Rachael Rosenberg (Los Angeles, CA) is the 17-year-old founder of Bundles of Kindness, a non-profit that provides care kits for the homeless. What started out as a community service project for her bat mitzvah is still going strong four years later, delivering bundles of supplies to the homeless in the Los Angeles area.
There are over 69,000 homeless people in Los Angeles (as of 2022) and Rachael regularly witnessed the men, women, and children struggling with homelessness. She made many small efforts to help by personally giving them snacks, preparing sandwiches for them with her synagogue and even packaging full meals from her family kitchen. But it wasn’t enough for her to hand over snacks, she wanted to do something more personal.
In December 2018, Rachael started Bundles of Kindness, setting her goal at 100 bundles to distribute. She set them up so that each bundle would contain everything an unhoused person needs to survive, including blankets, sleeping mats, hats, gloves, scarves, hand warmers, umbrellas, rain ponchos, t-shirts, socks, underwear, flip flops, toiletries, facial wipes, dental hygiene products, menstrual products, sunscreen, first aid, individually wrapped shelf stable food, water, juice, and information about community resources. Additionally, she made pet supplies, jackets, sweatshirts, and shoes available.
For over a year, she pounded the pavement collecting donations from both individuals and large companies and she created an Amazon Wish List of materials needed.
Rachael said, “If you can, please help me help people who are often treated like they are worthless with kindness.”
The boxes of donations started rolling in, filling her parents’ garage. Then in June 2019, Rachael rounded up a group of volunteers who met at her synagogue to assemble the 100 Bundles of kindness. With the bundles all packaged and ready to go, Rachael said, “I delivered each and every bundle personally, accompanied by at least one adult. Bundles of Kindness’ mission is to provide basic necessities while offering human interaction, dignity, love, and kindness to people who are homeless.”
“I remember strangers helping me with eye contact and a smile and saying, ‘Hey, it’s gonna get better, you can survive this.’ …That was probably as important as getting food: just human contact.” – a previously homeless man
Rachael said, “It is really important to me that each and every recipient of my bundles feel as if I am taking the time to recognize that they are no different from me. They are humans who have feelings, emotions, and needs that must be fulfilled. Each person I meet is a parent or child. I make a special effort to listen to the stories people want to share or to exchange a smile.”
After Rachael reached her goal, she didn’t stop there. She quickly outgrew her garage and moved everything to a storage facility, and has now delivered over 670 bundles. She’s currently working on another 500 bundles to give out. Rachael distributes her care packages through food pantries, mobile showers, shelters, safe parking programs, teen drop-in centers, and directly to people living on the streets of Los Angeles. She tries to have a few bundles on hand wherever she goes, in case she sees someone in need.
Rachael brings hope and compassion to people who are struggling while acknowledging their humanity. We’re thrilled to have Rachael as part of our MKRO family and proud to award her our Kindness Grant.
We’d also like to acknowledge the many people who sent in their fantastic ideas for kindness projects. While we wish we could give our grant to every kindness project submitted, there were so many wonderful ideas, we regret we have only a few to give. We want to thank each and every one of you for submitting your ideas and hope you continue to spread kindness everywhere you go.
Is there someone who inspires you with their kindness? Nominate them for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.
Do you have an act-of-kindness project you want to do but need help funding it? Submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $500 and let us help you spread kindness.