Today’s Honoree is Jeff Powell

Jeff Powell, Founder of, knows what it’s like to need a helping hand. The product of a broken home in a bad neighborhood, Jeff didn’t exactly begin life with a head start. At the age of 9 his father was murdered and he was essentially raised by his grandmother. Times were tough. And when you come from a bad neighborhood people tend to make assumptions about you. At 17, when Jeff tried to enter a new high school, he found himself immediately in the assistant principal’s office, about to be denied entry because of those very assumptions. But at that exact moment the principal was called out of the office for an emergency. A student had collapsed in the auditorium and wasn’t breathing. Jeff followed the principal and put his ROTC training to use, performing CPR on the student, and helping save her life. He was given the Medal of Heroism from the Department of the Army and honored by a letter from the governor. His principal started making different assumptions about Jeff. Sometimes, as Jeff knows, you just need somebody to believe in you.

Jeff knows a little bit about compassion as well. When his father’s killer was released from prison when Jeff was around 20, Jeff found himself faced with a choice: seek out the man who had taken away his father and exact retribution, or put the matter behind him and move on with his life. The choice came to an amazing crescendo one cold, snowy evening when, as fate would have it; the very killer of Jeff’s father came driving down Jeff’s street, having moved back to the same neighborhood after his release. He was with his girlfriend and infant son, and as Jeff looked out his front window, he could see the man was having car trouble. “It’s not that I wasn’t bitter,” Jeff relates. “I was. This is the man that killed my father, after all. But at that moment, I saw him with his baby, out in the cold, and I was overcome with a strange desire to help him.” So Jeff did. And as he helped fix one car problem, another appeared, in the form of a sudden flat tire. “I didn’t know what was going on,” admits Jeff. “It seemed like somebody was somehow trying to test me.” So Jeff fixed the flat as well. It was nothing less than a life-changing moment for him. “I had a choice,” said Jeff. “And I chose compassion. At that moment I determined that that’s how I should live my life.”

Since that time he’s served his country valiantly in the United States Navy (Seabees). His commitment to his country, coupled with his commitment to compassion, has ultimately led him to create, a vehicle by which he hopes to involve nothing less than his entire nation in helping out those Americans in need. Jeff’s a disabled veteran. And he knows that his involvement with may very well lead to a 100% loss of his disability benefits. “That’s not important,” Jeff says. “I really believe I can make a difference with this project. I believe in people, and I know that we all have a choice about helping people and about showing compassion. I’m not special. I’ve just tried to live my life in a way that reflects my beliefs. is just an extension of that.”

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