their initiative to help kids in Public & Private schools connect in a meaningful way. We learn about their upcoming event , “Call for Kindness” and how they’ve been able to continue to make an impact even through the pandemic.
January 25, 2022
Episode 65 - Victoria Strickland, Director of Communications and Partnerships at About Fresh
In today's episode we interview Victoria Strickland, the Director of Communications and Partnerships at About Fresh. Located in the Boston area, they are on a mission to strengthen communities by getting healthy food to the households that need it most. The key to accomplishing their mission is that their programs are built to be integrated into community health systems. Victoria shares with us the inspiration behind “about fresh” and how the organization has evolved over the years. We learned about the food programs that they are offering and how they are bringing healthy food closer to communities that need it most. Victoria educates us on their “Fresh Connect” program, which is a tech-enabled food prescription program that empowers people with the money and flexibility to buy the foods they need to be healthy.
January 07, 2022
Episode 64 - Jacob Cramer, Founder of Love for our Elders
In today's episode we interview Jacob Cramer, the founder of Love for our Elders. His motto is - It only takes 5 minutes to put a smile on someone else’s face so Jacob began making & collecting cards to mail to elders in senior communities across the globe. He started his nonprofit at 13 so they now have over 50,000 volunteers. Jacob shares with us what inspired him at such a young age to start a nonprofit that focuses on helping the elderly. We discuss the programs that Love for our elders offers and the process for collecting and distributing the letters. We discuss some of the challenges that Jacob’s organization has faced during COVID and the bright future that lays ahead for Love for our Elders.
December 01, 2021
Episode 63 - Brian Dozer, Founder of Vital Link
In today's episode we interview Brian Dozer, the founder of Vital Link. This 501c3 organization is dedicated to preparing students for their future careers through experiential learning opportunities. They offer programs that introduce students to the world of robotics, manufacturing, healthcare, computer programming, automotive technology and much more. Through these hands-on programs, they inspire students to feel confident and excited to pursue a fulfilling career. We learn about the programs that Vital Link offers and what makes them such a unique organization helping our youth. Brian shares with us the benefits of community colleges and how it can be a launching point of a successful career. With their already established programs, plus their new virtual learning programs, they are setting the course for young adults to find their passion and their dream careers.
November 16, 2021
Episode 62 - Sarah Aadland, Director at Doing Good Together
In today's episode we interview Sarah Aadland, the Director of Doing Good Together's Big-Hearted Families Program. DGT is a Minnesota-based national nonprofit that works to make volunteering and service, along with daily kindness, easy for every family. Sarah shares with us the mission of Doing Good Together and how they provide tools to both families and organizations to help raise compassionate, engaged children. Sarah opens up about some of the lessons that the organization has learned over the past 16 years and also one of her favorite success stories.
November 09, 2021
Episode 61 - Luke Mickelson, Founder & Executive Director of Sleep in Heavenly Peace
In today's episode we interview Luke Michelson, the Founder and Executive Director of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Luke and his team of volunteers are dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. Their motto is “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town”. Luke shares how a tiny moment changed the course of his life and set him on a mission to make sure that no kid sleeps on the floor. We discuss how a simple Christmas project with his kids has launched a successful nonprofit with a presence in 45 of the 50 states in the US. Luke shares some amazing stories of how their organization has been able to make such a big impact in just a short amount of time.
November 02, 2021
Episode 60 - Gloria Abram, Founder of A Bouquet of Balloons
In today's episode we interview Gloria Abram, the founder of A Bouquet of Balloons. Based in Georgia, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to delivering smiles and a bouquet of balloons to those patients in hospitals and the various senior citizens communities. Gloria shares with us the origin story of A Bouquet of Balloons, and how a visit to the hospital to see a friend gave her the idea to start her organization, and set her on a mission to brighten people’s day. We discuss some of the challenges of running a small nonprofit, as well as some things that Gloria believes will take her organization to the next level.
September 03, 2021
Episode 59 - Andrea Muñiz & Mahathi Kumar of PSYDEH
In today's episode we interview two amazing young women from the PSYDEH Team, Mahathi Kumar, the Assistant Project Manager & Andrea Muñiz who leads Digital Communications. PSYDEH A.C. is an award-winning, non-profit organization that educates and empowers marginalized women in Mexico to lead social change and fight the inequalities they face. Andrea and Mahathi share their journey that led them to joining the PSYDEH team. We learn about the different initiatives that they are leading and how they are making a difference in indigenous women’s lives. We talk about the impact they were able to make last year, even during the pandemic and we learn about some of their organizational goals moving forward.
August 12, 2021
Episode 58 - Diana Greenfield, Executive Director of Young Voices of Austin
In this episode we interview Diana Greenfield, the Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of Young Voices of Austin. They foster musical excellence, leadership, and sustained academic achievement for a diverse population of young people ages 6 to 18. The children of Young Voices of Austin become global citizens who use the power of music as the path to create bridges throughout their city and into the world. Diana shares with us how she was inspired to start her organization in Austin, TX and how the community has been so supportive in helping her grow it. We discuss the programs that Young Voices of Austin offers and how they use singing as a vehicle to bring children from all over the city together to learn from each other and foster meaningful relationships
July 17, 2021
Episode 57 - Peter Rose, President of the Rockhouse Foundation
In this episode we interview Peter Rose, who is the President of the Rockhouse Foundation in Jamaica. The Rockhouse Foundation has been transforming learning environments in the Negril area for over 15 years. Originally focused on the renovation of public primary schools, the foundation broadened its focus to include the Negril Library, and the past 5 years has been concentrating on early childhood education. Peter shares with us his background and what led him to dedicating his life to helping others. We discuss the challenges that his organization has faced during the pandemic and how they were able to continue to help their communities with their food distribution initiative. We also discuss how the Rockhouse foundation was able to open their SAV inclusive school, which pairs typical learners and children with learning disabilities in the same classroom to promote empathy, unity and acceptance.
June 16, 2021
Episode 56 - Cathy Heying, Founder of The Lift Garage
In today's episode we interview Cathy Heying, the Founder of The Lift Garage. Imagine a homeless person who lives in their cars or the families that can barely put food on the table. Have you ever wondered who fixes their cars when they need it? The Lift Garage is the answer. Cathy and her team aim to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair, free pre-purchase car inspections, and honest advice that supports their community on the road to more secure lives. In the interview Cathy shares with us what led her to start the organization, we discuss some of the challenges that her team faces on a daily basis, and we learn about their plan for the future to help positively impact more and more lives.
May 21, 2021
Episode 55 - Krystal & Tim of Connect Kindness interviewed on the Choose Kindness Podcast
Krystal & Tim of Connect Kindness interviewed on the Choose Kindness Podcast
April 25, 2021
Episode 54 - Natalie Silverstein, author of “Simple Acts - The busy family guide to giving back”
In today's episode we interview Natalie Silverstein, who is a philanthropist and the author of “Simple Acts - The busy family guide to giving back”. Teaching young children to be socially conscious, community oriented, and eager to volunteer seems like a daunting task, especially for busy families with children of varying ages, but it’s okay because Natalie has a solution. Natalie shares with us what led her to want to write her book, as well as the importance of parents involving their children in acts of service at an early age. Natalie shares her thoughts on how parents can inspire their children to spread more love and kindness, and how a pay it forward mentality can have a life changing ripple effect on people's lives. Simple Acts brings busy parents practical, easy-to-do ideas, to involve the whole family in volunteering and helping others in the community.
March 23, 2021
Episode 53 - Erin Christopher-Sisk, Founder of Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga
In today's episode we interview Erin Christopher-Sisk, the founder of Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga. Their mission is to support retired racehorses which then are retrained as therapy horses. Equine Assisted Learning connects therapy horses with vulnerable members of the community. Both adults and children can participate in their therapeutic programs. Erin shares with us how she was able to combine her career with her love for horses to create a nonprofit that is truly making a difference. We learn about the horses that she uses in her therapy and how she is able to use them in promoting therapeutic wellness in mental health treatment.
