Acts of Kindness: Ryan Judkins

HENDERSON, Nev. - Ryan Judkins is normally clean-shaven. For the past nine months, however, he let his beard grow. While it proved trying at times, he did it to get people talking.

"It definitely got in the way, made eating a challenge at times," he said. "I get the comment about ‘Duck Dynasty', Moses, a lot of things… People say, ‘Ryan, what's going on with your beard? Why'd you grow it?' I could say, ‘Why, I'm growing a beard for Boston.'"

Judkins felt compassion for the people injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. So, he developed a website for donations. When people asked him about his beard, he told them about the site. He also held a fundraiser at Revere Golf Club.

The 38-year-old father of four wanted to help the victims with their recovery. He says he can empathize with the unknown, having experienced two open heart surgeries.

"As you see the coverage of the victims, people lost limbs," he said. "I thought of them, thinking they're probably thinking those same thoughts. ‘Will I ever be able to walk again, run again, do the things I love doing after this tragedy happened?'"

His goal was to raise $10,000. He raised more than $15,000.

8 News NOW is rewarding his efforts, awarding him $800 as part of its weekly series Acts of Kindness. If you wish to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website or e-mail us.


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