WE ARE ALL CONNECTED
Join The Movement to Harness Kindness and Create Change
When the trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon became a trend over two decades ago, there was no way of predicting it would one day inspire an entire movement. The game, which required players to link celebrities to Kevin in as few steps as possible, derived from the concept of six degrees of separation — the theory that any two people are within six acquaintance links apart. In 2007, Kevin decided to embrace the brand and use his celebrity for good, forming the charitable initiative SixDegrees.org.
SixDegrees makes a difference by harnessing the power of connection and tapping in to the innate human desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Believing our shared compassion has the power to unite, motivate and bring about positive change, SixDegrees uses socially driven campaigns to connect people to a wide range of grassroots and local charities throughout the United States. Many of these local non-profits are often overlooked, and don’t receive the attention they deserve. By providing them with the opportunity to tell their story, budding movements are able to raise awareness, rally support and grow. SixDegrees also emphasizes that it is possible for anyone and everyone to get involved, and offers many simple ways to participate in giving. From dropping in on a fun community event to grabbing a bite to eat from a charitable business, every show of support — no matter how small — helps create a lasting positive change.
To show his support for the people that dedicate their lives to these causes, Kevin will often show up in person to surprise volunteers. On one occasion, the actor teamed up with comedian Ron Funches to give much deserved praise to the volunteers and play costume karaoke with the kids who benefit from the work at School on Wheels, a non-profit in Southern California that serves the educational needs of homeless children. On another, Kevin and his brother, singer-songwriter Michael Bacon helped co-host a ‘Karaoke with Cops’ fundraiser alongside the Alexandria Police Foundation.
Many other celebrities have joined the movement to support causes and raise awareness for small charities doing incredible work. Among the many are Ashley Judd, Robert Duvall, Nicole Kidman, and Selena Gomez, who works with Peaches Neet Feet, an organization that brings joy to children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. These celebrity partnerships within SixDegrees illustrate that you are never too busy to give back and create a lasting impact in your community.
“Communities have the power to band together and effect real change for a better world. We just are creating ways for them to better funnel their support and resources.”
KEVIN BACON, FOUNDER OF SIXDEGREES.ORG
WE CAUGHT UP WITH KEVIN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SIXDEGREES.
When you started SixDegrees did you envision it becoming the project it is today?
No. It was just a sliver of an idea based on a feeling that I had to do more outside of my life and my career. I was inspired by Paul Newman and the way he embraced his “brand” for good. Six degrees was the closest thing I had to a brand.
What are some of the reasons your organization has chosen to focus on small and/or local non-profits?
I think a lot of the big charities are all set with celebrity endorsements. I am more interested in the unsung people who are on the ground working for good, working for change.
SixDegrees supports many fantastic campaigns. Is there one hidden gem cause that you are particularly passionate about?
There’s a great organization in Nashville called Thistle Farms that works with woman who were caught up in sex trafficking or homelessness and puts them to work making beauty products, candles and soap etc. They also have a great café, and learn food prep and the ins and outs of restaurant management. Their motto is ‘Love Heals’ and it’s evident in the work they do.
You often surprise your partners with drop-ins. Can you share a memorable experience that touched you?
I was once in Marfa, Texas and dropped in on a pizza party of teachers who had started an after school robotics and gardening project at their school. Many of the kids there lived below the poverty line and these teachers just went the extra mile with these kids for no other reason than they cared. So we came, ate some pizza, donated to the program and took some pictures. Easy. And they seemed genuinely surprised that we would take the time. But the truth is, it was 45 minutes out of my day and teachers are heroes.
SixDegree is able to further its mission thanks to the participation of many celebrities, corporations and passionate individuals. How does the diversity of your partners reflect the heart of your movement?
We are grateful for every person that has given their time to highlight these charities. Each of them connects with what we are trying to convey, which is that any person has the capability of helping. You just need to show up. If you have a large platform, great. If you don’t, your service is still valued and needed.
In your own words can you tell us what SixDegrees means to you?
It’s very simple. We are all connected.
To date, SixDegrees has helped raise over $5 million dollars for local, community NGO’s through grassroots campaigns and dozens of celebrity drop-ins and pop-ups. However, to ensure they can continue their support well into the future, SixDegrees needs assistance from financial donors and partners that believe in positive social impact. Help SixDegrees continue driving awareness and support for small non-profits. Do your part to help your community thrive. Find out more at SixDegrees.org or shoot them a note at connect@SixDegrees.org.