Riley’s Way Foundation: Call for Kindness 2019

New York, NY, January 21, 2019 – Riley’s Way is excited to announce the launch of a national contest: the  Riley’s Way Call for Kindness. The Call for Kindness is an incredible opportunity for young people to share their ideas to make a difference in their communities and win funding to implement their projects. “It’s one thing to be a good person at heart and it’s another to actually put kindness into action. It is really rewarding” said Arabella, an 11th-grader at The Hewitt School and member of Riley’s Way Councils – a public-private school program that empowers young leaders to promote kindness and empathy.

Riley’s Way’s Call for Kindness is looking to fund six ambitious, teen-led projects that drive change, inspire kindness, and build meaningful connections in their communities. We invite individuals or groups of students from across the US to apply. Each winning project will receive a $3,000 prize to complete or continue their work with their school or nonprofit partner.

To-date, Riley’s Way Foundation has worked with over 1,000 students and teachers, and empowers young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and drive positive change. The Call for Kindness, Riley’s Way’s newest program, and first national initiative, officially launched on Monday, January 21, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Call for Kindness will be judged by current Riley’s Way Council teens, who will lend their expertise and mentorship on building connections and fostering meaningful relationships with peers, mentors, and community members from all walks of life. Using current young leaders to identify and support future leaders is what Riley’s Way is all about. As Sophia, a 10th-grader at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria and co-chair of one of the Riley’s Way Councils beautifully put it, “With so much happening in the world, it is important for everyone, especially youth, to step up and improve our society. Thanks to Riley’s Way, I am a part of this movement.”

Riley’s Way Foundation, founded in 2014 by Ian and Mackenzie Sandler after the loss of their nine-year-old daughter, Riley Hannah Sandler, empowers young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and drive positive change in the world. “I am thrilled to see Riley’s spirit and love of life carried forward in the Call for Kindness by fostering her kindness, caring, compassion, and empathy in other children. This mission has never been more important than it is today” expressed Ian Sandler.

For information on how to answer the Call for Kindness, visit and watch the short video that our Council members created. The website also contains examples of teen- led community projects and frequently asked questions to get you started.


About the Call for Kindness

Riley’s Way is looking for six “Kindness Fellows” who will work with their school or a nonprofit partner to design and implement a project that embodies Riley’s Way values to inspire kindness and build meaningful connections in their community. Project ideas can be brand new projects or ideas that improve or expand an existing teen-led initiative.

Riley’s Way will award a $3,000 prize to six teen-led projects in order to complete or continue their initiatives. The award money will be granted to the Kindness Fellows’ school or nonprofit partner to fund the project. Kindness Fellows will receive publicity on the Riley’s Way website and social media, guidance from Riley’s Way staff as they implement their project, and automatic participation in our 2019 Youth Conference.

Complete applications are due at 11:59 pm EST on March 22, 2019. Our teen judges will review the applications with support from the Riley’s Way Foundation Board, key partners, and staff. Projects will be judged on how they embody Riley’s Way values, their feasibility, need, and impact. We will announce the winners on May 6, 2019, in honor of Riley’s birthday.

About Riley’s Way Foundation

Riley’s Way Foundation empowers young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and drive positive change through their councils, programming, and events. By equipping teens, students, and young adults with life tools, they are building a network of leaders who view kindness and empathy as strengths to drive change, create connections, communicate ideas, and develop projects, and make a difference in their communities.

A powerful memory of love and empathy is their foundation. Riley’s Way Foundation was established by Mackenzie & Ian Sandler in 2014 to honor the life of their nine-year-old daughter Riley Hannah Sandler. They honor Riley’s spirit and love of life by helping young leaders to use kindness and empathy to drive change and create connections in their communities, building a better world.