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Never Without Kindness Fund
By Jean Cohoon / April 2, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

“We wanted to contribute to Nathan's legacy of kindness to others,” explains Amy Hebb of the motivation she and her husband, DB, had in establishing this fund in memory of Nathan Ward Kocmond, a 16-year-old high school junior at the time of his death by suicide in October 2017. The Never Without Kindness Fund, the initials of which are the same as Nathan’s, is designated for Wheeler School “with the express purpose of supporting mental health programming.”

The Hebbs and Nathan’s parents, Jon and Sarah Kocmond, all were students at Brown University, class of 1991, and became closer when Jon and DB both attended medical school in Chicago. Although their residencies and current medical practices took the families in different directions – the Kocmonds live in Charlotte, NC, the Hebbs in Rhode Island - Amy says, “We always kept in touch. We vacationed together, and our kids grew up together. We’re just close with this family.”

Nathan was a junior at Charlotte’s Providence Day School where he played football and rugby. He also was active in Boy Scouts.

“We want to honor Nathan and help his family spread the notion of ‘never without kindness’, something Nathan’s mother started with NWK-42 stickers, 42 being his football number,” Amy notes. The stickers have been spotted throughout the United States, as well as in England, France, and Italy.

"This is our 'never without kindness' gesture. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in teenagers, but no one wants to talk about it. If it becomes a less taboo topic, more people will seek help. And education can change the way people view mental health," Amy shares.

The Hebbs wanted to designate this fund for The Wheeler School, where both of their boys attended. "The school has been an important part of our lives for the last 18 years." Noting that mental health awareness is already a part of the school's curriculum, Amy says, "We hope this fund will bolster their efforts, and help make a difference in people's lives. That will honor Nathan, and the kindness he practiced in his life."

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