BALLSTON LAKE – Walter Boldish, the founder and CEO of I GOT U, collaborated with Alex and Ani on the design of the Charity by Design bracelet that launched on May 15.
Boldish lost his daughter in 1996 due to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect prompting the creation of his non-profit called Kenzie’s Kindness. Kenzie’s Kindness helps provide weekend meals to hungry, malnourished and often-impoverished children within a local school district through the Backpack Food Program. Soon after the passing of his daughter, Boldish’s good friend and confidante sustained a “C4” spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic, he later passed as well. Later in 2015 Boldish created the I GOT U apparel and lifestyle brand dedicated to spreading a unified, positive message around the world.
“It addresses all the social issues in the world in a positive way,” Boldish said. “I GOT U is saying ‘hey you don’t have to be my best friend, you don’t have to agree with everything I do, just respect me as a human,” he added.
100 percent of the proceeds from the partnership with I GOT U and Alex and Ani will go to Kenzie’s Kindness.
“I want help as many charities as I can, the message is so universal, I don’t want it just to be about helping only the back pack program. I want to help the Special Olympics, battered women and runaways,” Boldish said about the collaboration.
According to Boldish the message can also address large-scale social issues such as bullying, sportsmanship, interracial marriage and even homosexuality; to even simpler things like helping more around the house. The bracelet collaboration will be available on Alex and Ani’s site from May 15 to August 30. Anyone that orders a bracelet in the packaging will receive a message that says ‘You’re never alone.’
“Over the past seven- years, Alex and Ani, Charity by Design has partnered with globally recognized non-profits, but the heart of what we do lies in grassroots organizations like Kenzie’s Kindness,” says Deidre Fraser, Alex and Ani Manager of Strategic Projects. “Through the #Bracelets initiative, we’re able to connect with individuals and small non-profit organizations that are making a direct impact in their local communities.”
Boldish, who was adopted along with his 3 siblings professes, “I am the story.”
“I GOT U is my story and at the end of this I want to make it your story,” he said.
In his spare time Boldish speaks at different schools as well as to adults, he also volunteers with his team at the Ronald McDonald house and Capital City Rescue Mission.
“Stop looking for the negativity, if we start looking for the good in people it’s going to be awesome,” he said.