Life Vest Inside
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Life Vest Inside acts to prevent social issues such as bullying, depression, and substance abuse from materializing by taking a proactive approach. LVI utilize the transformative power of kindness to empower people to recognize their value and that of others.
As a non-profit, LVI runs solely on the donations and contributions of its supporters.
Orly Wahba is an educator, entrepreneur, and community activist passionate about inspiring and motivating people to make the world a kinder place. In 2011, Orly founded Life Vest Inside, with the goal to empower and unite through the power of kindness. Through Life Vest Inside, Orly encourages people to embrace the incredible power of giving and recognize that in times of hardship, kindness, like a life vest, keeps the world afloat.
LVI gained international acclaim when Orly’s award-winning short film Kindness Boomerang went viral, reaching over 80 million people and counting; landing her a spot to speak at TED2013 on the magic of kindness.
Orly began her career in kindness as a Middle School educator in the Yeshiva of Flatbush, empowering children to embrace unity, build their self-value, and use their power to influence the world for good. Orly is most known for incorporating and integrating ideas of kindness, love and respect in the hearts and minds of her students both in and out of the classroom setting. She is often quoted as saying, “Kindness; don’t just do it; live it.”
Orly frequently tours giving talk at schools, college campuses, companies and organizations that are interested in incorporating a culture of kindness in their establishments. She is represented by the MacMillan Speakers Bureau.
Orly Wahba received her Bachelor’s Degree from Brooklyn College in Film Production and English. She also received a Master’s Degree in Jewish History from Touro College. In November 2012 Orly was elected to the International Council of the World Kindness Movement. She is currently working on publishing her book, a Guide to Kindness through MacMillan publishers.
In January 2007, Orly boarded a plane for a winter vacation with her family. During an airport stopover, she heard that a seven-year old young girl from her community, had died from leukemia. It made her think of how young children react to death and similar major events. Then she saw an aircraft sign saying “LIFE VEST INSIDE.” and realised that a life vest has the ability to stay afloat regardless of how much you push down on it.
LVI works to cultivate the awareness that individuals can effect real and positive change in the people around them, simply by ‘living kindness:’ by embodying empathy and compassion in their day-to-day lives. Life Vest Inside equips people worldwide with the necessary tools to recognize their own potential to become a catalyst for positive change in the world. They transform inspiration into action through inspirational media, technology, education, and on-the-ground social engagement.
Film and Media
LVI utilizes the powerful medium of film to inspire change worldwide. Starting with its viral film, Kindness Boomerang.
In October 2011, Life Vest Inside posted a video called "Kindness Boomerang". Masterfully shot all in one take, it shows a chain reaction of random kindness, as strangers are helped—and then help others—through a bustling cityscape. It avoids being merely sentimental through the expert execution, and even achieves a strange power—packing more authentic human emotion into its five minutes than most corporate advertisers manage in a year or more. Kindness Boomerang was shot on September 1, 2010. Wahba explains that each scene is based on real life experiences she personally went through; moments that left a lasting impression.
The music, "One Day" by the American Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, perfectly fits the themes of the video. And the spot's structure is sublime—bookending it with the same construction worker brings the message of karma full circle.
Revolution of Love: released November 13, 2015 set to LVI’s original song Revolution of Love in which a struggling musician utilizes his talents to help a homeless man find hope in a time of despair.
Dance for Kindness
In 2012, Life Vest Inside initiated Dance For Kindness, a WorldWide event in celebration of World Kindness Day. Groups from across the globe join together to perform a Kindness Freezmob/Flashmob to the same song, same dance, all happening on the same day. The purpose of Dance for Kindness is to show that regardless of the differences in race, religion, ethnicity culture and background — the common thread that ties us together is kindness.
The Dance for Kindness flagship location is located in the heart of NYC, Times Square.
Dance for Kindness Stats:
- 2012: 15 Countries, 30 cities, 3,500 participants
- 2013: 25 countries, 30 cities, 5,000 participants
- 2014: 30 countries, 80 cities, 10,000 participants
- 2015: 50 countries, 100 cities, 12,000+ participants
DFK Group Leaders: Each city is run by LVI fans that sign up to become a Group Leader in their region. Group Leaders organize the events under the guidance and leadership of Life Vest Inside.
DFK Anthem Contest: Music is a large component of Dance for Kindness. It also has the most amazing power to uplift, inspire and unite. In the summer of 2014, LVI Founder, Orly Wahba, had an idea to create an original song for Dance for Kindness. She reached out to four artists and asked them to come up with an original song that embodies the purpose of Dance for Kindness. Once the songs were submitted, it was left in the hands of the DFK Group Leaders to vote as to which song would be the official DFK2014 anthem.
