MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Welcome to our latest installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is Laura Reiss, local mom and President/Founder of the Samaritans365 Foundation!
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to start your foundation…
As the Founder and President of the Samaritans365 Foundation, the true secret to my success is simply that…I was raised well. My parents taught me how to be grateful for who you are, what you have and give back where you can. I was also taught the value of thinking positively and appreciating life. And, as the mother of three girls, I’ve started instilling these same values at an early age.
My girls caught on easily. From there, I was inspired to create the Samaritans365 Foundation to spread the same ideas and values to all children.
In 2007, I conceived the program upon which the Samaritans365 Foundation was founded.
I created a community service project to give my children and our local community the opportunity to experience the joy that comes from giving. I also wanted them to understand that even small acts of generosity can make a big difference. Sunrise Park Elementary, where my children went to school, welcomed the program immediately. Within a few months, we had the first 35 members of the Sunrise Park Samaritans after school club.
Every time we got together, I spoke with them about gratitude, being truly happy with who you are, what you have, and giving back where you could. We talked about saving the environment, a variety of ways to give back, respecting yourself and others, showing kindness to yourselves, in your homes, schools, communities, the world and feeling really good about it all.
The club quickly grew into a monthly meeting. We got to hear from a different speaker–all about who they were and how they gave back to our community.
We also did projects to give back to the foundations who visited us. Some examples were making dog toys for the Humane Society, thank you letters to Forgotten Soldiers and get well art for sick children at West Boca Medical Center. My hope was that the kids would get inspired and start thinking about different ways they could give back on their own.
What is truly unique about your foundation?
This Kindness movement is all inclusive. It is for all ages, religions, financial situations, colors, sizes, shapes, backgrounds and beliefs. We have created a platform and education for everyone to get on the same page about compassion, gratitude and kindness. Our kindness training is easily accessible and available online on our website at www.kindnessmatters365.org.
Why should Modern Boca Moms get involved with the Samaritans365 Foundation?
There are several ways readers can and should become involved. For children, there is likely a local school or organization that has a Samaritans365 Kindness Club already running. Enrolling a child in the program will teach him or her the values and ideals that we as parents want our children to learn. These include kindness to all, compassion for others, and that a single person can make a profound difference.
For those who don’t have children or whose kids go to a school where we are not yet established, they have an amazing opportunity to start their own Kindness Club. Starting a club involves training as a Kindness Ambassador (an ambassador is responsible for going through the S365 kindness training and running a club) on our website. Once you go through training and become an official Ambassador, you have the opportunity to lead and inspire kindness anywhere in your own community.
Our vision is to teach, educate, inspire and spread kindness so that the children of today raise their own children with these same values. Hopefully before we know it, we have an entire generation of kind minded human beings. This is possible and it is happening.
What exciting things are coming up for Samaritans365?
As of this fall, we will have over 85 Kindness Clubs in 7 states and have impacted the lives of thousands. We are looking forward to expanding both locally and nationally. Anyone who would like to start a Kindness Club can get started through our website. There are opportunities to start clubs for Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High Schools, Home Schools and Colleges. The kindness programs are offered in schools as a free after school/enrichment program or part of the school’s curriculum, which is our ultimate goal.
We are also expanding with private businesses and other community clubs outside of the school programs.
Our annual Kindness Movement Celebration Event is Saturday, November 4th (2017). The entire community is welcome to join in giving back to the S365 Foundation. Details can be found at www.eventbrite.com (search “Kindness Movement Celebration Event”).
What do you love about living and working in South Florida?
There is a strong sense of community here is South Florida. I have lived here most of my life. The weather is beautiful, people are happy. And, I am watching the Kindness Movement spread throughout South Florida like a wave covering up the sand when the tide rolls in. I am grateful!
Connect with the Samaritans365 Foundation:
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