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Posts Tagged ‘worldwide day of giving’

Blog post by Reed S., a Kindness Investor from Washington, DC.

I’m looking for volunteers for four things.  Two of the items can be done anywhere in the world, so there’s something for everyone!

  1. On Saturday April 16th I am volunteering at DC Servathon, a city-wide volunteer movement.  I am leading a small team of people who will be working to make some improvements at the Maya Angelou Charter School.  We are in need of volunteers and donations.  If you are interested in volunteering making a financial contribution, click here.

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    Volunteers from MLK Service Day!

  2. On Saturday April 30th I am involved in another service day called Hands-On-DC!  We’ll be tackling a DC public school and need more volunteers.  Click here to sign up or make a financial contribution to provide college scholarships for underprivileged kids in DC.
  3. We need a new Kindness Investor on Year of Giving!  If you or someone you know is unemployed or underemployed and wants to spend seven amazing days investing in kindness let me know.  Click here for more details.
  4. The Worldwide Day of Giving is back!  That’s right, this coming June 15th is the second annual Worldwide Day of Giving.  Last year over a thousand people from around the world participated by giving $10 to stranger.  This year, you have an additional option for those who would prefer to volunteer.  Both options are a lot of fun.  Details can be found here or on the Facebook Page.  I need your help in spreading the word so that we can make this another amazing day!  Use your Facebook, twitter, whatever…just spread the love!

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OK, I am really behind now on my blog posts. My computer is dead. My brother and I spent all day trying to fix it yesterday. I think the hard drive is shot. It might take me a couple of days to confirm that and then get the problem completely fixed or get another computer. Thanks to all who offered to lend me laptops. Maybe some company out there will be inspired to give and help me out with a new one! Feel free to send letters to your favorite laptop manufacturer!

Before I share with you Day 181’s recipient, I would like to update you on Kenneth B (Day 30). Kenneth has been selling the Street Sense newspaper at the north entrance to the Dupont Circle Metro for two years. Unfortunately I recently learned that Kenneth will have to miss about a month or two due to some medical problems. I see him all the time and he loves serving his customers. I went to visit him the last day before he took time off and he shared with me some financial concerns that he had due to the month or two that he will be out of work. If you would like to help Kenneth out (or any Street Sense vendor out for that matter) you can send a donation to him via Street Sense’s website. In the special instructions field, please indicate what percentage of your donation you would like to go directly to Kenneth and the great team over at Street Sense will make sure he receives it. Thanks for keeping Kenneth in your thoughts.

Ashley at Starbucks at the corner of Connecticut Ave. and R Street (photo: Reed)

So Day 181 was the Sunday before the Worldwide Day of Giving. As I passed the Starbucks near my house I saw a young lady sitting on their patio studying flash cards. I haven’t seen somebody using flash cards for years. Full of intrigue I stopped and introduced myself.

Ashley is a 22-year-old recent graduate of the George Washington University and is studying to take the GRE exam. Tonight she is focusing on her vocabulary by studying words like “dirge,” disabuse” and “dissemble.” I took a shot at about a half-dozen words and was embarrassed at how dreadful my vocabulary knowledge was.

Ashley is quite smart. Although she plans to leave for a Peace Corps assignment this fall, she wants to take the test now while her education from GWU is still fresh in her mind and then use that score to apply for graduate study upon her return from her stint overseas. I think the test results are valid for five years.

I asked her what interested her about the Peace Corps. “I love exploring. I want to serve my country and be a good diplomat of the United States.” Ashley was actually supposed to have already left for her tour however her plans got delayed several months after a less than perfect Lasik eye surgery. She explained that she very well may have to have additional procedures to correct the situation. “I think I am going to opt for “PRK” which is much more painful.” Sorry to hear that Ashley!

In the mean time she picked up a second job at a restaurant. I asked which one and would you believe it was the same place I had chose to hold the Worldwide Day of Giving celebration two days later! Small world.

When she is not working, this native of Rapid City, South Dakota likes reading, good food, good wine, coffee, dancing and exploring other places. She has traveled extensively and tells me a little about her trips to Syria, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Thailand. With all the travel it’s no surprise that she has picked up some Arabic and even some Spanish.

I asked her what she was going to do with the $10 and she said that she was going to give it to somebody on the Worldwide Day of Giving. And she did! Not only did she give her $10 to a young man named Aziz on June 15th, but she invited him to join her at the Get-Together we had in DC that evening. Aziz came and I got to meet him as well!

Update July 30, 2010: I finally was able to upload the video that I shot when I met Ashley.

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Before telling you about the amazing woman I met last Saturday, I wanted to remind you to tell your friends and family about the Worldwide Day of Giving on June 15th! If they are on Facebook, they can sign up for the event here, you can also use this link: http://tiny.cc/WWDoG.

We have about 500 people officially signed up on Facebook right now, but I am still hopeful that together we can reach 10,000 people worldwide! Details about how to participate can also be found on the Facebook Page.

There has been some confusion about the event. This is a virtual event that you can do anywhere in the world!  In addition, I am planning an in-person event here in DC.  It would be fun to meet in person, share your stories and meet some of the previous recipients of the Year of Giving $10 who will be there! I would like to get an idea of how many people would attend an event in the Dupont Circle area at around 7pm on the 15th. You can sign up for the in-person event on Facebook or here.

For those of you in other parts of the world who want to organize an event in your region, I encourage you to do so. If you need help or ideas on how to organize this, send me an email.

Photo: Reed

Last Saturday I was at the Goodwill on Glebe Road off of Route 50. I found Trish, a 37-year-old registered nurse.  After 12 years in the profession, she decided to go back to school to pursue a career in nurse anesthesia.  It sounds like life is not so easy right now juggling the demands of school while trying to make ends meet and pay her tuition at Georgetown University.

“I used to do a lot of stuff outdoors like biking, skiing, snowboarding, but lately I haven’t done much. I am pretty much studying all the time.”  She went on to say, “I would even play golf at this point, I’m pretty desperate.”
Trish said that she really liked the Year of Giving concept.  “I think I might have heard about this,” she told me.  “Even though money is tight right now, I think I might give the $10 to my sister. She just lost her job.”  Trish said she would update us all when she decides for sure what she is going to do with the money.

Photo: Reed

Trish told me that there was nothing very interesting about her and then she remembered a small “boring” detail, “I climbed to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro a few years ago and watched the sun rise over Tanzania.”  I was like, oh my God! Wow.  That is amazing! Trish had a friend who got let go from their job (I know the feeling) and was given six months severance (I don’t know that feeling…I only got one month!) and decided to travel the world.  She had some time off and decided to meet up with her friend some place along his journey.   They agreed to meet in Tanzania and climb the world’s fourth tallest peak.  Crazy!
Fast forward and Trish is in Tanzania with two friends and 19 Sherpas scaling the tallest mountain in Africa.  They made it up the stratovolcano in three days.  “We could have never done it without the local guys who helped carry so much of our equipment and had meals ready when we arrived at camp.” We laughed over a story she shared about losing one of her jackets at base camp only to see it again a few days later on their way down the mountain being worn by a guy twice her size.  “I just let him keep it…the sleeves came to his elbows!”

Trish hopes to graduate in December and would like to move to Colorado and find work as a CRNA.  If anyone has some contacts, please let me know and I will pass them along to Trish!

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