“It is our belief that every kindness, every moment of empathy and compassion, every act of true sharing, elevates humanity’s potential and all of our actions are aimed to influence the progress of our world. “
On a brighter note…Hope is a wonderful elixir. No matter how malicious some people can be or how cruel they can treat one another—regardless of that behavior occurring in your own neighborhood or in another country—it is profoundly refreshing to learn about people whose life mission is to improve the world, strengthen community and lay the foundation for a more cooperative, thoughtful, creative, generous future.
I am speaking of StayUNITED: an organization created by two people who discovered they shared the common goal—the hope—of finding ways to improve the world. They didn’t act to prove their devotion to one faith over another; rather, for they created their own journey to do what they can to help others while inspiring more people to do the same.
As this couple’s website states, “StayUNITED is the result of a true passion for service to others. It is our belief that every kindness, every moment of empathy and compassion, every act of true sharing, elevates humanity’s potential and all of our actions are aimed to influence the progress of our world.
StayUNITED Founders Ismini and Mark Svensson met while attending Georgetown University where they quickly discovered they shared a common, second-natured mission. “We were really drawn to one another for each other’s passion for giving back and helping those in need,” said Mark Svensson in a video posted at their website.
“We spent hours [at Georgetown] talking and dreaming about how we can make the world a better place,” added Ismini. They couldn’t imagine a life without each other, but they also knew that together, they could create an even larger impact for good.
Once they were engaged, instead of using their saved funds to pay for a large wedding and honeymoon, they decided to use that money to spread kindness to others and carry out good deeds for others…in all 50 states of America! Their hope was to promote volunteerism through their “50 Acts of Kindness” program. Ultimately, aside from bringing kindness and hope to others, their work turned into an impressive charitable organization recognized and honored by officials and organizations on the local to national levels.
Ismini said she and Mark started their journey as a tribute to her father whom she describes as a kind and compassionate man. The night he passed away, she said, he was at a charity benefit raising funds for scholarships.
Now, the StayUNITED charitable organization’s “mission is to create a brighter future for children and youth,” said Mark. They endeavor to improve the quality of life and create a brighter future for children and youth in local communities.
They focus their resources toward education, and health and wellness. They set up StayUNITED 4 Kids, Gift of Music, Campus Roundtable Initiative, StayUNITED StayFIT and a scholarship program.
“Any act of kindness, no matter how seemingly insignificant, influences the progress of our world,” explains the website regarding the StayUNITED 50 Acts of Giving Back program. “Inspire even more people to do the same, motivate others to become active global citizens, and help start a chain reaction of kindness!” If you take photos and videos of your good deeds, the founders invite you to e-mail them to Info@StayUNITED.org.
Find out more about all their programs at StayUnited.org, and discover ways you can improve your community, help others, and renew your hope that there are still people who are committed to developing positive change in the world.
Here are some stops the couple have made along their journey across the country:
***All images courtesy of StayUNITED