They live and share a life of compassion. Meet Jonathan Duhon and Co-Founder Jennifer Rodriguez of Donate A Box.org. They are the messengers and the mission is their focus. They connect with people around the world to provide essentials and information towards their neighbours in New York experiencing homelessness. The Love Anyway Project is pleased to interview and share their words in hopes to continue inspiring those around them.
Donate A Box™ is a program that provides the community a confident way to assist people. It allows people from all over the world to provide essentials to residents experiencing homelessness, while at the same time enlisting the help of the community to deliver the donated packages. We also send a thank you video to the donor each time their box is delivered so that they see exactly where and to whom their money is going.
Why this path? Why Donate A Box.org?
Members of my family, including myself, have experienced homelessness. One thing that I learned through the rough times is that it was a lot easier to listen to people who didn’t know my personal situation but the problem is that people who don’t know the intricate details aren’t always willing to help. I believe that a little goes a long way, and being able to show someone you care from across the globe can bring so much hope to someone having a hard time out there.
Was there a specific event that triggered you to begin and pursue this dream?
In early October 2015, I was feeling anxious, from being incomplete. I had my family and a newborn son but I wanted to do more. I literally had a dream about it and we started the first phase of Donate A Box™ a week later.
Have you still felt the anxiety from day to day?
I feel anxious everyday because I want to do more and more and sometimes I feel like we aren’t moving fast enough. Also, being conscious that I have so much to learn and not a lot of time causes anxiety.
How do you get our of your head and just take action?
I try to celebrate all successes. Whenever we get a new subscriber/donator or a comment on social media, we celebrate. It may be a simple high five but we make sure that we capitalize on all aspects of progress to provide motivation and strength.
How did you overcome the hesitation or reluctance to start?
I wasn’t discouraged and I didn’t hesitate. My advice to people that do feel hesitation is to remember. Remember how we feel when others care. Remember how it feels to receive help when we feel weak. Remember, unforeseen occurrences befalls us all and for some it is a back breaker and in remembering that; we must remember that moments of action can promote health, progress and will in others.
What are some your challenges and hardships with Donate A Box.org?
Gaining exposure is the biggest challenge. We know that people care and want to help, which is evident in the residency of our members. We have members in the UK, Canada, Australia and across the states but we are new and we can do a lot more.
How do you overcome the challenge of gaining exposure?
We provide proof of action with every donation via video, so Instagram has been a good way to connect with the world. We are on social media @donateabox everywhere and we are currently working on an app that will connect the world that care about homelessness.
What has been your proudest achievement with Donate A Box.org?
The proudest achievement is the number of people we have been able to assist via Donate A Box™ – In just over 7 months from the conception of the idea, we have been able to help well over 200 people by delivering the essentials provided by our members.
What advice would you give to those trying to pursue their passion in making a difference in the world?
Figure it out. Don’t give up. Many times we stall ourselves due to excuses and other reason. My only advice is to figure it out. How? Exhaust all resources to figure it out, the reward is far greater than not doing anything.
The Love Anyway Project admires the strength and humility Jonathan and Jennifer carries.
Thank you for sharing the smiles of others through your videos,
Thank you for the deep compassion for your neighbours,
Thank you for choosing to Love Anyway!
Follow them on instagram @donateabox and find out how you can help at: