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Ep 012: “Solving Social Issues through Kindness” with Jeff Rotmeyer, ImpactHK & Love 21 Foundation

In this episode, I talked to Jeff Rotmeyer, an extraordinary school teacher turned social entrepreneur who started two NGOs on the same day. Jeff is the Founder & CEO of ImpactHK, an NGO that is tackling the homeless issue in Hong Kong, and Love 21 Foundation, a charity working with the Down’s syndrome and Autistic community in sport and nutrition.

He shares with me more about his motivation and challenges of running two NGOs, the system they’ve developed to get the homeless off the streets, and how sports and art play a big part in holistically supporting their communities.

What we talked about:

  • Why Jeff decided to run 2 charities
  • What motivated him to work with the homeless and Down’s syndrome/Autistic community
  • Biggest challenges running the two NGOs
  • How his business evolved from his blog and personal volunteering experience with the homeless that made a huge impact on him
  • Whether language is a barrier when helping the homeless
  • Their system of getting the homeless off the streets and into housing and employment, supporting them holistically with classes and community activities, eventually becoming independent, resulting in lives being saved through the work of volunteers
  • How ImpactHK and Love 21 Foundation are funded and supported
  • Getting corporates and volunteers involved through sponsored Kindness Walks and other CSR programmes
  • Why they offer mentoring for the homeless and their vision for the future of Impact HK
  • How Sports and Art programmes are beneficial and important for both the ImpactHK and Love21 communities

Practical tips

  • Adapt quickly, especially in the early stages. Being flexible is important.
  • If you want to make it happen and follow your dreams, it’s gonna take a lot of work. (…) You have to be ready to seriously grind. You can’t feel sorry for yourself (…) you just gotta go for it and really attack it if you want it.

Full show notes and episode links for all podcast platforms available here.

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