At Dickson Realty, we are proud to have real estate professionals like Jay Kenny on our team who serve our community out of the selflessness of their hearts. That’s why we awarded Jay with our Positive Social Impact award and are recognizing him for his philanthropic efforts on his birthday this year and every year.
On October 21, Jay celebrated his birthday early by donating toys and other charitable gifts to the Renown Children’s Hospital. He started this annual tradition nearly seven years ago to bring comfort and joy to children that need it the most. With a life-long passion for helping, Jay finds purpose in giving back to the community.
“Jay Kenny is a shining example of the love and support our community shares with Renown Children’s Hospital’s pediatric patients. This will be the seventh year that Jay has donated toys and brought smiles to the children in our community facing difficult health battles. Compassionate supporters like Jay truly make a difference in the lives of our youngest patients.” — Kiemmy Thai, Renown Children’s Hospital Foundation Manager.
As the owner of DoughBoys Donuts, Jay also provides community members with delicious baked and fried treats. Who doesn’t love a warm croissant or donut on a cold winter day? We asked him to share some of his thoughts on being a successful business owner and REALTOR, the importance of giving back, and his birthday plans this year. In return, he asked us to help him make his birthday wish come true.
Dickson Recognizes Jay Kenny For His Philanthropic Efforts On His Birthday And Every Day
Jay Kenny isn’t thinking about what he wants or needs for his birthday this year. He’s thinking about the children fighting for their lives in our community who want a new toy or need a hug to get them through the day, and he’s the perfect guy for the job.
From Humble Beginnings To Greatness
Jay Kenny’s story begins in Southern California, where he grew up as a child. His parents owned a small donut shop in Hollywood that quickly became a local favorite and grew into multiple locations. Bob Kenny, his father, was a police officer and took great pride in serving his community. So, when Jay’s childhood friend became sick with leukemia, his family did everything possible to support her on her cancer journey.
“We would often go to charity events to support her,” Jay said. “And after she passed, it was our mission to stay involved with the children’s hospital.”
In 1996, Jay moved to Northern Nevada to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, on a baseball scholarship. It wasn’t until 2009 that he founded DoughBoys Donuts to continue the family business.
What Success Looks Like To Jay Kenny
As a father and businessman, Jay wants to teach his two children that “you can make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”
Owning a business is not all about money, Jay added. It’s about social responsibility and the positive impact you can have on your community.
In 2003, Jay started his real estate career to help people find their dream homes in Northern Nevada. But, he never lost sight of his passion for charitable giving.
“I can’t tell you that I’m the best business person or the best realtor,” Jay said. “But, I can tell you that I believe in the human spirit and that giving back is important.”
Although Jay is one of the best REALTORS in the region, we agree that giving back to the community can provide a greater sense of purpose.
During our conversation, Jay shared insight on how first to get involved in charitable causes and what he had planned for the Renown Children’s Hospital this year.
Finding Purpose In Charity
“The first step is picking up the phone,” Jay said.
If you reach out to any nonprofit, they are sure to be appreciative of your consideration. You also don’t have to donate large amounts of money, which is a common misconception. Many organizations are in desperate need of volunteers and supplies such as clothing and blankets. Your time is the most valuable resource, he explained.
You should ask yourself questions like:
- “Can I donate any canned food items?”
- “Is there anything that I’m not using that I can donate?”
- “Who needs this more than me?”
Jay said his favorite thing about donating to the Renown Children’s Hospital is seeing the smiles on kids’ faces and interacting with them. He contributed more than $5,000 worth of toys in 2020 and did the same in 2021.
From barbies to bicycles to firetrucks to teddy bears, there’s no limit on what Jay will give for his birthday donation gifts, and it’s all locally sourced.
He added that labor shortages and shipping delays are causing a toy shortage, which has made it hard for retailers to source materials.
“It was difficult this year because of the toy shortages, but we made it happen,” Jay said.
Jay goes above and beyond to make his birthday donation to the children’s hospital extra special. This year, he invited UNR mascots to visit the children in their rooms with him. “Room visits help ensure the children feel loved and comforted during the most challenging times of their lives,” Jay explained. “And sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘get better’ card, hug, or smile.”
Jay and his wife Jennifer have made many meaningful friendships through the charitable work they do, and they’ve had children visit the donut shop, thanking them for one of their annual toy donations.
“You can make a difference in their hearts and their lives,” Jay said. “For me, there’s no better feeling.”
Help Make Jay Kenny’s Birthday Wish Come True
Jay may have found business success, but making people happy gives him a greater sense of purpose. We asked Jay what his birthday wish is for this year because if anyone deserves to have their wish come true, it’s Jay Kenny.
“My birthday wish this year is for everyone to have grace and empathy with each other.”
Since the pandemic started, there has been extra stress in the real estate market and the community. With the holiday season also approaching, now is the time to slow down, spend time with your loved ones, and share kindness with others.