Chicago, IL Channel Kindness Award Winner: Shay, 20

Shay Johnson is a fighter with a kind heart. She’d only recently transitioned out of homelessness, but was already offering a helping hand to others at the shelter where she was a former resident.

For her Channel Kindness Award Event, Shay worked with Born This Way Foundation and Staples to provide dozens of backpacks full of necessary supplies to homeless young people in Chicago -- and Shay called up grocery stores until she had enough food to host a blowout barbecue at her former shelter.

Shay’s favorite part of the event was when a surprise guest -- Born This Way Foundation President Cynthia Germanotta -- came to celebrate Shay and visit with the young people at her event. Shay and Cynthia gathered the group and led everyone -- even the TV reporters! -- in a “gratitude circle” where they shared the things they were thankful for. Including, and especially, each other.

“I felt honored and happy to have been given the opportunity to host an event for something I am very passionate about.”