If you made a New Year’s resolution, you have probably either forgotten about it or given it up by now…just like the majority of people who make them. Today’s profile is about a couple who have made a resolution to increase their charitable giving. GiverGirl and GiverBoy made a resolution to give $52 each week to a different charity for all 52 weeks of 2011 – and are encouraging others to join them!
The couple was inspired by Resolution ’11, an effort started by an old college friend of GiverGirl. She describes that “he was encouraging me to make a socially-conscious resolution for 2011, and I spent all of November and early December turning the matter over in my mind. In mid-December, we had a fateful Facebook chat that settled the matter.” Since GiverGirl is a writer, she decided to try a weekly blog about issues and causes close to her heart. In addition she wanted to increase her charitable giving. These two ideas blended into a blog about a weekly gift.
GiverGirl continues, “My marketing brain needed to pin down a clever name for this endeavor…and the numbers just sort of floated together. Fifty-two weeks in a year…fifty-two dollars? It was a scary number, but I wanted to be a little scared. I wanted to really stretch myself. 52times52 took shape in my mind that afternoon, and I got started on a domain name and blog design that evening. Then there was the matter of getting my husband on board!”
GiverBoy adds, “When Giver Girl came to me with this idea, my immediate answer was yes, though in the back of mind I wondered if we could sustain that level of giving. I shared Giver Girl’s desire to increase our charitable donations, and we both feel that we’ve been blessed financially and desire to share what we’ve been given with others.”
Both GiverBoy and GiverGirl know what it’s like to have unmet needs, both physical and emotional. They often hurt for others, because they know their pain. They are now in a good place in life…a place that includes a wonderful, warm house, plenty to eat, and three beautiful children. “We feel we’ve been blessed with more than we need, and we want to share what we have with others.”
GiverGirl describes one recent donation experience, “we gave our $52 to the Dream Foundation in honor of my recently-deceased grandfather, and a couple of folks from that organization found out about it, commented, and shared with their followers on Facebook and Twitter. That totally made my weekend.” You can find GiverGirl’s Dream Foundation post here.
Many may think that $52 is a lot of money…but think about your weekly coffee purchases or add up your cafeteria purchases. Giver Boy explains, “We realize that $52 seems like a lot to give week-in and week-out. Bottom line, though, we feel it’s doable and a worthy challenge. Both Giver Girl and I agree that we have more than we need. If we live within our means, this shouldn’t be too hard for us. Sometimes we don’t live within our means, however. We like to go on family trips, we like expensive craft beer, we like eating out on occasion and, well, Giver Girl loves her some online shopping (the UPS man has joked that we should install a loading dock for all her Amazon.com purchases). We actually really, really could use new living room furniture, and it’s going to have to wait a while. But that’s okay. That’s not nearly the biggest problem a family could have.”
How can you help?
- You can watch their resolution unfold by following their blog at www.52times52.com. Check their weekly giving post and if you are inspired, join them in making a donation to that week’s organization.
- You can also sign up as a giver on their site – pledging to give alongside them each week – either to the causes highlighted on the site or to others near to your own heart. You can set your pledge at a variety of giving levels if $52 per week doesn’t fit in your budget.
- You can also share the link to their website on Facebook or Twitter to inspire others to make a difference.
Note that no giving transactions are processed through the 52times52 website. Everyone gives on their own and shares their experiences via the blog posts and comments.