Kingsbridge Heights man shares his mission behind the ‘Kindness Club’

On Wednesdays, Tom Porton can be found leading an afternoon meeting for the Kindness Club at the The New Jewish Home's Kittay Senior Apartments.
"It's very important to have that place, that safe space where you can come and feel good about yourself," said Tom Porton, creator of the Kindness Club.
Porton is a resident at the Kittay Senior Apartments in Kingsbridge Heights. He moved in last March, and noticed his fellow seniors needed a boost in their spirits.
"It seemed to me that they needed it , that they were struggling with the aging process, with angry issues, with health issues, and the turnout has been great," said Porton.
The retired schoolteacher of 50 years uses his education background to create an agenda for each meeting. During there 45 minutes together, Porton guides members through breathing exercises, sing along songs and mindful brain games to help improve memory.
Before moving to the independent senior living facility, Porton spent two years at a Bronx rehabilitation center.
"I had open heart surgery, I went into a coma for one month, I was paralyzed in my left foot, and have a trach in my neck to help me breath," said Porton.
Despite his health, Porton says he never lost sight of the importance of leading with kindness.
"The message is that is someone is kind to you, you will pay it forward and be kind to someone else," said Porton.