We’re excited to announce the winner of our November, 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.
A huge shout out to Jesse’s Paddle (aka, The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program) for their very generous donation. They are funding four additional MKRO awards, the first of which goes to today’s winner.
Congratulations to Rena Rosen!
She will receive $500 to help fund her acts of kindness project!
Rena Rosen, (Chicago, IL), is the founder of the Knit for a Unique Fit Facebook group. It is a group of knitters who create gloves for kids and adults with limb differences.
Rena was born with craniofacial differences and is an advocate for kindness and inclusivity for people with physical differences.
In 2020, a friend whose daughter was born with Apert Syndrome – which can cause physical abnormalities including webbing of the hands – was looking for someone to create gloves that fit her daughter’s hands. Rena, who didn’t know how to knit, found someone to knit the gloves for her.
That was the start of Knit for a Unique Fit. Rena helps connect knitters with families who need specially fitted gloves for their kids. She says they’re “connecting uniquely made hands with uniquely crafted gloves!” They’ve made over 300 items crafted all over the world, reaching 30+ countries.
They get requests from parents of kids with all types of limb differences and adults who’ve spent most of their lives wearing gloves that weren’t functional.
Once the crafters are connected with the recipient, they decide on the price and send pictures and measurements of the hands. If the price is a problem, some people offer to support the cost, and some knitters create gloves for free.
One mom spoke of her son’s reaction when he received the gloves. “He was over the moon. He wore them to sleep for like two weeks straight. He just loves having real gloves.” she noted. “It really was this blessing we didn’t know we needed, but it just made him feel so included with his brother and with other kids.”
Wow, it’s so impressive the impact they’re making. Side note: They’re always looking for more knitters. If you knit or sew and would like to create a unique pair of gloves for a kid who wants to wear gloves like their peers and has a unique set of hand structures, this is the place to connect.
A tip from Rena, “If you see someone who looks different, compliment them first and then enter into a conversation. It opens up dialogue. Kindness is the one thing that bonds us all together and it’s so easy. It really makes a huge difference and it settles everyone’s nerves.”
Rena is an inspiration to us all. Reading the quote from the Mom brought tears to my eyes and reminded me once again, that it’s the little things in life that truly matter. Thank you, Rena, you make a beautiful difference in our world and we’re so honored to have you as part of our MKRO family.
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.
More about Jesse’s Paddle – The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program. Their objective is to end the threat of suicide in Worcester County (MD) and beyond through a program of outreach and education. This is a mission that MKRO supports wholeheartedly and we are so grateful for all the work they do to support mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. (If you need help, please call 988.)
Thank you to everyone at Jesse’s Paddle for all that you do and for your very generous donation to MKRO so we can recognize and reward people who dedicate themselves to making our world a better place.