We’re excited to announce the winner of our March, 2023 Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant for her wonderful kindness project. The grant was given by Matt’s Kindness Ripples On (MKRO), an organization that encourages acts of kindness by helping people who have ideas for kindness projects but lack the funding to follow through on those ideas.
Congratulations to Rachael Rosenberg!
She will receive $500 to help fund her acts of kindness project!
Rachael Rosenberg (Los Angeles, CA) is the 17-year-old founder of Bundles of Kindness, a non-profit that provides care kits for the homeless. What started out as a community service project for her bat mitzvah is still going strong four years later, delivering bundles of supplies to the homeless in the Los Angeles area.
There are over 69,000 homeless people in Los Angeles (as of 2022) and Rachael regularly witnessed the men, women and children struggling with homelessness. She made many small efforts to help by personally giving them snacks, preparing sandwiches for them with her synagogue and even packaging full meals from her family kitchen. But it wasn’t enough for her to hand over snacks; she wanted to do something more personal.
In December 2018, Rachael started Bundles of Kindness, setting her goal at 100 bundles to distribute. She set them up so that each bundle would contain everything an unhoused person needs to survive including blankets, sleeping mats, hats, gloves, scarves, hand warmers, umbrellas, rain ponchos, t-shirts, socks, underwear, flip flops, toiletries, facial wipes, dental hygiene products, menstrual products, sunscreen, first aid, individually wrapped shelf stable food, water, juice and information about community resources. Additionally, she made pet supplies, jackets, sweatshirts and shoes available.
For over a year, she pounded the pavement collecting donations from both individuals and large companies and she created an Amazon Wish List of materials needed.
Rachael said, “If you can, please help me help people who are often treated like they are worthless with kindness.”
The boxes of donations started rolling in, filling her parents’ garage. Then in June 2019, Rachael rounded up a group of volunteers who met at her synagogue to assemble the 100 Bundles of kindness. With the bundles all packaged and ready to go, Rachael said, “I delivered each and every bundle personally, accompanied by at least one adult. Bundles of Kindness’ mission is to provide basic necessities while offering human interaction, dignity, love and kindness to people who are homeless.”
“I remember strangers helping me with eye contact and a smile and saying, ‘Hey, it’s gonna get better, you can survive this.’ …That was probably as important as getting food: just human contact.” – a previously homeless man
Rachael said, “It is really important to me that each and every recipient of my bundles feels as if I am taking the time to recognize that they are no different from me. They are humans who have feelings, emotions and needs that must be fulfilled. Each person I meet is a parent or child. I make a special effort to listen to the stories people want to share or to exchange a smile.”
After Rachael reached her goal, she didn’t stop there. She quickly outgrew her garage and moved everything to a storage facility and has now delivered over 670 bundles. She’s currently working on another 500 bundles to give out. Rachael distributes her care packages through food pantries, mobile showers, shelters, safe parking programs, teen drop-in centers and directly to people living on the streets of Los Angeles. She tries to have a few bundles on hand wherever she goes in case she sees someone in need.
Rachael brings hope and compassion to people who are struggling while acknowledging their humanity. We’re thrilled to have Rachael as part of our MKRO family and proud to award her our Kindness Grant.
This grant is given in honor of Matt Kurtz, (1985-2017), a young man whose personal philosophy was to live an honorable, compassionate and non-judgmental life. To give for the sake of giving, to expect nothing in return, to be aware of the world around him and to step in to help others without being asked whenever he saw the need. Matt believed in the ripple effect of a simple act of kindness – like a pebble dropped in water, it goes on and on. You can find out more about how Matt lived his life, examples of his many acts of kindness, big and small, and why this grant was created on MattsKindnessRipplesOn.com.