Calling All Humans

Photo by Sam Vanderlist
Photo by Sam Vanderlist

“My wife was driving to work and passed a homeless man who was sleeping with his head on the cement. She put a pillow under his head and she sees the man walking around with that pillow. Something so small can have such a big impact and it didn’t change her quality of life. It took her 60 seconds and it meant a lot to him.”

“I have a friend, Katie, that was doing something remarkable. She’s interested in excavating the kindness out of her YouTube viewership and followers with her month of kindness initiative. Her father had passed away during the month of November and she wanted to turn her sorrow into generosity. To cope, she needed to push out her feelings and they needed to come out as generosity.”

Hearing these stories, you’d think there was an elite, inner circle called the Kindness Club. You’d be wrong. The invitation is open for all, recruiting is at an all-time high and you’d be an ideal member.

The club I’m referring to is actually a business, When Humans Kind. It’s simple: purchase some rad apparel or accessories featuring some slick graphic design and a portion of the proceeds help a charity that changes every 12 weeks. T-shirts changing the world for the better? We’re on board for that.

“Passion and inspiration drive action,” said Nick Fischer whose mission, along with co-owner Peter Jacob, is to find ways to get people motivated to live life for more than just themselves. They’re creating opportunities for anyone to give back and spread that positive message.

Simplicity aside (you make a purchase, you do good), there’s a lot of hard work happening behind the scenes—sourcing creative illustrators and designers and researching and aligning with charities for meaningful partnerships. Plus, both Fischer and Jacob want to break the negative news cycle.

“We don’t have to be directly political. What we know is what’s happening at the border right now is terrifying,” said Jacob, addressing the behavior toward refugees and immigrants. “People should be treated with dignity.” So collaborating with Justice for Our Neighbors—an organization providing high-quality immigration legal services, education and advocacy—was a true fit. It’s about redeeming and rescuing those in need.

While Justice for Our Neighbors is the first charity on the docket, expect to see organizations that operate locally and nationally.

“Think around the idea of clean water,” said Jacob. “It’s not just a challenge for Michigan, but all around the country.” When Humans Kind wants to collaborate with charities people care about that are involved with changing lives and circumstances and behaving globally.

It’s all done with kindness and style. Fischer’s favorite is the Share Dat Kindness tee. “I love that specific design. It’s hip. It’s got slang and I love what it requires of you more than design—the words on your chest mean you’re more likely to behave that way.”  It’s broad messaging that has a backbone rooted in learning because as Jacob puts it, “sending a general message is cute but putting purpose to it with donations to charities—that’s what we really want.”

The two men are building a community and people are showing up to put in the work.

“Our friend Katie, she does it because she lost her dad in November and she faces that pain with generosity,” said Jacob, who believes there’s “something in the ether for us all to react to terrible circumstances that wound us, in generous ways.” There’s an energy in giving back and being good stewards on this earth and for mankind.

In a world filled with division and hardships, kindness is ours to share and cultivate and that’s something we can control. Fischer wants people to know that this kindness movement doesn’t have to be life-changing acts or huge endeavors. It can boil down to little things that build on top of each other.

“I would say I think of the word kind and turning that word into a verb on purpose,” said Jacob about “kinding.” “We want people to take action and prepare and I think that mindfulness is actually healthy—to think about other people and spend time contemplating.”

Drop some coin and spread kindness at When Humans Kind.

*All photos by Photo by Sam Vanderlist

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