KIND People Winners

In early 2016, The KIND Foundation opened a call for nominations for KIND People – individuals transforming their communities through kindness. We received nearly 5,000 stories from across the country – each more beautiful than the last. A panel of respected Judges ultimately helped select 7 awardees – 6 of them are receiving a $100,000 prize and one Grand Prize Winner is receiving a $500,000 prize. We are proud to shine a spotlight on their kindness and hopefully inspire others to take small steps towards making this a better world.

These KIND People have united their communities through selflessness and service. They show us how to live a life rooted in purpose, forge an inclusive society, and lead our communities with determination and humanity. Most notably, these ordinary giants demonstrate the enormous strength it takes to be kind.

Check out the winners’ stories below and please join us in celebrating them!

Grand Prize Winner

Doniece Sandoval
Lava Mae

(San Francisco, CA)

From the moment Doniece heard a woman on a San Francisco street begging to get clean, she has been unstoppable in her effort to bring hygiene to the homeless. She took an idea that some thought was impossible – turning transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels – and made it into a reality. Her pioneering work delivering hygiene and restoring dignity to those who need it most has inspired people nationwide to devise new solutions to homelessness. See Doniece in action here.


Jo Dee Davis
Healing Broken Circles

(Columbus, OH)

When Jo Dee started volunteering at an Ohio prison 16 years ago, she never imagined it would become her community. Her organization, Healing Broken Circles, helps bring the voice of those affected into the conversation about incarceration, and its programs create a place for learning and self-discovery so that inmates can start life anew – inside and outside of prison. See Jo Dee in action here.

Monica Lewis-Patrick
We the People of Detroit

(Detroit, MI)

Monica Lewis-Patrick’s sense of justice and belief in her own ability to enact change has united a community in the fight for water rights. It all started after she learned that the City of Detroit had cut off the water of an apartment building occupied by mothers and senior citizens. She subsequently co-founded We the People of Detroit, a grassroots organization that gives low-income families access to clean water; provides education on water issues; conducts research to raise awareness; and mobilizes people to collaborate and own their future. See Monica in action here.

Lam Ho
Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA)

(Chicago, IL)

An advocate for the underserved, Lam has dedicated his life to ensuring that people understand their rights and gain access to the legal services they deserve. He works 100 hours per week at his organization, CALA, bringing energy, purpose, and personal experience to his clients’ cases so that he can fight alongside them and make their voices heard.

See Lam in action here.

Sandra Goldberg
A Silver Lining Foundation

(Chicago, IL)

After beating breast cancer, Dr. Sandy started A Silver Lining Foundation to help others access the resources once at her disposal. Today, she provides funding for the entire spectrum of breast health testing (screenings through biopsy) as well as educational workshops to uninsured and underinsured women. Her ability to merge humanity with healthcare puts thousands of patients at ease, empowering them to tackle each day with renewed energy and passion.

See Dr. Sandy in action here.

Jodi Rae Ingstad
Exceptional Kind Person

(Valley City, ND)

Known as a “joyologist,” Jodi Rae’s commitment to kindness extends past her day job at an elderly home. Whether materially or emotionally, Jodi Rae selflessly serves North Dakota’s most vulnerable – including the homeless, elderly, and families in need. Those whose lives she has touched describe her heart as one of action.

See Jodi in action here.

Phyllis Shaughnessy
Green Lantern Lunches

(Copalis Beach, WA)

75-year-old Phyllis, nicknamed “the lunch lady,” is an unrelenting force, feeding and uniting a community. Her tireless energy and generous spirit will help deliver an estimated 20,000 food packages this year to families in Copalis Beach, Washington and surrounding areas. She not only delivers nutrition, but also gives hundreds of families something – and someone – to rely on every week.

See Phyllis in action here.


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