Posted: December 22, 2009
Our friends at the Triangle Community Foundation and Triangle Gives Back have put their very creative minds to work and have inspired a philanthropic 'experiment' of sorts: The Give Back Giveaway. At their annual holiday party, the night ended with a surprise involving envelopes with $10 cash and a challenge introduced by the Executive Director. The Give Back Giveaway has three rules, 1) match the $10 with at least $10 of your own 2) go out and give the money to someone you do not know or an organization doing good in the region and 3) tell us what you did.
I was fortunate enough to be asked to be involved in this FABULOUS idea. This blog post officially fulfills my obligation to the Giveaway ... you can read about how others participated by visiting http://www.trianglegivesback.org/news/2009-12-15/giveback-giveaway-stories.
Being raised up north and having lived in large cities my whole life, one of the things that I appreciate about the Triangle is the positive attitude and helpfulness of the every day 'man/woman on the street'. When I was considering a move here, I came for a week with my family to check out the area. Having lived in Boston, San Juan, Miami and San Francisco, I always say that the Triangle doesn't 'show well' (there aren't many world renowned landmarks ot tourist destinations here) compared to these other places, but there's something about the people and the attitude that draws you in. I've attributed this vibe of positivity to simple 'kindness' and, therefore, I decided to use the contents of my envelope to reward kindness in my community.
I accepted the generous donation at the TCF holiday party at Marbles, added to it and then gave the cash to individuals who display kindness in every day settings. The responses and reactions were SPECTACULAR!
- I put some money in the Salvation Army bucket then gave some to the very kind (very cold) homeless gentleman who was volunteering. The look on his face and the warm 'thank you' he gave me were worth MUCH more that the cash in his pocket.
- I put some money and a note in an envelope and had someone anonymously hand it to the man who works the deli at my local grocery store. This man CONSTANTLY not only goes out of his way to serve customers, but he does it with an incredible, gentle smile and kind comments. Interactions with him make so many peoples' days brighter.
- Finally, as I was finishing up at the office last Friday night at 10:30PM I ran into a woman who was beginning her third shift of work for the day. I see this woman from time to time and every time I run into her I leave her presence with a smile on my face. She's a warm, happy and kind individual year round. I chatted with her as we commonly do, and on the way out I discretely handed her a bill as I shook her hand goodbye. She immediately thanked me, but it wasn't until I was halfway down the hall that she glanced at the bill, thanked me again and exclaimed: "God is GOOD!"
I've been very excited to be a part of this 'experiment' but I can't take credit for any of the outcomes. I personally thank all of you at TCF and TGB for inspiring all of us to spread goodwill throughout our beloved community!