Although Kenneth and Jonathan’s vending machine journey started in 2022, they have always had aspirations to make a positive impact within their community. As kids, they often discussed doing community outreach together. Whether it was organizing food drives, hosting events, donating to charity, or mentoring the youth, they always wanted to help others. After many conversations and much prayer, B ‘n’ H Vending was born. They are truly excited to help stimulate the economy through this business.
Every year, Jonathan, Kenneth, and other community leaders also co-organize “Project Bless” and “Destination Success.” Project Bless is an annual homeless food and clothing drive that has provided aid to hundreds of homeless people in Washington, D.C. Destination Success is an annual free educational conference for young men that provides them with educational resources and future mentors.
On Christmas Day 2021, Jonathan saw a social media post about a mother who had purchased a vending machine for her son and daughter; he sent the post to Kenneth and they both agreed to start get one as well. The confirmation came the very next day when Jonathan had to self-quarantine because after attending a Christmas party he was informed that someone at the party tested positive for COVID. With elderly parents he wanted to take preventative measures to keep them healthy so during that time, he read and studied everything that he could about starting a vending machine business.
Jonathan and Kenneth are close cousins and when one has an idea, they meet to discuss and usually come to the same agreement which is how B ‘n H Vending was born.
Destination Success was another COVID brainchild idea that Jonathan had. During 2020, when schools was shut down and education got flipped on its side with only online studies, students were still getting classwork and an education but there was a lack of life skills and that’s what Jonathan always loved about school.
“College life isn’t just a place where you learn from a book, it’s also a place where you learn social skills. You learn critical thinking, problem solving and all of these skills can’t be learned online at least not to the same extent”
Jonathon stated, “as a man of faith, when God plants things into me, I do my best to act upon some things. I don’t always understand why, but I trust that anything that is being given to me. Everything else is also going to get figured out.” So during that time, God placed in his heart that he would hold an event for young men who are In school to give them some of the things that maybe they’re not learning in their online classes..
Of course the first call Jonathan made was to Kenneth who said, “yes, I’m on board” and then he called his friend Jermaine, who he actually met through Kenneth. Jermaine is really heavy in the non-profit space and does a lot with youth and and so with him on board, as well as his mentee Dimitri, Destination Success was born..
In October, Jonathan celebrated his 10th year as the first Residential Academic Success Coach at his alma mater, Lincoln University and Destination Success was a perfect partnership. Starting with small free virtual workshops covering topics such as professionalism, financial literacy and building your own brand has grown into in-person workshops and in receiving donations this has allowed them to donate food, clothing and toiletries to people in the DMV area.
The program and donations have grown, so much so that recently they were able to give away almost 1000 sandwiches, several dozen scarves, hats and gloves, and this year they are going to be rolling out something different with making Tacos. They are looking to grow and collaborate with poets and singers who can provide entertainment while they serve the food.
Jonathan and Kenneth have always loved the essence of just helping because not only is it how they were raised, but because they are in a position to do so and it’s a blessing. It’s about to giveback.
Please listen to the entire podcast interview with Jonathan and Kenneth to learn more about B ‘n’ H Vending, Destination Success and Project Blessed.
Jonathan and Kenneth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org