Everyone loves the thrill of walking along and seeing a 5 dollar bill on the ground with no-one nearby who could have obviously dropped it.
Now imagine that $5 was $200 and instead of randomly on the ground it was placed in an envelope and you had been given a clue of a location and a photograph of where you might find it.
You and 440 000 others.
That’s right! In just two weeks, what began as a fun quirky tale on Twitter with a handful of followers has become a little bit of a media phenomenon [especially in SF where it’s been happening] and a rapidly exploding Twitter account. An anonymous millionaire [apparently] decided that it would be fun to start propogating random acts of kindness and started hiding money in envelopes and leaving clues under the Twitter handle of @HiddenCash. And it has grown and grown and grown, launching a trip to L.A. this last weekend and a bunch of copycat accounts all over the world of other people trying to do similiar things.
In L.A. @HiddenCash filled 36 Angry Birds with cash and buried them on a beach and then tweeted the location of the beach the next day…
It has definitely caught the attention of many and has been a fun event. Who doesn’t like random acts of kindness?
But one of the questions we like to ask at Common Change is, ‘What happens tomorrow?’
WHO IS IN FOR THE LONG HAUL?
When someone dies, everyone gathers around them for the first week and they have all the support they need, but then a week later everyone slowly drifts off and life goes back to ‘as normal’ for everyone else, but often the second week can be the loneliest week.
When someone has a crisis need, often friends and family jump in and help and the need is covered, but often there are other bigger picture factors that are part of the cause of the crisis need and if those aren’t addressed then a week later another similiar need is likely to appear.
Instead of randomly giving cash to people, Common Change is a non-profit that enables groups of friends to gather some of their resources together so that when there is someone they know and care about who has a need, they are able to walk alongside them.
Giving through relationship.
Not that random giving is bad. Paying the bill for a couple on a date in a restaurant you just ate at, or the toll fee for the car behind you can be a fun and encouraging thing and we should continue to seize those moments.
But relational giving can have a much greater and more long-term impact. And you are building on relationships you have already made with people. And in the case of being a part of a Common Change group, you are using money that you have gathered together and responding to a need from a place of abundance, not of scarcity and scurrying to find money for some emergency that has come up.
SOUND GOOD? WELL HOW DO I BEGIN?
Becoming a member of Common Change is as easy as heading on over to the site and signing up.
If you already have a group of friends who might be interested in giving this giving thing a try, then get them to join as well and form your own group. Otherwise you can join an already established group and start giving with them.
Once, you are set up and have started donating regularly to your group [of which 100% goes to meet needs within your group] then any time you know someone who has a need you can share that with the group and invite their wisdom in figuring out the best way to meet the need.
Another fun way of experientially getting a taste of what this new giving is all about is what we call a Generosity Dinner. Inviting some friends round for a meal and a once off practical experience of collaborative giving.
Across the States during the Summer we are hoping to see many different Generosity Dinners taking place – if you would like to find out more about hosting one, then head on over here.
Random can be fun… but intentional is for keeps…
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