Leon Logothetis was stuck leading an uninspiring life as a broker in London till he decided to choose a life of adventure over the stagnant comforts of a mundane existence. After traveling to over 90 countries, Leon determined it was time to give back, after having experienced first-hand what the kindness of strangers can bring. Now the author of two books, Leon has traveled across America, funded purely by the kindness of strangers who took him into their homes and hearts.
[caption id="attachment_31706" align="aligncenter" width="721"] Sparking laughter and uplifting spirits while dancing with locals in India.[/caption]
Now he is making the journey once again as part of the #GoBeKind initiative, but this time surprising those willing to offer up their help with a $1000 voucher to spend treating themselves or someone else to a well-deserved break.
Week 7: Recap of #GoBeKind
“If one person helps six, and those six do the same, the math of kindness becomes unstoppable”
Week 6: Los Angeles | Meet Trevor
“You’ve just got to be more tolerant of everybody, and the world would be a better place.”
On his recent stop in Los Angeles, Leon encountered a man who caught his attention due to his formidable white beard, but it was Trevor’s story that really twisted Leon’s heart. Trevor was misdiagnosed 21 years ago with inoperable cancer and given six months to live- until the intervention of a male nurse caught a mistake in the cancer diagnosis. Turned out that Trevor had a very treatable cancer with a strong chance of survival. Effectively that nurse saved his life. The nurse’s story was a great deal sadder–thrown out of the house at age 15 for being gay, not even the loving support of his partner of 30 years nor that of Trevor and his wife could stop him from drinking. Having passed away, Trevor found it difficult to carry on the thought of not having been able to give back to the nurse what he had done for Trevor. Trevor shared though that he will be traveling to Bali soon, a beloved vacation destination of the nurse and his partner, to scatter the nurse’s ashes in the place he loved best. After such a touching story was shared, Leon decided to pass onto Trevor some money for him to use however he wishes.
Read More: How to #GoBeKind in Los Angeles
Week 5: Las Vegas | Meet T
“I know what it feels like to not have anything- so, if I have it, I give it.”
Las Vegas isn’t just about rolling dices and bright lights—on the latest leg of Leon’s journey, he encountered T on the streets of Sin City. T had a hard time while she was in school after her identifying as lesbian led to a lack of friends and feelings of loneliness and depression. Now she is a happy mom and wife who believes that kindness means loving and helping people out when they need it. Las Vegas has a large homeless population and T, understanding what it feels like to not have much, gives whatever she can. When Leon rewarded her big heart by presenting her with $1000, her delight was spurned by the fact she can now help her grandmother, whose house burned down recently. T will now be able to get her grandmother whatever she may need, effectively paying it forward with her own motion of #GoBeKind.
Read More: How to #GoBeKind in Las Vegas
Week 4: Denver | Meet James
“Everything I do is for him”
A Personal Thank You From James
With a reputation as being one of the friendliest places in America, James came to Denver from New York City seeking a peaceful life for him and his son. He arrived only a few days ago before Leon spoke with him, armed with a job but unfortunately temporarily homeless as his housing had fallen through. James is willing however, to make anything happen that needs to happen within the next month so that they can begin their new life.
He is fueled by his strong love for his son, as well as a belief in prayer and meditation and a hope that this experience will allow him the opportunity to pay it forward somewhere in the future. Leon decided to reward this devoted single father with a chance—$1000 and 7 nights in a hotel until he figures out how he and his son can move forward with the peaceful Denver life they seek.
Read More: How to #GoBeKind in Denver
Week 3: St. Louis | Meet Janet
“Inside every adult is the child they once were”
There is kindness to be found in the city of St. Louis. Janet, who works in an early childhood setting, experienced kindness by way of her grandfather when she was a child. She believes that all children want is to be loved and to have someone who is happy that you’re there, which remains true even after you grow up. The joy of working with kids is sometimes one of the only things that gets her up and going. Janet believes that she has to work hard and try the best she can—which she does by bestowing love and kindness to the kids she adores by trying to be the kind of teacher to them that she always wanted to have. Imagine her joy at receiving $1000 to treat herself to a well-deserved break. “I’ve been asking God for some signs, to help me. Thank you”
Read More: How to #GoBeKind in St. Louis
Week 2: Chicago | Meet Daniel
“Be thankful for the little things you have today because tomorrow?”
In the heart of Chicago, Daniel might not own much beside his beautiful sign and the smiles he hands out to passersby who rarely notice his existence. He might be hurt by those who don’t notice it but it has in no way affected his positivity or his uncanny ability to hand out compliments which touched Leon. Following an injury at work, Daniel was prescribed narcotics which spiraled into a full-blown painkiller addiction. While he’s been clean for four months, he still sleeps outside, watched over by workers he has befriended who keep him safe. More than anything, he misses his family who got pushed away by his problems with drugs. For the Chicago chapter of #GoBeKind, Leon decided to award this affable young man who needs an opportunity $1000 to help him get back on his feet and reconnect with his family.
Read More: How To #GoBeKind in Chicago
Update: We received word from Leon that Daniel has managed to connect with his mum using the money he received!
— Leon Logothetis (@LeonLogothetis) October 23, 2015
Week 1: New York City | Meet Ed
“I was thinking, Is it real? I had to look up Leon when I got home.”
There are 8.4 million people in New York City. The chances that Leon would happen upon Ed Plumacher, who was running a bit behind schedule on his way to work, are slim. Ed is a legally blind New Yorker who runs AccessQuest, a not-for-profit charity organization that helps people with vision disabilities adjust and acclimate to their new life. Ed and Leon bonded over their common goal of giving back to others who need it. With the $1000 Leon and trivago gave him, Ed is going to use the money to help him buy the necessary equipment to start up a podcast aimed at providing insight and education for the blind. Such a venture in an accessible format will provide a great impact on the blind community. Ed will use the rest to take a well-deserved ski vacation with his family in a location that has blind skiing programs.
Learn more about Ed’s non-profit & how you can get involved.
Read More: How To #GoBeKind in New York City
How Can You Get Involved?
Wednesday, October 14th | Give a coffee.
Share a coffee with the stranger standing behind you in line at your local coffee shop. Why not be the person who starts a chain reaction of kindness in your neighborhood?
Take a photo & share it on twitter with #GoBeKind.
Monday, October 20th | Show your appreciation.
Help a friend, co-worker or even a stranger get over their Monday Blues with an inspirational ‘sweet nothing’. Show your gratitude with a little note of appreciation.
Take a photo & share it on twitter with #GoBeKind.
The Kindness Diaries | The Book Tour
Follow Leon’s Journey across the United States of America