Winners of the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award

silas kindness winner
Liz Buechele Kindness Winner

Silas Scauzillo and Liz Buechele

Once again, we are lucky to have a very generous donor that allows us to give out an additional Kindness Award.  We were overwhelmed with all the nominations of truly amazing people who were nominated for the Kindness Award.  All of these kind-hearted people who do so much to make our world a better place.  So, thank you to everyone who took the time to write about the person who inspired you and we couldn’t agree more, they are incredible and we celebrate each and every one of them.  (May 2019)

Silas Scauzillo (Rockledge, FL – only 9 years old but incredibly compassionate), for his every day small acts of kindness, for the way he works to promote acceptance of everyone in spite of differences and for his newest project, to get a friendship bench installed at the local elementary school. We received over 60 (not a typo, yes, over 60!) nominations recommending Silas for the Kindness Award. All these people told us how much Silas inspired them and why he should win this award. 

Here are a few of the things they had to say about him:

Silas is 9 years old and started a Kindness Squad a few years ago, which now has quite a few members from various states. It began as a way to sprinkle kindness and pay it forward while spreading Down syndrome awareness in honor of his baby sister, Gianna. He began to realize the power of acceptance and kindness and was driven to make a difference.

Silas is always thinking of ways to spread kindness to the community, and expects nothing in return. He works tirelessly to promote acceptance of everybody, no matter if they have different abilities. 

Silas is a young man who donates his time and energy to good causes and has a deep well of compassion.  He is a tireless warrior for those in need.

Silas started his own campaign for Random Acts of a Kindness (RAK).  He is on a mission. He started this campaign in school and has grown not only with students in his school but also teachers, staff and parents.  He has had cards printed, which he hands out when doing a RAK. Even just holding a door open, picking up something that fell, a kind word exchanged, Silas would go to a Dollar store and buy items, using his own money, which he would then leave with his RAK card at a park, playground, etc. 

Silas is a friend to every child he meets and an advocate for those who are different. Silas works hard to make sure everyone is included and shows kindness toward all.

Silas is a kindness ambassador, his focus is doing Random Acts of Kindness around his community, His current project is placing Buddy Benches around his school to promote acceptance, friendship and anti-bullying.  He has a vision to help promote inclusion, eliminate loneliness and create friendships.  

We know Matt would be touched by Silas and would be proud for him to win.

Liz Buechele (New York City, NY) had an aha moment in 2011 and has been spreading positivity and kindness ever since.  We love that she not only does random acts of kindness on a daily basis, but she has a program for high school and college students encouraging them to form clubs that do acts of kindness in their communities. We see her compassion exponentially rippling out in the world!

Liz Buechele started The Smile Project, a nonprofit organization that spreads happiness through random acts of kindness and raising awareness of ways that individuals can become more present in the world, positively impacting their loved ones and strangers that they interact with throughout the course of everyday life.

Liz also started SPARK clubs as a branch of The Smile Project. SPARK (Strengthening Positivity and Reinforcing Kindness) clubs have been started at six high schools and colleges in their communities by students with the help of Liz, allowing them to learn valuable leadership skills and better their communities with acts of kindness and service. 

In Summer 2018, Liz embarked on a 55-day cross-country road trip with the goal of the road trip (named the “Kindness Always Tour”) being to start with a service project in one city that would then be brought to the aid of an organization of the next city, who would do the same for the organization in the next destination, and so on. Liz did so much preparation for this “pass it forward” trip, and seeing the pure joy of the organization members in each state when they realized that they were on the receiving end of the hard work that people in the previous place (that they had never met either) had done to benefit them. Liz spread joy and happiness to those old and young from the East Coast to the West Coast, creating a chain reaction of service projects and good feelings to be passed on around the US.

An example of the passing forward of service projects and kindness was with the Cleveland Girl Scouts who happened to be in Savannah, Georgia. They made these INCREDIBLE baskets which Liz then took to Fur Kids Animal Shelter in Atlanta to give to new puppy parents.

Liz also gave back and spread happiness through random acts of kindness each day on the road trip, in Temple, she visited Doree Collins of the Un-Included Club at their community garden, brought coffee and cake pops to doctors at the local hospital, decorated the staff room with inspirational sticky notes, and brought confetti party poppers to bring the 4th of July celebrations to those who couldn’t leave the hospital. On another day, at a coffee shop in Charleston, shepre-bought travel mugs so the next guests who came in to order coffee received a free coffee AND travel mug.

Liz accomplished so much throughout the course of the Smile Project road trip this past summer, and she is planning to do another similar project/trip/event in the near future. She is such a selfless and service-minded individual, and it brings me joy to see how much happiness and kindness she brings to everyone she comes into contact with. Her love for humanity radiates like the sun on a summer day.

Liz is exactly the person we want to recognize and give a shout out about, so everyone can be inspired by her awesomeness!

Liz Buechele Kindness Winner

Thank you, Silas and Liz, we’re honored to give you the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award!

As always, I’d appreciate it if you would help me get the word out about the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250 (nominate someone who inspires you) and the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 (submit an act of kindness you would do with $250).

4 thoughts on “Winners of the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award”

  1. Awesome recipients…two diverse individuals with a common goal of spreading kindness in their own unique ways…congrats!

  2. Congratulations to Silas and Liz
    A lesson we could all learn
    Constant kindness accomplish’s much.

  3. WOW, those are two great winner’s, Matt would be so pleased. The love and compassion these two bring to all those that come in contact with them is an inspiration to me. Just reading about their acts of kindness brings tears to my eyes. It’s especially amazing to me that a 9 year old is so aware and able to express his concern and love for other’s. We can all take their example and get out there and spread the love

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