Good Neighbors

Man Connects with People Every Day by Playing Catch

When he lost his father to suicide, he made it his mission to help others.


Everyone has their own way of connecting with others. Some people click heart emojis to show they're listening; others make coffee dates or share laughs over a meal.

For Jason Stillwell, the best kind of connection happens with a pair of baseball gloves, a ball and a couple of minutes to spare. The Kansas City native makes it a point once a day, every day, to find someone to play catch with. He calls his project "Catching Up," and whether it's an old friend or random stranger, the intention is the same.

"It's just seeing someone down, you know? Making somebody smile." Stillwell told Stitch . "The first time they throw the ball back to me, you see that smile come out because they haven't played catch in a couple of years, and it just brightens somebody's day, you know?"

Stillwell started the project after he lost his father to suicide in January 2018. He takes a photo after each of his interactions and posts it to Instagram, along with a "word of the day" and the national suicide hotline number.

He's been able to 'catch up' with someone every day for the last 150 days. He's tossed the ball around with the Athletic Director of the Fort Osage Indians, the Mayor of Independence, MO and a fellow dad on his kid's soccer team. For Stillwell, it's a way for him to heal from the pain of his father's death while helping others.

"If you could change one person's attitude a day, that's so awesome because then that can trickle down," he said.

You can follow along with Stillwell's "Catching Up" project on Instagram .

Additionally, if you or anyone you know is having thoughts of ending your life, please refer to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : (800) 273-8255

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

(Source: @jstillwell75 )

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