The term altruism was originally coined by philosopher Auguste Comte. It means selfless concern for the welfare of others. On December 15, 2009, 36-year-old Reed Sandridge did something that people who just lost their jobs usually never do. He started Year of Giving, a project dedicated to his mother, the most altruistic person he knew. Sandridge's plan was to give away US$10 to a stranger every day and then document it on his blog. He said his mother taught him that in difficult economic times, it's even more important to share with others.
Sandridge knows that US$10 is not really going to change a person's life. However, he feels good in his heart, which is worth way more than US$10. Also, his stories have inspired others to do more to help those in need.
Some days, giving away money in Washington, DC is easy, like when Sandridge helps out a homeless person or someone down on their luck. Other days, it's difficult because strangers think that Sandridge is crazy. In their opinion, no one in their right mind would be giving out money to strangers.
On his blog, Sandridge documents each monetary exchange and what happened that day. He keeps in contact with many of the people that have accepted his money and asks them to let him know how they spent it. Some bought cigarettes, alcohol, or groceries, while others paid it forward and gave the US$10 away themselves. Sandridge even has a section on the blog called Lend a Hand, where he lists the needs of the people he has met. From this, his readers can send him the needed items, which he will deliver accordingly. At the end of the year, Sandridge plans to have a party and invite all thse who have been featured. His mother would surely be very proud of him.
- Jan 11 Tue 2011 18:49