Votes were cast and Charles Preston’s song, Revolution of Love was chosen as the first original DFK anthem.
Starting in 2015, LVI opened up this opportunity to any and all musicians from around the globe to submit a demo that would be voted on by the public. LVI works with music industry professionals to produce the song to be heard worldwide on the day of Dance for Kindness.
- 2014 DFK Anthem Winner: Charles Preston, Revolution of Love
- 2015 DFK Anthem Winner: Yaakov Feldstein, More Light
Dance for Kindness FlashMob and FreezeMob songs are part of the DFK compilation album Connect. Album proceeds got to further LVI’s mission.
Project Hope Exchange
Project Hope Exchange is a joint initiative of Life Vest Inside and Adversity to Advocacy; giving people a unique opportunity to Give Hope and Get Hope all in 30 seconds.
Through Project Hope Exchange (PHE), LVI and A2A collect, aggregate and share 30 second anonymous audio messages of hope from individuals that have been through some kind of adversity to others who are currently facing that same adversity. At the heart of the exchange are real human voices.
The Kindness Ambassador Program
The Kindness Ambassador Program is an online virtual training program, connecting like minded individuals from over 120 countries teaching tolerance, respect and cultivating compassion within the hearts of its kindness ambassador members (6,000+ members and growing).
Kindness Ambassadors receive daily encouragement and support from fellow ambassadors empowering them to dream big and never give up. Ambassadors receive weekly kindness tasks, that range from personal exploration to community activism, inspiring and motivating them to make a change in the world and in themselves.
Celebrity Kindness Ambassadors Include:
LVI Kindness Tools
Act of Kindness (AOK) cards are Life Vest Inside’s signature kindness tool. Each deck with 26 different acts of kindness, prompting the person to perform the act of kindness and pass it on to someone else to keep the kindness going. LVI has also created AOK cards for Kids as well as customized Acts of Kindness decks for schools, companies and organizations.
Catching Kindness cards are passed over to someone who has been spotted performing an act of kindness for another. "Tag you’re it! Now it’s your turn to keep your eyes and peeled and catch someone else in the act of kindness."
Both cards serve as a fun and exciting method of incorporating kindness into our daily lives and increasing our awareness to what kindness looks like.
The Kindness Journey
In September 2014, 11 year-old Jaden Winn and his mother, Amanda Winn, set out on a “voluntourism” adventure across the United States, where they took Life Vest Inside’s vision of sharing meaningful and tangible acts of kindness and compassion out on the road for a whole year.
They carried the message of the Life Vest Inside mission within the communities of each city they visited and engaged them in conversations and activities to inspire greater kindness and compassion in the world. Their intention was to encourage those they met along their journey to join the kindness movement and to help raise awareness and funding for Life Vest Inside.
Jaden became Life Vest Inside’s youngest Kindness Ambassador during the year-long US tour and he spoke to kids about what The Kindness Journey meant to him personally and how kids can inspire meaningful change in the world.
Amanda was proud to officially step into the role as a Life Vest Inside Kindness Activist, where she focused her social giving efforts in meeting with School Administrators, Teachers and Parent Activists about the value and benefits of the Life Vest Inside’s Kindness Curriculum and especially how participating in giving-forward programs with her son have enriched their relationship.
LVI’s Kindness Curriculum is based on three main tenets: Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy. With these tools LVI looks to build a empathetic foundation in children and in turn look to end bullying. The curriculum also looks to build a foundation of self-efficacy and self-value to improve the overall goals and combat childhood depression.
Currently, the curriculum is developed for grades K-5 and is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy bringing kindness, compassion and empathy into the classroom. Each grade level is composed of one unit of study in language arts (6 lessons). LVI has hopes and plans of developing the curriculum further to extend into an entire year long curriculum as well as expand through 12th grade. Long term goals include developing curriculum in other subject area as well such as history, math and science.
Simple stats the Kindness Curriculum looks to impact:
- 77% of students have admitted to being the victim of physical, verbal, or cyber bullying
- 1 out of every 4 children will be bullied at some point. (American Justice Department)
- Adults who were bullied as teens have higher levels of depression and poorer self-esteem than other adults
- 30% of bullied students reported depression.
- 11% reported serious thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- 19% of those who frequently bullied others reported experiencing depression
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