The Jay Austin Simply Be Kind Foundation, creating social change through environmental awareness, literacy, healthy life choices and a love for the great outdoors, is now live! Visit us at www.thejayaustinsimplybekindfoundation.com Simply be kind to the planet, to each other and to ourselves.
UPDATE 08 31 2019:
A year has gone by of navigating through the fog of Jay's loss and now it's time to get to work and do some good! It's time to bring this effort back to life with a meaningful focus and I need your help!
I'm creating The Jay Austin Simply Be Kind Foundation which should be up and running by the end of this year after muddling through the bureaucratic red tape, with our first events planned for April of 2020. The foundation will be a not-for-profit organization, donations will be tax deductible, focusing on an awareness to heal the environment, protect the environment, encourage planet growth; to educate the public to practice sustainable living; to organize community gardens across the country to encourage healthy lifestyles; as well as to encourage children, teens and adults to get excited about reading and writing and nature .. just some of Jay's passions, with more to come .. with the overall message to simply be kind to our planet, to each other and to ourselves.
In order to organize our first events .. our World Book Day and Earth Day events throughout April of 2020 and the First Annual Jay Austin Simply Be Kind Foundation Bike Ride and Picnic to be held on May 3rd, 2020 ... we will need funding. I am asking each of you who have eyes on this page to please donate from $1 to $5, no more. I'm asking for simple, for easy, for affordable. Your small donation will have a huge impact. If a donation of any size is not in your price range, I'm asking you forward this page to all of your friends and family. This donation is to fund the start up of the foundation. Moving forward, the foundation will fund itself. Thank you!
UPDATE 02 14 2019: We've committed to a monthly recurring donation to Nowhere Men. Brian, Alex and Eric from Brooklyn, New York travel around the world videoing and 'celebrating the amazing people that make our world great'.
UPDATE 11 27 2018: Today, on Giving Tuesday, we donated $2,000 to World Bicycle Relief which was matched for a total donation of $4,000 which equates to donating 23 bicycles. We've changed the life of 23 human beings that can now change the life of so many others they provide support for. We did good!
UPDATE 11 27 2018: I am happy to announce that Jay's fund made a $50 donation today, GivingTuesday, resulting in a total donation of $100 to a fabulous no-cost organization, with facilitators volunteering their time to help those who have lost loved ones. Stephy's Place, located in Red Bank, New Jersey, is very close to my heart, as I am a member.
UPDATE 11 25 2018: It's time for an update! Since the last posting, we've built and delivered the toy chest and busy board (click on GoFundMe page and then 'updates' to see photos), purchased a busy box, all for the Children's Playtime Project, and donated $200 to Brooke Koronet's Playtime Project fundraiser. We've also donated $2,000 .. the equivalent of 13 bikes .. to the World Bicycle Relief fund. I'm currently in the process of creating an assist fund for world cyclists. I'll update when that happens. Please pass on Jay's GoFundMe page to family, friends, co-workers, whomever you may come across, to help continue to carry on Jay's legacy. Thank you to all those who have already donated!
It is with great joy that I can announce that after visiting with the wonderful staff at the Homeless Children's Playtime Project in Washington, DC .. a project close and dear to my son Jay's heart, at which he volunteered on a weekly basis for a few years, working with the children as well as acting as carpenter and photographer at need .. that they have compiled a wish list. We will be building a much-needed toy chest and purchasing a busy board and a busy box for the children, at their request. These items will be presented to the Project in the fall when my family and I are back in DC to attend Lauren's Celebration of Life memorial. Going forward, the Project will be, as always, in need of food and monetary donations which I hope we can provide through Jay's fund. We will also be sending a significant donation to the World Bicycle Relief fund. Unfortunately, there may not be enough funds to create a world cyclist fund, as I had hoped, but I am still holding onto the hope that I will be able to make this dream a reality. Thank you all so much for your very generous donations and for contributing to Jay's legacy. With thanks and much love, Jay's mom, Jea and family. xxx
"Life is short and the world is big and we want to make the most of our youth and good health before they're gone." "I could die doing what I love, but I could also die never having really lived. To me, that would have been a far greater tragedy.”
Jay Austin, author of these quotes, and his partner, Lauren Geoghegan, were traveling the world by bicycle when, on their 369th day, their lives tragically ended as the result of a terrorist attack in Tajikistan on Sunday, July 29th, 2018.
Please visit www.simplycycling.org where Jay was chronicling his trip.
As there is not one single cause that was dear to Jay's heart but rather many, I have set up this GoFundMe page so that donations can be dispersed to various causes. Some close to Jay's heart were the:
Homeless Children's Playtime Project in Washington, DC where Jay volunteered weekly over several years, giving his time to the children while also acting as photographer and carpenter-at-need;
World Bicycle Relief, which is 'a wonderful non-profit providing locally-assembled bicycles to those who could really use them to get around (to school, a health clinic, or a job) in Africa, South America, and southeast Asia. About every $147 buys a bicycle for someone who needs one, but you can donate any amount'; these words are taken directly from Jay's blog.
In Jay's honor, I would like to create a foundation for cyclists traveling the world that may need help from time to time, whether it be a meal or a place to sleep, something Jay and Lauren experienced occasionally during their travels.
Jay inspired so many in his local community, and at the Federal Housing Administration where he worked in Washington, DC, up until leaving for his trip, as well as inspiring people from around the world. He not only took this journey for his own personal gratification but also to model that if he can do it, anyone can. His message was to live life to the fullest, everyday, to live it now and not wait for someday. His wish would be that everyone be kind human beings.
A few years ago, in Washington DC, Jay co-created a tiny house workshop, Boneyard Studios, https://boneyardstudios.org, to illustrate that in urban areas, it's possible to live affordably and sustainably, while saving the planet at the same time, living green, leaving a smaller footprint. Jay put on workshops for anyone interested in following this model and people came from all over the country. He also used this space for local residents to come to Boneyard Studios where musicians would showcase their work on Jay's tiny house porch. Concerts were free to the public and Jay would provide refreshments.
Jay so strongly believed in leaving the world a better place, leaving a smaller footprint, in living minimally. He was featured in 'Minimalism, the Documentary', which can be viewed on Netflix.
These are some recent news articles on the attack, and on Jay and Lauren's journey:
Since Jay can no longer continue to spread his messages of inspiration, I would like to carry on his legacy. If donating isn't possible, please share this page and, as importantly, please pass on Jay's message of living life to the fullest now, leaving our planet a better place than when we got here, live simply and be kind human beings.
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