February 27, 2021
Episode 52 - Eric Skaggs, Founder of Grades 4 Good
In today's episode we interview Eric Skaggs, the founder of Grades 4 Good. Their mission is to support academics for marginalized youth and underserved parents. Eric opens up about the unique path that led him to starting Grades4Good and how he has dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring our youth. He shares the importance of always asking questions and continuously learning, as well as shares the details of the programs he is building to help underserved communities. Eric has a visionary mind and it was a pleasure learning more about his organization.
February 12, 2021
Episode 51 - Marcia Hall, Founder of Mr. Bubblez
In today's episode we interview Marcia Hall, the founder of Mr.Bubblez. Their mission is to provide mobile showers which allows their clients the basic dignity of cleaning themselves, and also gives them the encouragement and care they need to make it one more day. THey focus on the homeless population in Tampa FL. Marcia started Mr. Bubblez with the simple idea of changing people lives with a drop of water and has been able to turn her nonprofit into an award winning organization. Marcia shares with us what led her to start Mr. Bubblez and the story behind the name. Marcia has a huge heart and a passion for helping the homeless and sharing God’s love.
February 01, 2021
Episode 50 - Harold Becker, Founder of The Love Foundation
In today's episode we interview Harold Becker, the founder of The Love Foundation. Their mission is to inspire people to love unconditionally. Why start a nonprofit about love? It's because love is something that is understood by anyone in the world, no matter their upbringing, their culture background or even the language they speak. Harold shares with us the inspiration for starting the love foundation, and how an idea that popped into his head at 2am turned into something that is now recognized around the world. He shares his insight on running his nonprofit over the past 20 plus years and how The Love Foundation has been able to stay true to their mission and vision focus.
January 17, 2021
Episode 49 - Kyle Gregory, Co-Founder of Give Back Nation
In this episode we interview Kyle Gregory, the co-founder of Give Back Nation. They are a one-stop hub for helping nonprofits streamline, elevate and expand their initiatives to create bigger waves of impact in communities across the country. Kyle shares the story of Give Back Nation, and how his father’s desire to “give back” paved the way for the impact that they are having today. He goes into detail on the different areas where he sees that businesses & nonprofits struggle, and how connecting with the right partners can help take organizations to the next level. If your nonprofit organization is struggling with marketing, fundraising, and /or growing, then you will find a lot of value from this episode.
January 03, 2021
Episode 48 - Jon Weed & Laura Formentini, Co-founders of Rifugio Isola Del Sole
In this episode we interview Jon Weed & Laura Formentini, the co-founders of Rifugio Isola Del Sole which means Refuge Island of the Sun. Their mission is to help animal rights, welfare and education in Sicily Italy by creating their own animal sanctuary. Jon and Laura open up about how even prior to them meeting each other, they both shared the vision of opening an animal sanctuary. We discuss their trials and tribulations of starting and growing their nonprofit in a foregin country. Jon and Laura have a beautiful vision of what they want their Animal Sanctuary to be and their shared passion for helping will ensure that their organization thrives in Sicily.
December 18, 2020
Episode 47 - Alison Silberman, CEO of Stupid Cancer
In this episode we interview Alison Silbermon, the CEO of Stupid Cancer. They empower adolescents and young adults affected by cancer by connecting them to age-appropriate resources and peers who get it. We learn about how Allison got involved with the organization, as well as the programs that Stupid Cancer offers the adolescents and young adult community, also known as the AYA community. Alison opens up about how her own brother's bout with Cancer fuels her passion to help AYAs who are going through the same thing. Alison has dedicated her life to helping others and we really enjoyed our conversation today.
