#06 Jeff Rotmeyer - the Social Entrepreneur that's Building a Kinder World
“It’s a bit of an extreme challenge. I’m sure people think I’m insane and it’s stupid, but it’s not. It’s going to work.”
Jeff Rotmeyer is a special human being. The founder and CEO of two NGO's, he was born and raised on the West Coast of Canada and moved to Hong Kong 15 years ago as a fresh-faced young English teacher. In 2017, reluctant to pay lawyers for two days work instead of one, he registered two new charities on the same day. Giving up his career as an English Teacher, Jeff doubled-down on his commitment to helping some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities.
ImpactHK serves the city’s homeless population with cooked meals, love, and friendship every single day of the week on their now famous ‘kindness walks’. Driven by a dedicated team of volunteers, the charity has helped hundreds of people with finding accommodation, drug rehabilitation, and gainful employment. Half of their full-time employees used to live on the streets, and many more have had their lives transformed as a result of Jeff’s vision for a kinder world.
Love21Foundation exists to help the families of kids with Autism and Down Syndrome reach their full potential. Emphasis is placed on helping low-income and single-parent families who would otherwise struggle with the enormous financial costs and lack of access to activities that many of us take for granted. Both organisations have been enormously successful in recent years in building awareness and delivering real change, thanks in large part to Jeff’s insatiable work ethic and passion for creating a more inclusive and compassionate society. We talk about:
- Why he never gets discouraged
- Guilt at not doing more (yes even he feels guilty)
- Why a former school teacher doesn't send his kid to school
- The healing power of mother nature
- The legacy he hopes to leave behind