I was on the airplane from Fiji to Australia and sat down next to a well-dressed man. His name was Joe and we ended up having a great conversation for the majority of the four-hour flight. I found out he was one of the lead sales people for Olympus Cameras and he was in Fiji for business. He gave me all sorts of advice about Australia and I told him about my adventure thus far. We shared stories about the local Fijians and how kind and genuine they were towards each other but also to tourists. He then told me about one man in particular that had been serving and taking care of him all week at the hotel he had been staying at, He said this man remembered his and the other business partners names after the first time meeting them. The man would always go out of his to enthusiastically say hello (or “bula!” in Fijian) and make sure they were taken care of. At the end of their short stay in Fiji the man who had been helping him all week seemed sad to see them leave and kept thanking them, even though they were his guests in the hotel. Joe couldn’t believe what this man’s was thanking them when Joe felt he should be thanking the man. Without thinking twice Joe handed the man his personal Olympus camera as a thank-you for his hospitality. The man couldn’t thank Joe enough through his tears of joy. Joe said it felt good making someone else so happy. That camera would have taken years for the local man to save enough even working the long days at the hotel.
I recently set off on a big trip that started off in Fiji with one of my closest friends. We arrived on an island in the Yasawa’s called Coral View, which ended up being our favourite place to stay in Fiji. After doing three full days of eating, snorkelling, singing, dancing and playing volleyball with the locals who worked there, we became quite close with them and felt sad when we had to leave. One of the locals, named Carter, was an all-star volleyball player and all-star smoothie maker. He noticed one day that I was wearing a Toronto Raptors basketball jersey that said “Carter” on the back and asked me who that was. I explained to him that he was one of the best basketball players in the NBA and Toronto was the last Canadian team left in the league. I could tell he really liked it because he got excited when I was telling him about it and I am not sure if he had ever seen a jersey with his name on it. I thought about it for a while and decided to give it to him because I knew he would appreciate it. He loved it and I am sure he will wear it until it falls apart. And ended up with an awesome smoothie on the house, a win-win situation!
Coral View Resort, enough said.
I heard about The GIVEproject last year from Ed and Eland, two of the three amazing guys that came up with it and have been a major fan ever since. My GIVEband and the idea behind it inspires me each and every day to do what I can to change the lives of those I encounter. At Christmas, my friend Monica had volunteered to be a part of handing out turkey dinner to the less fortunate on the Downtown East Side (DTES) of Vancouver and invited me to join her. This was something that I had thought about participating in many times, but had yet to take action on. This year was different. With my GIVEband as a gentle reminder on my wrist, I grabbed my friend Amanda and we joined in. We all found it to be an extremely rewarding experience.
Since then, Monica and I have had many a discussion on what else we could do to try and make a difference in peoples lives for the better. We recently came up with and executed a plan to make and hand out sandwiches on the DTES with a few of our friends. Covering the costs ourselves made us very aware of the price of the items we were purchasing, so we went to the No Frills Grocery on Broadway. Abraham, a wonderful employee there was kind enough to provide us with a substantial discount on the bread we were purchasing after a short chat with our friend Lori, who if given the time, probably could have talked the store into giving us everything for free… next time. I made sure to pass on my GIVEband and explain the Project to Abraham after his kindness to us, to which he then explained to us that he had many friends in the DTES and was very grateful for what we were doing. It was an awesome thing to come to the realization that his GIVE to us was also a GIVE back to him. The cyclical nature of kindness continues to astound me and I look forward to continuing in PassingTheGIVE as much as I can!
I met the person who started this, by sitting outside the student centre of UBC with a few friends who were playing guitar and singing carols. I offered a stranger a chocolate, and asked him about his life, and afterwards walked a way with a new band, and a deep appreciation for a strangers desire to point out the good things that people do in the world.
Today, his actions gave me hope.
Just came home from watching the game with the boys. A 6-2 Oilers win, but the best part was having a chance to give. I had a $10 gift certificate with me and one of the guys also had a card that gave us 20% off the bill. Of course, house rules state that you can’t combine offers. I ended up giving the $10 GC to the waitress telling her to surprise a table. Giftband goes from right wrist to left wrist. Everyone wins!
I recently purchased the popular “$10 for $20 at Wholefoods” Living Social deal and was pretty pumped for a great bargain. As I walked into Wholefoods I passed a homeless man standing in front of the store, drenched in rain, rattling an empty Timmy cup in his hand. It hit me, why should I use this coupon to double the amount of food I’ll be consuming, when I can be using the extra value to create value for someone else?
10 minutes later, I left the store with a fair-trade coffee for myself and a spinach bacon breakfast wrap (my favourite) for my new friend. He was so happy and grateful, I felt better than had I ate the wrap myself. As a new consideration moving forward, I’ll now think twice about how best to spread the savings of coupon-crazed consumption. Coupon savings are a great way to spread the number of people that can benefit from the goods being purchased versus an excuse to consume more for yourself.
I live each day doing one good deed because I believe not matter how small it will make an impact on someones life. I walked with a friend in a hurry to cross the street to get to a store before it closed. The light was changing and I noted that an elderly lady wouldn’t make it before the light changed. I told my friend to go ahead, checked my stride and walked side by side with her. She thanked me and said she gets nervous and tries to time the light so she has time to cross. She told me that my walking with her helped ease some of the nervousness. I told her that she helped me fill my heart with a good deed.
My friend Erin told me about The Give Project and it totally resounds loudly within my life. She gave me my first GIVE bracelet and I proudly wear it and cannot wait to pass it and its message along and to motivate others to make just one small change in someones life.
So I went to swim some lengths rocking a fresh new Give band that Eland gave me about 2 hours earlier and I almost took it off before swimming but then thought “ah it doesn’t matter if it gets wet”.
I’m swimming and swimming and this girl in the same lane as me who had been swimming without goggles the whole time said “Hey, my hair band fell out do you think you could look for it under the water”
So I did, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.
She seemed pretty sad and said “Oh well I was almost done swimming anyways” I’ve never had long hair but I guess you can’t swim without it tied.
But then I caught a glimpse of my wrist and the Giveband, “Hey! You can use this!”
At first she said “No it’s ok”
But I told her that part of the point of the bracelet is to give it away and she could keep it if I explained what it was all about. She loved the idea and seemed genuinely excited not only about theGiveProject but being able to continue her swim.