November 21, 2020
Episode 46 - Jaclyn Lindsey, Co-founder and CEO of Kindness.org
In today’s episode we interview Jaclyn Lindsey, the co-founder of Kindness.org. Their mission is to educate and inspire people to choose kindness.
October 23, 2020
Episode 45 - Kimber MacGibbon, Founder and Executive Director of HER Foundation
In today’s episode we interview Kimber MacGibbon, the Founder and Executive Director of HER Foundation. The HER Foundation empowers those managing Hyperemesis Gravidarum (also known as HG) with information and support to minimize suffering, long term health complications and pregnancy loss.
October 02, 2020
Episode 44 - Lexi Kaili and Shane Grimes of Fish for Garbage
In today’s episode we interview Lexi Kaili and Shane Grimes with Fish for Garbage. Their organization brings volunteers, partners and water resource users together to physically remove trash and generate awareness for garbage in our rivers.
September 18, 2020
Episode 43 - Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston
In today’s episode we interview Rania Mankarious, the CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston. Their mission is to prevent serious crimes in the greater Houston area in partnerships with citizens, media, and the criminal justice system.
August 28, 2020
Episode 42 - Shreyaa & Esha Venkat, Founders of NEST4US
In this episode we interview Shreyaa & Esha Venkat the founders of Nest4US. Their mission is to provide volunteer and leadership opportunities within their community. Their goal is to empower the next generation of compassionate youth by integrating kindness, generosity, and social good into their routine. Shreyaa & Esha completely blew our minds with the impact that they are making at such a young age. We talk about what inspired them to start a non-profit and how they’ve been able to scale to where they are today. We also learn about some of their challenges and success through their journey so far. Shreyaa & Esha have a passion for helping people and really enjoyed our conversation.
August 14, 2020
Episode 41 - Dr. Jordan Kassalow, Founder of VisionSpring
In this episode we interview Dr. Jordan Kassalow, the founder of VisionSpring. Their mission is to ensure that everyone in the developing world has access to eyeglasses. They provide affordable eyeglasses, vision screening and training so that non-profits, social entrepreneurs, government agencies, and corporate clients can bring the wonder of clear vision to their communities. We learn about Jordan’s journey and what led him to start VisionSpring. He details VisionSprings initiatives, and explains how they are changing people's lives by the millions. He opens up about what gave him the inspiration to write his book “Dare to Matter”, which was published in 2019. Jordan is a brilliant social entrepreneur and we really enjoyed our conversation with him.
August 02, 2020
Episode 40 - Bejal Shah, Communications Chair at Little Essentials
In this episode we interview Bejal Shah, the Communications Chair at Little Essentials. Their mission is to offer at-risk families living in poverty, urgently needed children’s supplies and parenting education to promote the health, well being and safety of their children under five years of age. Today, 30% of children in New York City live in poverty and Bejal shares with us the programs that Little Essentials offers to help these families in need. We discuss the inspiration to start the organization and learn about the long-term goals and vision of Little Essentials. It was a pleasure interviewing Bejal and learning more about the impact that Little Essentials is having in New York City.
April 10, 2020
Episode 39 - Greg Han, Director of Relations at Interfaith Ministries
In this episode we interview Greg Han, the Director of Relations with Interfaith Ministries. Their mission is to bring people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration, and service, as a demonstration of their shared beliefs. Greg shares with us the 50+ year history of Interfaith Ministries and the programs that they are positively impacting the Houston community. Houston Texas is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Interfaith ministries are bringing people together to understand each others cultures and faith, working together to spread kindness.
March 28, 2020
Episode 38 - Yolande Charles, Founder and Executive Director of Afro Colombian Centre
In this episode we interview Yolande Charles, the Founder and Executive Director of Afro Colombian Centre. There mission is to improve the lives of individuals and the Afro-Colombian community as a whole, with a focus on education, employment, health, recreation, culture and social justice. Yolande shares how a trip to Cartagena Columbia sparked her mission to give back to the Afro-Colombian community. Although Yolande is a resident of Canada, she travels back and forth to Colombia to operate her organization. We discuss the multi-generational programs that they offer and how it is her goal to have the organization ran locally by the residents of Cartagena.
