‘Deeds 4 Drew’ Turning Tragedy Into Kindness

By Andrew Wroblewski

awroblewski@longislandergroup.com

 

Johanna Nugent lost her son, Drew, tragically on Aug. 5, 2011, but has worked to keep his memory alive through the pay-it-forward initiative, Deeds 4 Drew.

Johanna Nugent lost her son, Drew, tragically on Aug. 5, 2011, but has worked to keep his memory alive through the pay-it-forward initiative, Deeds 4 Drew.

Drew Nugent was the type of person whose smile could light up a room. As his mother, Johanna said, typically once the 18-year-old lit up that room, he’d do whatever he could to help out those in it. 

Nugent’s life, however, was tragically cut short on Aug. 5, 2011 – just weeks after he graduated from Walt Whitman High School. 

Yet his lifestyle continues to live on through an initiative founded in his memory. 

Nearly four years after Drew’s passing his mother has turned the tragedy of losing her son into Deeds 4 Drew – a pay-it-forward initiative that encourages random acts of kindness amongst strangers; something Drew lived for. 

“He would have loved this… I absolutely know [Drew] is up there looking down and smiling,” Johanna, a Huntington Station resident, said.

The concept behind Deeds 4 Drew, which Johanna started in January 2014, is simple: business cards sporting a picture and a message are printed and distributed. The picture is of Drew and the message reads: “This good deed was done in loving memory of Drew Nugent.” Those with a card do a good deed and pass the card on – rinse and repeat.

“The deeds don’t have to be anything that has to do with money,” Johanna said. “The idea is that you go a good deed and then, maybe, that person uses their card to do the same.”

Cards can be requested by visiting the Deeds 4 Drew Facebook page: facebook.com/deeds4drew. As of Monday, the page sported a little more than 1,600 likes with national and international recognition; Johanna said that she’s sent out cards to places like England, Ireland and the Bahamas.

Social media is also playing its part in the Deeds 4 Drew campaign. Johanna is encouraging do-gooders – and those benefit from the good deeds – to spread the world via social media services using the hashtags, “#D4Drew” and “#Deeds4Drew.”