Shawn Dromgoole's family has lived in the same Nashville neighborhood for over 50 years, and he has lived there for his entire life. After hearing about the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, Shawn became fearful of walking alone in his own neighborhood and shared his frustrations online. What happened next was a show of support that Shawn never expected, and it has grown into an entire movement across the country.
Josh Santiago knew he wanted to be a barber from a young age. What he couldn’t have imagined is that he’d end up taking his skills to the streets and offering haircuts to those most in need—completely free of charge. In the last five years, Josh has used his talents as a barber to brighten thousands of people’s lives in his Philadelphia community and beyond, and he has no plans of stopping anytime soon.
Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, 15-year-old Hita Gupta received a disappointing phone call. The local nursing home where she regularly volunteered was letting her know that she wouldn’t be able to visit again anytime soon due to the high risk for their residents. Hita was worried that the seniors would be lonely with no visitors, and she wanted to make sure that they felt loved and taken care of.
When 7-year-old Cavanaugh Bell was bullied, he said he felt a darkness inside him. He didn’t want other kids to feel the same way, so he asked his mom if she could help him spread some positivity in the world. Now, they have started their own nonprofit organization that advocates for bullying prevention, and they have pivoted their efforts to serve communities in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the aftermath of 9/11, David Sylvester, like so many other Americans, was feeling immense pain and anguish. He really wanted to do something to help, but didn’t know where to start. Then, he discovered one very simple but powerful thing that did help on a profound level—a hug. And that simple concept has turned into a 19-year-long mission to repair the fabric of humanity, one hug at a time.
Iyabo Boyd is the founder of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, an initiative advocating for over 4,000 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry from around the world. COVID-19 has impacted the filmmaking community hard, and also disproportionately affects people of color. To support their community in a time of great need, Iyabo and a team of volunteers launched a fundraiser—and the response was bigger than they ever expected.
Common Roots Farm in Santa Cruz, California is a very special place. Not only do they produce delicious fruits and vegetables, they are also a non-profit, volunteer-based farm whose mission is rooted in creating a space that fosters full inclusion of people of all abilities, to farm together in partnership.
When Khloe Thompson was 9 years old, she started asking her mother questions about people experiencing homelessness. After learning more, she knew she wanted to help. What started out as a simple idea to give someone a care bag with necessities has turned into an entire movement. And 4 years later, Khloe is more inspired than ever to keep making big things happen.
When Brad Kaimack received a tax refund that he wasn’t expecting, he knew he wanted to use it to do something kind for someone else. After hearing a story about the CEO of Chobani Yogurt paying off lunch debt for an entire school district, Brad decided to ask around in his local community to see if any schools nearby had the same problem. With the help of his partner Alx Utterman, this simple idea turned into something incredible that helped more families than they ever imagined.
Brianna Meeks has an offbeat but clear-headed dream to win back something that’s incredibly meaningful to her family. And after thirteen long years of wishing, she finally has the chance to make it come true. This is a story about family and history, of sorrow and hope, and above all... resilience and reclamation.