March 15, 2020
Episode 37 - Erin Farrell, Executive Director of Struggles to Strengths
In this episode we interview Erin Farrell, the Executive Director of Struggles to Strengths. Their mission is to serve vulnerable and exposed families recovering from long term and reoccurring trauma. Most all of their families have experienced homelessness and are in shelter programs. We learn about all of the programs that Struggles to Strength offers, one being a very unique photography program for youth. Erin shares what inspired her to start the organization as well as her vision for the future. Erin works one on one with every single person who is involved with the programs, and she is making a huge impact in their lives.
February 28, 2020
Episode 36 - Teysha Wheeler-LeManski of Cloth Connection Outreach
In this episode we interview Teysha Wheeler-LeManski, the CEO of Cloth Connection Outreach. Their mission is to provide reusable feminine products to woman in need. We learn about what inspired Teysha to start Cloth Connection Outreach, as well as her burning desire to help people. Teysha shares how people in poverty often resort to using unsafe period protection because they cant afford the monthly cost of products. Cloth Connection Outreach is trying to help those in need here in the US.
February 16, 2020
Episode 35 - Phi Pham, Founder and Executive Director of Building Beats
In this episode we interview Phi Pham, the Founder and Executive Director of Building Beats. Their mission is to provide DJ and music programs that teach entrepreneurship, leadership, and life skills to under served youth. Phi shares with us how his love for music inspired him to start Building Beats. We discuss the programs offered in the New York City schools. He opens up about how one of their students started with building beats in the 7th grade, to now being accepted into the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU. Building Beats is such a cool and innovative non profit and it was an honor learning more about Building Beats.
February 01, 2020
Episode 34 - Troy Reinhart, Vice President of Smile Train
In this episode we interview Troy Reinhart, the Senior Vice President of Smile Train.Their mission is to provide training, funding, and resources to empower local medical professionals in 90+ countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery. Their model is based on true sustainability and Smile Train is raising the standard of cleft care and safety. Troy shares with us the founding story of Smile Train, as well as opens up about his remarkable 18 year journey with the organization. We discuss the impact that Smile Train is having world wide and the process for helping a children with cleft lip & or pallet. It was a real pleasure talking with Tory and learning more about Smile Train.
January 17, 2020
Episode 33 - Lauren Courville of Dress for Success Houston
In this episode we interview Lauren Courville the President of Dress for Success Houston. Their mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and life. Lauren shares with us about the growth of Dress for Success Houston over the past 21 years and how they have been positively impacting woman in the community. Dress for Success is not just providing woman with a suit for their job interview, but also creating a support network as these woman continue in the career. Lauren has a passion for help woman and you can hear it in our interview.
December 19, 2019
Episode 32 - Kristina Dulaney, Founder of Cherished Mom
In this episode we interview Kristina Dulaney, who is the founder of Cherished Mom, which is a non-profit that promotes awareness and education for perinatal mood disorders. Cherished Mom focuses on the importance of self-care to new moms, families, healthcare professionals and the community by providing free self-care boxes to new moms after they view a series of educational videos surrounding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Kristina shares with us how her own battle with postpartum psychosis made her realize the need for education on perinatal mood disorders. She details what steps to take if you or one of your family members are battling perinatal mood disorder. It was a pleasure interviewing Kristina and learning more about her organization.
December 04, 2019
Episode 31 - Leah Caffarelli & Dan Breidenstein of Living Lands & Waters
In today's episode we interview Leah Caffarelli & Dan Breidenstein of Living Lands and Waters. Over the past 20 years their organization has removed over 10 million pounds of garbage from American rivers and waterways. They not only clean up trash and debris along the rivers, but they also educate the communities that they visit on how to reduce trash getting into the rivers. Leah and Dan share how the organization was founded, as well as how they got involved with Living Lands and Waters. They both live on the boats for 9 months a year and clean our rivers on a daily basis. We learn the process involved from cleaning the rivers to disposing and recycling the trash. Leah and Dan are protecting our environment and it was a pleasure interviewing them and learning more about the organization.
November 13, 2019
Episode 30 - Ryan Hreljac of Ryan’s Well Foundation
In this episode we interview Ryan Hreljac, who is the founder of the Ryan's Well Foundation. Their foundation is bringing clean water to almost a million people across the world. Their focus is building wells and improving sanitation in rural communities that may not otherwise have access to clean water. Ryan shares with us how a 1st grade fundraiser ended up turning into a passion project that he has dedicated his life to. Ryan talks in-depth about the process of funding a well and the actions needed to sustain the well in the communities. Ryan is a very humble guy with a huge heart. It was a pleasure interviewing him and learning more about his 21 year journey of helping others.
October 29, 2019
Episode 29 - Kelsey Pett of SBP USA
Imagine losing your home in a blink of an eye to a natural disaster. Unfortunately every year in the US many Americans know what this feels like. In today's episode we interview Kelsey Pett who is the Volunteer Manager for SBP in Houston, TX. SBP is a disaster resilience and recovery non profit. Kelsey shares with us the background of SBP and how she was drawn to the organization by wanting to help in her hometown. Kelsey and her team are helping to rebuild Houston, TX from hurricane Harvey. We are 2 years removed from the storm and they estimate that Houston will not be fully rebuilt for another 8 or more years. Connect Kindness volunteered with SBP in June 2019 to help rebuild homes that were affected by hurricane Harvey.
October 16, 2019
Episode 28 - Mike Charbonnet of Beyond the Teams
In this episode we interview Mike Charbonnet of Beyond the Teams. Mike is a retired Navy Seal and he started Beyond the Teams along with 4 of his Navy Seal team members. Mike and his team raise money and awareness for nonprofits in need. Mike opens up about how a tragic accident involving his son, who is also a Navy Seal, drew him to want to help others in need. Mike and his team are organizing a 1000 mile bike ride to raise money for a rehabilitation clinic that is run by his son and daughter-in-law. Mike is an amazing human being and a true American. Although Beyond the Teams is just getting started, the future impact that they will have is so exciting.
October 02, 2019
Episode 27 - Kate Church of African Wildlife Vets
In this episode we interview Kate Church, who is the founder of African Wildlife Vets. With inspiration from her mother, Kate founded the organization because she saw a desperate need for conservation of endangered species in protected areas of South Africa. African Wildlife Vets provide enhanced veterinary support to wildlife and partner with other non profits in the area that need their assistance. Kate shares with us how she went from being a school teacher one day, to being the founder of a nonprofit the next day. Kate talks about the animals that they help and the importance of conservation. Kate shares an incredible story about how they helped relocate lions by air, which you don't want to miss.
September 18, 2019
Episode 26 - Laura Wood of Kids in a New Groove
In this episode we interview Laura Wood, the executive director of Kids in a New Groove. They are the only nonprofit in the US focused on providing music mentorships to kids in foster care. Kids in a New Groove are celebrating their 10th anniversary and we learn all about the amazing things they are doing to serve the foster care community of Austin, TX. Laura shares with us in detail on how Kids in a New Groove was founded, as well as how they operate in finding their students and mentors. Laura talks about how she was drawn to the organization 6 years ago and with the help of her team and community, has been able to exponentially grow the program. She also shares with us a story about one of their students and how the program is re-shaping his future. This is such a unique organization to get involved with, and we really enjoyed our conversation with Laura.
