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Generosity Day

Let’s turn Valentine’s Day into Generosity Day.  Let’s spend today saying YES to everything: to anyone who asks for help in any way.  Let’s seek out opportunities to be as open and generous as we can be, because today is supposed to be about love – not just romantic love, but love for everyone.  And what better way to express love than through acts of generosity?

About a year ago, I conducted a month-long generosity experiment (here’s the original blog post, and here’s the video).  It started because, on a cold December day, rushing home on the subway, I passed a homeless person on the street asking for money.  As usual, I walked by, head buried in my iPhone, and didn’t give him any money.   I knew I’d made a mistake, that my gut response was to say “No,” and this was keeping me from being the open, generous person that I want to be.

The next day I announced that I’d spend the month of December saying YES to everyone who asked me for money (whether a homeless person, a street musician, a nonprofit,….).  I found it transformational.

My goal is to turn Valentine’s Day (today!) into Generosity Day, by having people spend today saying YES to everything.  But I can only pull this off with your help.

If your IN, here’s what you’ll do.

1.  Spend the whole day saying YES to everything and being as generous as you can be.  For example:

  • Give money to anyone who asks: that street musician you typically walk by; a homeless person; your favorite charity…not because they asked.
  • Take old clothes from your closet and give them to goodwill
  • Leave a $5 tip for a $2 coffee
  • Introduce yourself to someone you see every day but have never said hello to
  • Bring in lunch for your co-workers
  • Give someone a complement
  • Take a $7 taxi ride, give the driver a $20, and say “keep the change.”

2.  Share updates on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, wherever makes sense for you.  If using Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #generosityday to spread the word.  Here’s a sample tweet:

  • I just left a $5 tip on a $2 coffee, because Valentine’s Day should be about generosity. http://bit.ly/generosityday #generosityday

3.       Affirmative comments and stories on this blog post are also welcome!

I can seed this idea, but only you can make it happen.  Let’s do it, together!

Sasha Dichter is Director of Business Development at Acumen Fund. Check out his blog where he writes on generosity, philanthropy and social change.

Check out Generosity Day’s write up in Fast Company and add yourself to our Facebook Fan Page!

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