I have been unemployed since last August and I have to admit that my first thought upon learning of the elimination of my job was not how could I give more to others. How we were going to pay the bills, how long unemployment benefits might last, whether we would have to go on a beanie weenie and Ramen noodle diet, maybe–giving MORE? I am ashamed to say that thought never crossed my mind.
Not so with Reed Sandridge, author of “Year of Giving“, a blog that is chronicling his yearlong experiment in giving to others, expecting nothing in return. Reed lost his job in 2009 and in honor of his mother, set out to give $10 to a complete stranger each day. He is currently at Day 170 in his journey. His blog details the people he encounters, their needs, and how they plan to use the $10 gift. Reed says “My goal is not to change the lives of those with whom I come in contact. Let’s face it, $10 dollars is not going to change someone’s life in and of itself. I do believe, however, that the act of giving will hopefully inspire others to pursue the ideals that the French philosopher Auguste Comte envisioned when he coined the term “altruism.” Whether that comes in the form of someone who reads this blog and wants to embark on their own Year of Giving or someone who uses the $10 to help someone else out, the specific results are less important than the overall good that we can achieve together.”
Reed is challenging us all to give more, even when it seems difficult to do so. He is asking that we all join together to participate in a Worldwide Day of Giving on June 15th. It is our invitation “to give $10, or whatever you can afford, to a stranger and then share the experience with the world.” There will be space set aside at Reed's blog for those participating to share their experience. You can sign up on Facebook to participate here.
And, if you get the chance, stop by Reed's blog and read the stories of those that he has come in contact with–they are truly remarkable stories of people from all walks of life and one man's goal to reach as many as he can.
Note: Reed has detailed his conversations with each individual as they have occurred. At times, those he has encountered have used coarse language in the exchange.