The subway platform isn’t the first place you’d expect to find someone making the world a better place, but if you’re lucky enough to run into this guy, you’ll leave knowing, without a doubt, that kindness is everywhere.

Over the screech of the train tracks and the bustle of people running to and fro, the twang of bluegrass and rock n’ roll wafts through the air whenever Will Boyajian brings his guitar into the subway station. But he isn’t your average busker—he’s not making any money from this at all. Nope! Not a single cent. Instead, the hundreds of dollars filling his guitar case, tossed in from passing New Yorkers, are welcome to anyone who needs them.

But why in the world would a street performer give all of their money away? The answer is simple: it’s what he can do to help. And like any great idea, it’s caught on: bringing hope wherever a musician goes and creating an entirely new way for the rest of us to take care of each other!

Image: Busker (Will) playing guitar in the middle of a subway station with his head tilted down, next to the sign.

Courtesy of Nowhere Men!

It all started with a New Year’s resolution.

You know, one of the ones you stop doing after two weeks? Well, this is a comeback story.

A few years before his nonprofit Hopeful Cases came to be, Will Boyajian resolved to give money whenever someone asked. As any seasoned resolution-setter will relate to, while the intentions behind what he was doing were fantastic, it simply wasn’t realistic. This young twenty-something New Yorker was giving away about $20 a day, and after two weeks, he just couldn’t swing it anymore. 1

So how, he wondered, could he keep helping people with his limited resources and skills?

The solution Will eventually landed on was to twist a system entirely on its head.

Instead of pocketing the money he made from busking, he wrote “If you are homeless or need help, take as much from the case as you need. (I just like to play)” on the sign next to him. And from the first time he opened his guitar case to others, a new way to think of taking care of our neighbors started to grow.

To show us how this whole system works, the impact it’s having on people’s lives, and to meet the charming Will Boyajian himself, here are Brian and Alex from my absolutely favorite new channel, Nowhere Men.

*This film is a part of Amazing World Media! We’ve compiled some of the most uplifting and meaningful films that we’ve featured on EWC into reels that can play in your healthcare facility. Learn more here!

If you want a glimpse at the best of humanity, head over to Nowhere Men’s website or YouTube channel! You can also give them a follow over on Instagram to stay up to date with their work.

❤️️ Want to access good news at the push of a button? We now have an App!
Download in the Apple and Google Play stores.

The Era of Hopeful Cases!

“Our musicians do not take money from the case, and they do not take a salary. We are New Yorkers who care and people who love to play music. We are here to give, not to judge.” 3

The Hopeful Cases crew—Will, their program manager Danny, and the countless musicians who are taking this recipe for giving to their own communities—has cracked open a system that can be replicated endlessly.

As soon as their instrument cases open they unlock a circle of support that allows people to give what they can to help someone in their community live a better day.

It’s a different way to think about giving or donating money—it’s more personal than that. When you put money in one of these hopeful cases, you know that by the end of the day it’s in your neighbor’s hand, letting them buy groceries, pay a bill, or find somewhere to sleep.

Image: Close up image of the sign Will uses, and his case with money inside.

Courtesy of Nowhere Men!

Hopeful Cases’ goal is to have a performer on every major subway platform across NYC!

They want to ensure that financial support and acceptance are available for anyone who needs them! And what’s really exciting, is that since you can find busking and performance everywhere people are, there’s true, real change that can happen in every community around the globe. Imagine how this simple system of giving could impact the millions of people who are experiencing homelessness?

If you’d like to get involved with Hopeful Cases, click here to head over to their website to learn more and get in touch with Will and Danny! You can also donate directly by clicking here.

For more information on what they’re up to, I found this interview between Will and host Steve Adubato to be very informative! They give us a wonderful overview of the background, inspiration, and what Will hopes for the future of Hopeful Cases.

To keep up with Hopeful Cases on social media, give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter!

It just goes to show, we can each do a lot with our limited skills and resources!

However you like to spend your time, if you think about it, there’s probably a way to use it to help the people around you. And you definitely don’t need to be a musician or street performer to do it! Here’s how some other amazing people are using their unique interests and skills to make a difference for others:

35 minutes

The Unexpected Ways Surfing is Helping Youth Heal

Life is tough, but it's a whole lot easier when we're around people who share similar experiences in a no pressure environment. Waves for Change is one of the organizations out there harnessing the power of sport and play to create environments where children are able to open up and heal!

Read More

17 minutes

Plus 1: Making a Difference with What You Have

Seeing the need and opportunity for the music industry to be a more positive force in the world, Marika Shaw and her bandmates came up with Plus 1, an organization that has changed the way the music industry and non-profits can work together.

Read More

15 minutes

Living Beyond Expectations: Daniel Kish

Despite not having eyes, Daniel Kish has taught himself to "see" with human "echo-location" and he is teaching others. His story is a remarkable testament to what happens when we never get the memo about things that are "impossible" and instead make what we have work for us!

Read More

How can you use your skillset for good?

Have any ideas on how to use your skills to bring joy to your community? Share them with us over in our public #ConspiracyofGoodness Facebook Group!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein

Meet more people using their skills to make the world a bit better!

There are thought leaders across the globe with great ideas, small or large, that can bring a little light to others’ lives. If you’d like to meet them, click the button below!

Thought Leaders on EWC!


  1. Public Broadcasting Service. “Will Boyajian Uses His Music to Help City Residents.” PBS.Org,, 11 Aug. 2017, Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.
  2. Nowhere Men – Brian & Alex. “The Street Performer… Who Gives Away Money!” YouTube, 2020, Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.
  3. “Hopeful Cases.” Hopeful Cases, 2020, Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.