This NYC Family is Making Kindness the Norm

Jeannie Masas and her three children are on a mission to spread kindness within and outside their home.


Home is where we begin to form our core values. Sometimes these values, like kindness, are communicated directly to us; other times, we learn by example. PEOPLE and IVORY are celebrating kindness in all its forms, and the big difference that small acts of kindness can make.  

For Bronx native and mother of three Jeannie Masas, it’s never too early in the day to practice kindness.  

“I don’t have to be up early,” she explains. “But I choose to get up at 5 A.M. each day to spend some quality time with my kids and see my daughter off to school.” On her evenings off, “Family dinners, heartfelt hugs and unconditional love and understanding are the norm in our house.”  

Jeannie works as an emergency maintenance dispatcher for the largest housing cooperative in the world. In other words, she’s the person residents call when something goes wrong, so she can connect them to the appropriate person or service.  

“A lot of times, the people calling just want somebody to listen and talk to them,” says Jeannie, smiling.  

Jeannie’s mother sought to instill kindness in her from a young age, emphasizing the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Growing up, Jeannie sometimes had to stand up for her mother, who was always sweet, soft-spoken and generous with her time and energy.  

Kindness was also a priority when it came to their household products. Some of Jeannie’s earliest memories are of being bathed in the kitchen sink with gentle perfume- and dye-free Ivory soap; she would later do the same with her own children. Today, Ivory products continue to be made with pure and purposeful ingredients, including their Ivory Gentle Deodorants, designed to be gentle on the skin and provide 24-hour odor protection.  


When Jeannie became a mother herself, she sought to embody that same spirit at home, at work and in her community, even while facing hardships. While her children were growing up, there were many occasions where they had to choose between paying for the bus, paying for groceries or paying the electric bill. Jeannie religiously clipped manufacturer’s coupons, leaving the ones she didn’t need on the shelves for other shoppers.  

A lot has changed since then—she’s sent her two sons off to college, and soon, her daughter will follow—but the family still makes every effort to inject kindness into their community. When they go grocery shopping, they will often purchase extra grab-and-go foods to give to anyone they see who looks hungry.  
“Many people aren’t used to being approached with sincerity and kindness, ” Jeannie notes. “We want to share the value of being kind without expecting anything in return.”  

On weekends, they bake sweet treats and offer them to anyone who might need a pick-me-up. They’ve even baked for kids at school who haven’t always been the nicest, in the hope that their kind gesture might have a positive impact.

We want to share the value of being kind without expecting anything in return.  

Jeannie goes the extra mile at work, too. She tries to empathize with everyone who calls looking for help, even if they’re a little rough around the edges.  

“I deal with a wide variety of attitudes and personalities every day,” she laughs. “But no matter what, I focus on keeping them calm and letting them know that I’m going to take care of them and resolve their issue as soon as possible.”  

Her coworkers are also familiar with her cheery demeanor. “When we’re communicating on the radio, I try to add a little comedic flair when I can, just to let everyone know that we’re in this together.”  

Today, Jeannie stays inspired to be kind by those around her, especially her mother and her children. But strangers often have a profound impact on her, too.

“I use mass transit a lot, and I see kind gestures there,” she reflects. “It’s amazing to watch someone give up their seat to an elderly person or a person with a disability, or help someone else carry a stroller or shopping cart up the stairs—small acts of kindness like that just continue to grow and create a kinder community.”  

For Jeannie, the importance of gentle, loving kindness cannot be overstated. “There will always be bumps in the road,” she says. “The goal is to not let those bumps get in the way of kindness, respect and integrity.” 

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