Maxwell Supranent is a Boston teen who started his nonprofit, Catching Joy Inc. as a way to encourage volunteerism and acts of kindness, specifically among kids, teens, and families. Maxwell and the Catching Joy team have been in the business of making a difference since 2008, their efforts have been quite impressive! So much so, that we’re excited to share some of their highlights with you!
Catching Joy Inc.
When Maxwell was five years old, he saw a homeless man on the streets of Boston with a sign that read ‘Help’. It was the holiday season and he watched as people passed the man by, ignoring him and continuing on with their shopping as if he was invisible. Maxwell was heartbroken by this lack of empathy and action. His experience that day became a catalyst, driving him to start Catching Joy Inc. shortly thereafter.
Motivated and determined to organize opportunities for people to be of service in their communities, Maxwell founded Catching Joy Inc. in 2008. His hope was to inspire kindness by encouraging others to ‘help share the responsibility and joy of giving’.
Since founding Catching Joy Inc., Maxwell and his team have “mobilized an estimated 100,000 people- mostly an army of youth,” getting people from all over involved in his cause! Pretty impressive for such a young guy, right?!
Catching Joy During Tough Times
Maxwell and the Catching Joy team have a long list of kind accomplishments since starting the nonprofit 13 years ago. Noted below are some of their highlights in the last few years:
When COVID hit and the Boston Marathon was canceled, Maxwell decided to organize a ‘Catchin Joy Marathon: 26 acts of kindness to aid essential workers and people in need during the pandemic’, motivating thousands to spread kindness during lockdowns. According to Maxwell, he’s learned that “people want to help, but often just need a vehicle to do it.”
In January 2021, Maxwell started ‘Operation Sock Drop’ in hopes of collecting 2021 pairs of socks for people in need. Maxwell wrote in his article for Channel Kindness, “Every morning we put on clean and cozy socks, and we know how good it makes us feel. But for people living in poverty, socks are a luxury when it should be a basic human right.” Maxwell set up donation boxes all around his community and in a few weeks he had collected over 7,000 pairs of socks, and counting!
Maxwell organized a drive for coats and winter clothes to be distributed to individuals and families who were struggling to stay warm during the winter months. He and his team would make deliveries before and after school and even on weekends!
For Valentine’s Day, Maxwell organized a valentine making and card giving opportunity, delivering hundreds of cards to seniors in nursing homes. Maxwell writes, “I wanted seniors to know that even though they are isolated, they are not alone.” He even went as far as to extend this kindness to essential workers, expressing gratitude for all their hard work and dedication during uncertain times.
Lastly, Maxwell decided to plan a clothing drive for students in need when in-person school re-opened in the spring. Maxwell told Channel Kindness, “Although we can’t take away students’ traumas, we can provide them with clothing that helps them feel good about themselves and supports their continued learning and growing.”
In closing, we want to express how impressed and inspired we are by Catching Joy Inc. and all of Maxwell’s initiatives to organize opportunities for kindness. Encouraging people, especially youths, to get involved in volunteer work is so important for our communities as well as for individual mental health and wellbeing. At the end of the day, kindness is good for all of us. And it’s our job to make sure we pay it forward. Thank you, Maxwell, for giving so many that opportunity!