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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.

 

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October 28th, 2010

Year of Giving

 
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year-of-giving-flashHave you heard the story of Reed Sandridge, who, after getting laid off from his job, embarked on a Year of Giving? He goes out in search of perfect strangers, hands them $10 and asks for their personal story–which he posts on his blog.

I used to write a blog called “Character Sketches,” but this gives the phrase new meaning.

About 30% of the recipients of the $10 used it for food or beverages — like a latte. But the next most common use for the cash was to give it away to someone in need.

And if you read a story that moves you — someone who you might hire, someone whom you could introduce to a contact — Mr. Sandridge has a page for followup, where readers can lend a hand.

Says his brother, Ryan, to the Washington Post:

“He forces attention to people who are usually ignored… I hope others maybe slow their life down just a little bit and see that there’s more than just the daily grind. I don’t know if that’s part of his message or not — but that’s one of the things I take out of it. Look around, pay more attention, be more giving.”

The Year of Giving has gotten some local coverage in the Washington area, but from what I can tell, Reed Sandridge isn’t in it for the press: It seems like he’s just doing this on his own, to be altruistic. I love this story.

 
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The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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  • Carolyn Martone

    I loved this post and mostly the concept thta inspired it. I hope it sparks another ‘Pay it Forward’ story and/or film.

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