Have you ever heard of a “Kindness” event that lasts for 24 hours? Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County was fortunate to be selected by the Joseph Lapinski Foundation as one of the projects for this year’s event which took place on Friday July 27.
As Bill Auld, Foundation President explained his group was working in conjunction with Michael Chase, founder of the Kindness Center and members of the Society of Ultimate Living.
“By performing acts of kindness the event hopes to spark a kindness revolution and bring awareness to organizations and individuals who are in need of help and compassion.”
The Joseph Lapinski Foundation was created in Spring 2008 to honor the legacy of its namesake. Joseph Lapinski, grandfather of 25 was a humble man of great integrity who believed it was his duty to help others. The foundation’s goal is “to improve the quality of life in local communities by supporting programs and causes which improve health, familial relations and the environment”.
During their daylong event, volunteers made “planned kindness stops" at the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation in Midland Park, Valley Health System's "Butterflies" program in Ridgewood, Eva's Village in Paterson, St. Barnabas Valerie Children's Center in Livingston, and a Habitat Bergen home in Englewood. The Habitat “kindness project” involved creating an outside pathway for a longtime, elderly Habitat homeowner, who until then had limited access to her backyard.
The volunteers then made “impromptu” stops in downtown Englewood handing out free flowers, coffee, lottery tickets and hugs. Then they were off to NYC's Times Square, where they spent over eight hours speaking to people about kindness; handing out hygiene kits to the homeless, buying them food while listening to their stories and wisdom and finally honoring the victims of Aurora, Colorado (one week post-tragedy) by handing out flowers to exiting movie goers.
The group’s return to New Jersey included a stop back in Paterson before ending up at Rita Lapinski’s home (Joseph's wife) where they shared stories with her about their inspirational day. Six of the volunteers had lasted the entire 24 hours. But whatever the length of time they invested, it was clear from the smiles on their faces, that although their feet might be achy and their voices hoarse, everyone was inspired by the day and confident that Joseph would have been proud.
For more information about the Joseph Lapinski Foundation “Perpetuating a family tradition of charity and compassion”, visit the Lapinski Foundation or contact Bill Auld at 908-872-7877.