September 04, 2019
Episode 25 - Derrick Stinson of Kickstart Kids
In this episode we interview Derrick Stinson of Kickstart Kids. Derrick is a Regional Director with Kickstart Kids and has been with the organization for 26 years... 7 years as a student and 19 as an employee. Kickstart Kids was founded in 1990 by martial artist, actor, and philanthropist Chuck Norris. The organization created a character development program that uses karate to teach life-changing values to middle school and high school students. Derrick shares with us how the organization teaches so much more than karate, instilling their value curriculum in all of their students. Derrick opens up about how Kickstart kids has shaped his life and has made him the leader and man he is today. Kickstart kids is currently operating in Texas and it is their goal to grow into other states and have even more of an impact.
August 21, 2019
Episode 24 - Regina Anderson of Food Recovery Network
In this episode we interview Regina Anderson, the Executive Director of Food Recovery Network. Have you ever been to an event or a restaurant that had plenty of food left over at the end of the night, and wondered "what happens to all of this food"? Food Recovery Network is answering that question. In this interview Regina shares her passion for Food Recovery Network and we learn about how the idea for the organization came to be. How Food Recovery Network went from starting at the University of Maryland in 2011 to now having over 190 chapters in 44 states. Regina details the process in which they recover and distribute the food, making a huge impact in the surrounding communities.
August 01, 2019
Episode 23 - Brianna Fowler of Save a Child’s Heart
In today's episode we interview Brianna Fowler of Save a Child's Heart. The name of the organization is pretty self explanatory, but they have saved over 5000 children with heart conditions at no cost to the child or their family. Brianna shares with us how and why the organization was founded. We learn about the unique process for helping children in need. Brianna opens up about how she got involved with the organization and shares a personal story that is near and dear to her heart. Save a Child's Heart is mending hearts regardless of religion, gender or nationality.
July 17, 2019
Episode 22 - Genevieve Frederick of Pets of the Homeless
In this episode we interview Genevieve Frederick of Pets of the Homeless. Pets of the Homeless is the only national animal organization completely focused on feeding and providing emergency veterinary care for pets of the homeless. Genevive shares with us how her passion for animals and helping people were the driving factors for her starting the organization. She goes into detail on how pets of the homeless operates, as well as ways that listeners can get involved and make a deference in their community. Genevieve has a passion for what she does and you can clearly hear that in this interview.
July 03, 2019
Episode 21 - Justin Wren of Fight for the Forgotten
In this episode we interview Justin Wren aka "The Big Pygmy", who is the founder of Fight for the Forgotten. Their mission is to empower those who don’t have a voice. From the forgotten people around the world affected by the water crisis, to kids bullied in our own neighborhoods and schools, Fight for the Forgotten wants to be their voice. In this interview Justin opens up about how being bullied as a child has shaped the man he is today. He also shares how he went from being bullied and overcoming depression, to becoming a world renowned mixed martial artist and founder of his nonprofit, fight for the forgotten.
June 12, 2019
Episode 20 - Aviram Rozin of Sadhana Forest
In this episode we interview Aviram Rozin of Sadhana Forest. Aviram shares why he started Sadahana Forest and how it was originally meant to be a home for him and his family, but grew into a movement. We learn about how Sadhana Forest grew from a single volunteer into 3 locations in three different countries. Sadhana Forest is not only an environmental restoration organization, but Aviram has created an organization centered around helping people be the best version of themselves through veganism and selflessness.
May 29, 2019
Episode 19 - Kris Stubbs of Hair without Borders
In this episode we interview Kris Stubbs of Hair without Borders. Their mission is to create opportunities for hairdressers to get involved within their communities as well as communities around the world through education and service.
March 07, 2019
Episode 18 - Lisa Wolling of Friends of Texas Wildlife
In this episode we interview Lisa Wolling, who is the Executive Director of Friends of Texas Wildlife. Lisa and the entire organization focuses on rehabilitating abandoned animals in the Texas community. Friends of Texas Wildlife is celebrating 25 years of saving animals & we get to hear all about it in this amazing podcast.
January 31, 2019
Episode 17 - Sam Adams of Second Effort Foundation
In this episode we interview Sam Adams of Second Effort Foundation. Sam is passionate about helping children in need, so she started the foundation to collect and donate soccer equipment to children around the world so that they can safely play the beautiful game that she loves.
