The Give Effect: A Resolution to Set with Your Kids This Year
Over thirty Seattle high school students have inspired 1,000 acts of kindness this holiday season. They're launching their campaign as part of The Give Effect, which is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center’s second annual holiday gift drive and community engagement project.
It turns out that young people can be some of our best ambassadors for generosity.
Davida Ingram, the Gates Foundation Visitor Center's Senior Coordinator said, “The Give Effect is a way to create community through acts of kindness. This can be many things—volunteering, donating, or taking special notice of loved ones and strangers alike. We wanted to celebrate how small gestures of caring can really add up to something BIG. Our giving partners helped us collect over 300 wishes from people in need for our gift drive. Everyday people dropped by the Visitor Center to fulfill these wishes because they cared. The impact will be felt from Seattle to Sierra Leone. Local Seattle high school students spread The Give Effect further. Their goal was to inspire 1,000 Acts of Kindness—from giving up bus seats to making a teacher's day. Anyone can join The Give Effect. And it turns out that young people can be some of our best ambassadors for generosity.”
This view of teens is somewhat different than what we're used to hearing, and it's powerful. It utilizes the energy and natural goodness in teens and sets them up to shine. Mental Health and Relationship Expert, Rhonda Richards-Smith, said, “Teens can be incredibly thoughtful, insightful, and present the rest of us a window into the future.” And this specific group of Seattle students epitomize these traits beautifully.
This diverse group of students believes that big things come from small things and that their individual actions can make a difference.
This diverse group of students believes that big things come from small things and that their individual actions can make a difference. Fifteen-year-old Destiny Ruffin said, “The Give Effect means inspiration, hope, and empowerment. It means providing what those gave to me even when they didn't have it. A deliberate will to make positive change.”
This positive change has come in the form of many charitable activities such as sorting clothes for Wellspring Family Services’ baby boutique—completing two weeks of work in two hours! Each of the teens also pledged an act of kindness to focus on in December such as helping someone who is being bullied, posting about giving back on Twitter and Facebook, encouraging someone who is down, or buying someone behind them in line a coffee.
The Give Effect culminates on Saturday, December 28 with a free Family Day event at the Visitor Center, tailored for all ages, which will include hands-on activities, live performances, and inspiring speakers.
At the event, the teens will be “auctioning” off their 1,000 acts of kindness and encouraging the public to participate in the giving campaign. The community can help the teen committee on their mission by pledging their acts of kindness via social media, using the hashtag #TheGiveEffect. This dynamic duo of teen heart and social media is an unbeatable force that anyone can feel good getting behind.
The students' goal is to inspire acts of generosity, big and small, this holiday season, as well as all year long. Seventeen-year-old Dajeanne Washington says, “Hopefully, The Give Effect's meaning as an event turns into more of an ideal; one that will help someone end the year in a great way, but also live by for the next year or years to come.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation connects and inspires youth to engage in philanthropy. To learn more about the Visitor Center, visit their website and follow them on Facebook. To learn more about The Give Effect, visit their blog and follow them on Twitter via the hashtag #TheGiveEffect. And last, if you're in the Washington area, join the teens on Saturday, December 28 for a free Family Day event at the Visitor Center.