The Human Lighthouse Report Volume 1
Many of us have at least one individual that completely changed the course of our lives through acts of kindness. One of these people for me was a high school teacher, John Sykes. He provided a place for me to stay after I had been lost in the gaps of the foster care system for over a decade. He turned my doubts into a destination.
I call these people “human lighthouses”. They provide light and hope in uncertain times, with their help we can make it on the right path.
You’re probably wondering, who are these lighthouses? What do they do that makes them so impactful? On a weekly basis we cover some of these stories of real people making a big impact on their communities to help us find our more common story.
Sam Loub is a hobbyist photographer who is active in the Manhattan food and arts scene. He has made it his goal to create friends everywhere he goes and bring a smile to others' faces.
His family has described him as enthusiastic, optimistic, fearless and focused. His mom, Kelly Loub, said, “Sam knows how to light up a room. You hear him laugh, you know it’s Sam. It just brings a smile to your face.” When Sam moved to Chicago, he realized the ability he had to make connections with others. He claimed it was “what he had to do”. Now, living in Manhattan and working at his family's restaurant, he gives out little disco ball charms and other items. When something might stress you out or you’re having a bad day, just little acts of kindness can really turn that around for people,” Sam said. “That’s what I love to do.” This is an example of leading and being a lighthouse to others through small acts of kindness. Now to Sam, it’s just a little thing however, but this act could be just the kind of thing that someone needs in a moment of difficulty.
Keith Stewart is a jewelry maker at Danenberg Jewelers. Even though he was always interested in the arts and welding, Stuart decided to pursue accounting because art school didn’t feel practical enough. Once he got married and saw the significance of him and his wife’s wedding bands, he dove into the field of jewelry. Stewart has been described as a “complete perfectionist” and “one of the most even-tempered people I’ve ever known.”
Recently, Stewark helped design a sentimental item for sisters who wanted to get their late parents’ wedding bands turned into a keepsake. The rings were broken and bent, so he helped design a pin that intertwined them.
“Where it came from has so much meaning behind it,” Stewart said. “It just made me realize how important a piece of jewelry can be to somebody.”
Stewart helps people by giving them an item of great sentimental value whether it’s a wedding band, keepsake, or a customized gift. He knows the memories it holds and makes sure to create to the best of his ability.
Heidi Basch-Harod has worked with the Los Angeles based nonprofit, Women's Voices Now, since 2012. Her goal is to show the impact that women have through allowing them to tell their stories. Every year, the nonprofit hosts a film festival which features women’s films that focus on highlighting issues that affect women and girls globally.
Heidi, who has a background in journalism, government, and activism, says: “By supporting women filmmakers who produce social-change films about women’s issues, we engage audiences in advancing girls’ and women’s rights.”
She is also involved in running a program called Girls’ Voices Now, which seeks to amplify the voices of youth in Los Angeles that come from under-resourced communities. Many of these children have great creative ability but are never encouraged to use it due to their circumstances.
Heidi leads by example. She sees a problem and actively works to fix it and hopes that others will join in.
Lighthouse Effect Thought of The Week
Anyone and everyone is capable of making a change in people’s lives whether that’s through small things like random acts of kindness, your passion for jewelry making, or even something bigger like running a nonprofit.
The Lighthouse Effect is the idea that any of us - immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, wrestling with our own ambitions and imperfections - can pause, and change the arc of the life of another-and find one for ourselves.