Natalie Kfoury – Editor-in-Chief
Sometimes you meet people who have the ability to light up a room and immediately change the atmosphere. These people are passionate about what they love to do and seem so friendly, so ready to make connections and to leave a lasting impression. One of those people for me is Kevin Lilly, a Class of 2014 entrepreneurship major.
Lilly, who lives by the “Love your neighbor” motto immediately stood out to me because he is so kind and has a great sense of humor. He also has some pretty awesome tattoos, which I always admire. But, most of all, I love his dedication and passion for helping others.
It was no surprise to me when I heard that Lilly was starting a nonprofit organization. He was always so involved with service and the Center for Community-Based Learning. He has started Samaritans Steps, an organization that will work on providing emergency beds for homeless youths in Boston. In addition, Samaritans Steps will connect returning veterans with mental illnesses with services and the creation of the “C Beyond Scholarship” aimed at high school seniors with less-than-stellar GPAs.
“Talking with homeless people, I realize there are a lot of issues with shelters like sex offenders, stealing, staff who don’t care. So, I want to correct those issues in my organization and do shelter my way,” said Lilly.
The idea for Samaritans Steps came from a night of fitful sleep when Lilly brainstormed a list of ideas for a nonprofit. He took the ideas to Professor Waldron and asked if he could do the project as an internship. He dedicated Fridays to work on the business and graduated with a strong idea of the nonprofit he wanted to create.
Lilly’s plan to to create a shelter system out of multifamily homes, where emergency beds and a safe environment can be done. Some of these would be able to serve as transitional housing, as well. While Lilly’s plan for Samaritans Steps has changed in some ways over the course of the planning phases, the basis of creating a loving and sup- porting system of helping those in need remains the same. He urges college students to take their own stands on issues that bother them.
“If something really grinds your gears and razzes your berries, work to change it. No one is expecting you to be the next MLK, but do what you can. Never underestimate the power of small acts of kindness,” said Lilly.
Samaritans Steps has a number of upcoming opportunities that Lasell students can be involved with. The nonprofit’s “Love Your Neighbor” campaign launched earlier this month with a winter clothes drive that will run through December 20. In addition, the nonprofit has started a business relationship with the Boston Celtics. Tickets are being sold by Lilly to the game against the Nets on December 26 and against the Pacers on April 1 for $85 each with a portion of each ticket going towards Samaritans Steps. Finally, Samaritans Steps is the featured nonprofit for this semester’s Midnight Breakfast on December 15. All proceeds from the event will go towards the nonprofit.
Lilly has always been an inspiration to me and many others at Lasell. He is a source of positivity and has already done so much to make a difference after a mere six months after graduation. I urge all students interested in making a positive change in the world to check out Samaritans Steps and see how they can help carry forth Lilly’s vision into reality.
To contact Lilly directly, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also donate to Samaritans Steps by visiting www. samaritanssteps.com/donate/