Daniel Shkolnik

Daniel Lev Shkolnik – Kindling for Kindness

Kindling for Kindness is a pay-it-forward charity started and run by Daniel Lev Shkolnik. The charity places small packets of money throughout US cities in unexpected places for people to find. Instructions in the packet urge the finder to take the money and use it on somebody else that day, spreading kindness to at least two people—and since kindness is contagious, potentially more.

The idea for the project came to me in the middle of the night. I’d recently been approached by someone from the Awesome Project, which also gives out $1000 grants to, well, “awesome” projects. But I was stuck as to what I’d do with the money. Lying in bed, with half my mind already gone to the dream world, I sat up a very clear notion of what to do: “I’ll just give it away.” The how developed quickly after that, inspired by stories I’d heard of others leaving money for unsuspecting recipients.

The project wants to reclaim how we think about money: not as a source of greed, envy, or coldness of heart, but as something that kindles human light. The Pollination Project grant will allow us to launch a distribution campaign in New York City, and establish a website where people can donate to the project, learn how to recreate the project in their own communities and allow recipients of the money to post photos and anecdotes of what they did with it—inspiring others in the process.