In 2002 I spent a year in Namibia, Africa, as a teacher. I became close friends with a man named Kamati and for the first time in my life I got to see with my own eyes the difference that simple giving can can do for a person, a family and a community. I saw the celebration and hope that came from small simple gifts of kindness. But what I wasn’t ready for was the impact this experience had on me. What the experience with Kamati taught me about giving and seeing left me wanting to give more.
Years later at a conference in Las Vegas in 2013, I participated in a 1hr workshop where under careful instruction we made prosthetic hands for kids and adults around the world. A woman in my group was a very vocal and reluctant participant. Her demeanour remained the same until the end of the workshop when we were shown a short film on how the prosthetic hands we had just made were changing people’s lives around the world. Upon seeing this she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said the experience had “forever changed her life”.
A complete stranger showed me in a 60 minute workshop what I had experienced so many years earlier in Africa. How the simple act of giving can profoundly change the heart of the giver when we’re given the opportunity to see with our own eyes the real difference we are making.
This experience got me thinking, what if instead of a room of 500 people, we gathered together thousands of people across the world to do some good? What if every time we did something good we showed everyone the good it did? What if by seeing the good that our gifts accomplished we inspired even more people to want to give? And what if the opportunity to give cost very little so that everyone could get involved?
Imagine what a growing and engaged movement of ‘small time’ givers could accomplish. Especially when motivated by always getting to see the result of our gifts.
That’s the heart of Givesome. While raising money for charitable projects is what we do, stirring the hearts of givers everywhere is what we’re about. We’re going to show you what your small gifts help accomplish, so you can see it for yourself. Every single time.
-Jay Whitelaw – Founder & Executive Director