January 07, 2019
Episode 16 - Jet Appling of No Shave November
In this episode we interview Jet Appling of No Shave November and learn about why the No Shave November challenge was established and the great organizations that No Shave November works with to support cancer prevention, research and education.
November 30, 2018
Episode 15 - C.J. Stanfill of Pencils of Promise
In this episode we interview C.J. Stanfill of Pencils of Promise, which is a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. Pencils of Promise have helped build over 400 schools, helping to strengthen the communities future.
November 16, 2018
Episode 14 - Jessica Faulkner of Skateistan
In this episode we interview Jessica Faulkner of Skateistan, which is a nonprofit that was started in Afghanistan. Skatistan’s mission is to empower children through skate boarding and education.
November 02, 2018
Episode 13 - The Founders of Connect Kindness
In this episode the tables are turned and Krystal and Tim, the founders of Connect Kindness, are interviewed. Jesse Aguirre is our guest host and he covers questions like how Connect Kindness finds organizations and what the future holds for the Connect Kindness.
October 24, 2018
Episode 12 - United Against Human Trafficking
In this episode we interview Misa Nguyen & Jenna Cooper with United Against Human Trafficking, who’s mission is to end human trafficking through education and their outreach programs.
October 08, 2018
Episode 11 - Jacque Daughtry of Making it Better
In this episode we interview Jacque Daughtry of Making it Better, which is a nonprofit that focuses on literacy in underserved communities.
September 27, 2018
Episode 10 - Sharon Satterwhite of Patriot Paws
In episode 10 we interview Sharon Satterwhite of Patriot Paws. Sharon shares why Patriot Paws was founded and how their organization are helping veterans by providing free service dogs.
September 19, 2018
Episode 9 - Andee Schussler of Kokua TRY-sport Canada
In this episode we interview Andee Schussler of Kokua TRY-sport Canada. Kokua TRY-sport are helping underprivileged kids learn about sports through their free camps, which are coached by Olympic athletes.
September 12, 2018
Episode 8 - Lisa Mikosh of Justice for Children
In episode 8 we interview Lisa Mikosh of Justice for Children, which is a nonprofit that stands up for abused children when their needs are lost in the justice system.
September 05, 2018
Episode 7 - Karen Man of OKRA Charity Bar
In this epsode we interview Karen Man of OKRA Charity Bar. OKRA is a bar in Houston, Texas that donates all of their proceeds to a local nonprofit every month.
August 30, 2018
Episode 6 - Lisa Helfman of Brighter Bites
In this episode we interview Lisa Helfman of Brighter Bites. Their mission is to teach children in underserved communities how to eat healthy, while also providing the produce free of charge to do so.
August 18, 2018
Episode 5 - Kelly Klein of Easter Seals Houston
In this episode Krystal and Tim interview Kelly Klein of Easter Seals Houston. Easter Seals Houston help people of all ages with disabilities and are changing lives along the way.
August 11, 2018
Episode 4 - Aaron Simmons of YES Prep Houston
In this episode Krystal and Tim interview Aaron Simmons of YES Pred Houston. YES Prep have 18 campuses throughout Houston and are helping underprivileged kids achieve college acceptance and personal growth.
August 03, 2018
Episode 3 - Judith Dullnig of The Woman’s Storybook Project
In this episode Krystal and Tim interview Judith Dullnig of the Woman’s Storybook Project, who is making a huge impact by helping children with incarcerated mothers.
July 28, 2018
Episode 2 - Jen Torres of The Arthritis Foundation
In episode 2, Krystal and Tim interview Jen Torres of the Arthritis Foundation and learn about all of the amazing things that The Arthritis Foundation are doing for adults and children who are living with arthritis.
July 22, 2018
Episode 1 - An Introduction to Connect Kindness
In episode 1, Krystal and Tim introduce the Connect Kindness Podcast and explan how the idea of featuring nonprofits came to be.
July 12, 2018