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Episode 5: April 30, 2019

Justin Kruger: Giving Back to Our Community

Justin discusses the importance of giving back to the community, volunteering changing his life, and improving mental and social wellness by helping others.

Episode 5: April 30, 2019

Justin Kruger: Giving Back to Our Community

Justin discusses the importance of giving back to the community, volunteering changing his life, and improving mental and social wellness by helping others.

Episode Overview

Justin Kruger is the founder of Project Helping, a non-profit based out of Denver, Colorado that improves mental wellness through what he has dubbed kyndfulness, or a daily practice of volunteering, intentional acts of kindness, and gratitude. Practicing kyndfulness brings awareness to the impact that serving your community can have on others and on your own mental state.

Justin has gone on to found Kyndhub, an online community that similarly encourages people to do kind things for one another, and Kyndkit, a service that delivers volunteer experiences right to your door. Through Project Helping and Kyndhub, Justin has done a great deal to give back to the community of Denver, with over 1,000 volunteer events in the past 5 years, and both companies help foster volunteerism worldwide.

In this episode, you’ll learn how a third date led Justin to his very first volunteer experience, how his path took him from professional golf to a corporate career to founding a non-profit. Justin talks about how he uses volunteering as therapy and his treatment for anxiety and depression and explains why he thinks volunteering truly saved his life.

If you’re already asking yourself, “How can I give back?”, “Where can I help?” and “When can I start contributing?” you’ll find out how to use Justin’s platforms to find volunteering experiences in your area that are easy to jump right into. Amy and Justin will even give some advice to their younger selves, so stay for the end.

What we cover:

  • How Justin and Amy were Facebook friends before they ever met in real life at an Avett Brothers concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater
  • Justin’s first volunteer experience and how it changed his life in more ways than one!
  • How volunteering creates hope and connection instantly
  • The chemicals that are released and positively alter your mental state when you give back to the community
  • Volunteering as a consistent practice
  • Kyndkits — volunteer experiences delivered through the mail for individuals or companies
  • The difference between “giving back to those experiencing homelessness” vs. “giving back to the homeless”
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy, or parts work

Hopefully, this episode will remind you of the importance and benefits of giving back to others and inspire you to give back to our community and in doing so, contribute to society right away.

Please note that the volunteer experiences that Amy mentions in the episode have passed since interviewed Justin Kruger. To look for more upcoming volunteer events near you, visit ProjectHelping.org or join Kyndhub today. You can also get your Kyndkit in the mail, and reach out to Justin and his team at ProjectHelping.org to bring volunteering events to your community!

Social Wellness Challenge

Have authentic conversations every day!

Be intentional, even for a week, about trying to have an authentic conversation or ask an authentic question, every day for a week, and be really aware of how that makes you feel.

When you ask somebody how they are, don’t settle for “I’m fine” or “I’m busy” or “I’m good” when you genuinely want to know how they’re doing. Instead, try on asking, “What have you done lately that really lit you up?” or “What have you done that gave you a sense of purpose or connection recently?” See how that feels!

Links

Project Helping, Kyndhub, and Kyndkit — Justin’s kyndfulness organizations

The Avett Brothers – A rock band that was playing a Red Rocks concert where Amy & Justin first met

Dr. Martin Seligman, known as the father of positive psychology, giving a talk on “The new era of positive psychology” at TED 2004

Metro Caring – Denver metro non-profit organization offering a Fresh-Foods Mart, nutrition and cooking education, and anti-hunger programming and services

Urban Peak — Colorado-based non-profit offering full services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless

Butterfly Pavilion — Colorado butterfly monitoring network at the Denver Botanical Gardens Chatfield Farms

Bonusly — Personal recognition and rewards program used by the Fabriq team

Women’s Bean Project — Hiring and empowering chronically unemployed women to make nourishing products and learn to be self-sufficient

Lost Connections by Johann Hari — Book referencing the hidden causes behind anxiety and depression, including lack of purpose and lack of contribution

Internal Family Systems Therapy, or parts work

Limelight 2019 Recap — Benefitting Project Helping

This Week’s Guest

Justin Kruger

After struggling with his own mental wellness for some time, Justin Kruger participated in a volunteer experience that changes his life. He found joy through serving others. The more he volunteered, the better he felt — his depression symptoms faded as he was filled with a sense of purpose.

He then went on to found  Project Helping, Kyndhub, and Kyndkit.  All three organizations promote kyndfulness, the daily practice of volunteering, intentional acts of kindness, and gratitude, and emphasize the positive effect that volunteering has on our mental wellness.

As executive director of Project Helping, Justin helps organize volunteer experiences in Denver, Tampa, & San Diego, although he’d be happy to speak with you about bringing Project Helping volunteer experiences to your local community. Plus, you can interact with Kyndhub worldwide and order Kyndkits nationwide.

I look at social wellness as consistent, authentic connections with other human beings.

Justin Kruger

Founder, Project Helping, Kyndub, Kyndkit

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