Young Jews show that Kindness Counts when others #feedthedeed
February 18, 2014 | Joanne Hill - Staff Writer
A handful of young Jewish adults originally from Toronto are behind the new social media craze #feedthedeed, which is inspiring acts of kindness around the globe.
They want people of all ages to know that it feels good to do good and it’s also pretty cool, too.
Josh Stern, 22, is a second-year medical student at the University of Ottawa and a CHAT alumnus. He was troubled by the ‘Neknominations’ craze in which young people videotaped themselves drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, posted the videos online and then ‘nominated’ friends to follow suit. When Stern saw that one such nominee had videotaped himself doing a good deed instead of getting drunk, he knew he had to do something, too.
So he bought some sandwiches, videotaped himself giving them to a homeless person and uploaded the video to Facebook with the hashtag #feedthedeed. Stern was soon collaborating with his friend Russell Citron, founder and president of Kindness Counts, and it wasn’t long before Facebook was flooded with videos of people doing good deeds and nominating their friends to do the same. In eight days, they had reached more than 300,000 people on Facebook and touched every continent except Africa, according to Citron. Both men said they are thrilled by the response.
Citron, 22, a CHAT alumnus who recently graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, is now a management consultant at Monitor Deloitte. The goal of Kindness Counts “is to spread acts of kindness in creative and unconventional ways,” said Citron. “#feedthedeed couldn’t fit better. It’s creative, it’s unconventional [and] it inspires people to be kind. It has made kindness cool which is exactly what Kindness Counts strives to do.”
Watching hundreds of #feedthedeed videos and then posting them on the Kindness Counts Facebook page takes a lot of time and it couldn’t be done without teamwork.
Jonathan Sherman, another CHAT alumnus, is actively involved and Citron’s friends Spencer Green and Jade Zylberberg round out Kindness Count’s leadership team.
“#feedthedeed is just a movement,” said Stern in a telephone interview from Ottawa. “I don’t expect #feedthedeed to [last] forever but Kindness Counts will always be there.... I think that people are inherently good and they have good intentions. What we’re doing is just giving them an opportunity to show their goodness and hopefully get them to come out of their shells a little bit and do some good deeds.”
For more information visit www.facebook.com/kindnesscountsfoundation.