If the Unemployed can give $10 a day, can you?

26 Feb

Reed Sandridge lost his job last year and took up a new hobby. He gives away $10 every day to someone who looks as if they could use it, a different person each day. And Sandridge expects nothing in return but a good feeling.

Now I can’t help but wonder, if he can do it, why can’t we? It doesn’t have to be $10, or even money, but I have read – and experienced – a lot of the phenomenon that people who have the least give the most – the New York Times calls it the “compassion deficit.”

Sandridge started his own website called the Year of Giving, chronicling his 365 days of giving ten bucks to total strangers, and says that anyone can be what he calls a “Kindness Investor.” I like that. What a different place the world would be if we all invested, just a little bit, in kindness as opposed to our own pleasure, greed or profits. A lot of people took Sandridge up on his challenge, and suddenly Kindness Investors were everywhere – many of them unemployed as well. Sandridge says:

My goal is not to change the lives of those with whom I come in contact.  Let’s face it, $10 dollars is not going to change someone’s life in and of itself.  I do believe, however, that the act of giving will hopefully inspire others to pursue the ideals that the French philosopher Auguste Comte envisioned when he coined the term “altruism.”

My week’s gives:

Feb 22: Christchurch, NZ Earthquake ReliefIn light of the recent devastating earthquake in New Zealand and the resulting state of emergency, I made a donation to the relief fund run by Architecture for Humanity. The mission of Architecture for Humanity is building a more sustainable future using the power of design. AFH brings design, construction and development services to communities most critically in need.

Feb 23: We Give Books – I was thrilled to learn of this terrific initiative, that asks parents to read a book online with their child, and then that book (the real, hardcover thing) will be donated to the literacy program of their choice! I donated my book to Room to Read.

Feb. 24: Lisa’s Hope Chest – Today I donated another stack of clothing – this time to this nonprofit that has served thousands by providing gently-used professional clothing to those in need. Lisa’s relieves the embarrassment and stress of not having the proper attire for job interviews, or once hired in the work environment. It really focuses on those in transition, such as women coming out of abusive relationships or homelessness.

Feb 25: Truth be Told – I have supported this organization for a couple of years, since my friend Katie told me about them. They provide a phenomenal program that helps incarcerated women to feel empowered by facing and telling their own truths. I went to a graduation program at Lockhart prison about a year ago, and it was an emotional, powerful experience (read my story). Today I met with Carol from the program to get started on helping them build a blog and publicize.

Til next time,

5 Responses to “If the Unemployed can give $10 a day, can you?”

  1. Leslie February 26, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Great article Shelley, I really liked it.

  2. Reed February 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Hi Shelley, thanks for bringing attention to unemployed people giving. My year-long commitment certainly is not for everyone, that is why this year I have set up a program where those who are unemployed or seriously underemployed can participate for seven days. Although I started the daily giving to make a difference in the days of others, I discovered that it actually had a tremendous positive effect on myself. The new Kindness Investors, that’s the name I give to the unemployed/underemployed who also give $10 a day, have shared the same with me.

    I love your year-long commitment and look forward to following your journey. Where are you located?


    • Reed February 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

      Sorry, I didn’t dig deep enough before….but now see that you live in Austin….great town!

    • Shelley Seale February 27, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Thank you so much for the additional information! I was quite inspired by your project, and was happy to bring some attention to it. I was just telling some friends the other day that, really for any of the experiments I am doing, even just trying them for 7 days can make a big difference. With this giving project, I am really finding that it makes a big impact on my daily attitude when I have at least some part of the day when I’m focusing on something outside of myself and more important than me and my life.
      Thank you!


  1. If the Unemployed can give $10 a day, can you? « 30 Days of giving | Philanthropy - February 26, 2011

    […] If the Unemployed can give $10 a day, can you? « 30 Days of giving (30days2011.wordpress.com) […]

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