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Both of us have two-fold inspirations, Tristen’s is family and the grateful smiles on the people when you help them. Keanu is not very different, his inspiration comes from family time spent together, and philanthropy. As brothers, we have learned the value of family, brother power, and the joy of helping others. These are the three things that drive us every day, make us sensitive to the needs of others, and appreciate what we have. It has molded our characters, taught us right from wrong, and inspired us to start our organization, Turn Kindness On.

Our Mom and Dad have always supported us, and at an early age they exposed us to “the real world” where we saw people suffering facing life’s challenges. They taught us how to reach out to these people in various ways, by demonstrating little by little how small acts of kindness can make a difference. Eventually this became a part of our souls.

We have learned that as brothers, we can inspire each other. Tristen inspires me because he always looks at the positive in life. He makes an ordinary event extraordinary and fun, and he never doubts his actions, always believing in himself that he has made the right decision. We both believe that you should surround yourself with those whom you love, family and good friends. This will help guide you into making good choices when faced with decisions making.

Because we have such a unique relationship, we have created a system called “Brother Power.” This means we have dedicated ourselves to always loving and protecting one another. Tristen is my best friend and nothing in the world can separate us. My brother has been my best friend my whole life and we will always be there for each other.

Keanu inspires me because he always encourages and supports me. When I face difficulties he has my back. He makes me feel secure and safe. We’re Yin and Yang, and like 2 peas in a pod. When we face challenges we know there is nothing to worry about. We are unstoppable as a team, always side by side.

Seeing the impact on people we help, and knowing we make a difference in their lives, even if for a short while, inspires us to keep on this path. It is a small sacrifice to make for the huge satisfaction we receive. Giving back is the true value of life. The right path to the world is helping others, and creating a good life for yourself and for others. This is the key to true happiness. People will love you for who you are if deep down inside you truly love yourself. This helps you become a better balanced person.

We always try to surround ourselves with people who smile, and back away from negativity. We move forward in life, recognizing that the material things we have can never bring the satisfaction we feel when reaching out to people around us. We strive to make the right decisions. Turning Kindness On is what we live to do. When we see people smile our heart become large and the feeling is indescribable. These are our inspirations.

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Brothers Tristen and Keanu Ellen are co-founders of Turn Kindness On, a non-profit that brings families together to help other families through volunteerism and community service. 

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