Read of the Day: “If You See Something, Do Something”
6:00 pm, July 15th | by Weiyu Li
In today’s Read of the Day, our friends at Narrative.ly share the story of The Doers Network, a non-profit founded by several young New Yorkers that offers free favors, helping hands, and even cash, all over the city. The mission is “to invoke joy through contagious acts of kindness for the average American—regardless of class or financial situation—and develop an “instinct” for kindness in people.”
Fueled by his desire to do something—anything—to make the world a better place, Speer, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, resident who recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts and works for a visual effects studio, spent a sleepless night this past April setting up a website for his brand new nonprofit, which he dubbed The Doers Network. The mission: to invoke joy through contagious acts of kindness for the average American—regardless of class or financial situation—and develop an “instinct” for kindness in people.
“Originally, Jesse wanted to get a van and stop at random places around town carrying groceries, fixing fences, then jumping back in the van and driving off, like a superhero without the mask,” says Heather Moen of her boyfriend’s philanthropic ambitions. The two met while working at the Cedar Crest retirement village in Pequannock, New Jersey, four years ago. “He initially wanted to call the Network ‘The Shining Sunshine of Peoples Days’ group,’ or something.”
Turning his vision into a digital form, Speer built the Network’s website as a way to gather people to participate in walks for good causes, help out their neighbors, or work with other nonprofits in need of volunteers. Through the site, anyone can join and submit ideas for acts of kindness to carry out, as well as ask for favors.
“The idea that the average person doesn’t need help is stupid,” explains Goolcharan, Speer’s partner.
Speer created a page on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, where he raised money from friends and family to finance the printing of t-shirts and business cards, and to support the Network’s first few acts of random kindness.
Right now, the Doers are five: Speer, his brother TJ, Goolcharan, Moen, and their friend from high school, Chioma Anyanwu. The initial funds are now gone, and Speer is using his own money to fund the site’s efforts, but at the moment only has $200 left in his bank account.
To read the full essay, click here.