Matt Kurtz was a giant hearted, kind, giving, optimist person. He cared deeply for everyone, showing kindness and compassion for all he came in contact with, freely using his winnings from being a professional poker player to help those in need with the only ask that they pay it forward to someone else when they could. When Matt was 32 years old he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder whose onset is late teens to early thirties. The onset of symptoms is very fast. “Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.” (Mayo Clinic) Matt fought schizophrenia with healthy eating and exercise, trying to do everything he could with the support and help of others to battle the symptoms that had a strong hold on him. Matt died a few months after his diagnosis. After he died his family knew they needed to do something to carry on the legacy of Matt that embodied who he was. Matt’s legacy needed to be full of kindness, compassion, and helping others. Matt’s Kindness Ripples On is how Jackie, Ron, and Brian (his mom, dad, and brother) decided to honor Matt by carrying on how he lived his life everyday. I had the honor to talk with his mom Jackie about Matt and this very special non-profit organization.
“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul there is love to be found in the world.” A.A. Malee
Matt was a positive person who was grateful for everything. While he was open and giving in his actions he did not share with anyone his actions of helping others. Matt would do things like buying a used van in Vancouver and giving it to a man who was homeless so he would have a place to sleep. When one of his friends was struggling financially, Matt gave him money for rent, bought him work clothes, along with providing additional financial and emotional support so this friend could bring his kids home. He did all of this and more to bring more kindness into the world, creating ripples of positivity and hope for those he shared his kindness with so they could share kindness and hope with others. His ripples of kindness were endless, changing the lives of others one act of kindness at a time.
“Kindness: Loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness.” Andy Stanley
Matt’s Kindness Ripples On recognizes those who make “kindness a way of life.” The “Kindness Awards” are given to people who inspire by going above and beyond with their actions of kindness by reaching out and making a difference in the lives of others. The “Kindness Grants” of $500 each are awarded to people whose act of kindness projects reflect Matt’s values of kindness and compassion and need financial help funding their kindness project. Two awards and two grants are given each year from the Kurtz family. Additional grants and awards are given each year as donations come in. Since beginning there have been 31 grants and award winners with almost $10,000 given to help and support actions of kindness. Jackie shared they have been touched by the kindness of others supporting the work of MKRO with financial donations. Due to the support and wonderful donors MKRO has been able to give eight awards/grants for the last few years. There is a vetting process for each grant and award submission and the family thoughtfully chooses each winner. Jackie shares valuable information on mental health research and resources in the MKRO social media posts and on the website to provide resources, education, and research regarding mental health and mental illness.
“There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.” Oscar Yulaw
Matt Kurtz light continues to shine on in so many ways. Matt’s Kindness Ripples On shines light on others, who like their Matt, is “making the world a better place, one kindness at a time.” Jackie, Ron, and Brian Kindness Champions is honored to share the story of your Matt and Matt’s Kindness Ripples On. What you are doing in Matt’s name is touching more lives and creating more ripples of ongoing kindness. We thank you for being you and bringing Matt’s Kindness Ripples On awesome to the world.
For more information on the incredible Matt’s Kindness Ripples On here is their information:
Twitter: @MattsKindness https://twitter.com/MattsKindness
Instagram: @mattskindness https://www.instagram.com/mattskindness/
Facebook: @MattsKindnessRipplesOn https://www.facebook.com/mattskindnessrippleson
If you want to nominate someone who inspires you with their kindness for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.00 here is the link: https://mattskindnessrippleson.com/get-involved/nominate-someone/
If you need help funding a kindness project you can apply for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $500 here: https://mattskindnessrippleson.com/get-involved/submit-ideas-grant/