I believe that change starts with my generation.
I pledge to take action and live generously by:
Comment on why you signed the pledge
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Givr is a movement started by young professionals in DC who envision a more generous world and have a desire to do something about it. We are backed by Razoo.com, a social enterprise seeking to revolutionize philanthropy.
We come from different backgrounds ranging from consulting to technology to non-profits, however we all share the same vision of mobilizing our generation to come alive through giving. We want to challenge ourselves to disprove the existing stereotype that label us as the "lost generation."
We aim to make the act of giving a more meaningful part of our lives and and the lives of others within our community. In doing so, we will show the world that lasting change starts with small, simple actions. Together, we will experience new ways to give that benefit not only those we help, but ourselves as well.
When I lived in Ethiopia as a volunteer English teacher for a year, I visited a community of HIV-positive people who lived together as a support system out in the countryside. While I held the six year old girl of one of the community members, her mother asked me if I would take care of her child after she died. She probably thought, "What else is she here for?" I didn't know what to say, but I told her her daughter would be fine. I realized it's necessary that we take care of each other, and giving means creating systems and programs to take care of this little girl and others like her. That is why I work in international development and regularly give to relief organizations during emergencies. I'm part of this giving movement because generosity is one of the best ways to flex your leadership muscles for your community!
When you give, you have an incredible opportunity to unleash your creativity to solve problems that keep others from reaching their full potential. You change lives. You change hearts. I believe that by helping others, we also enrich our own lives and challenge our assumptions about what is really possible. I’ve witnessed incredible acts of generosity that uplift people from the deepest poverty and inspire others to turn their lives around. When I look back at my life, I don’t want my success to be measured by career accomplishments and material possessions. Instead, I want to be a part of something that has a profound impact on the way people live a more generous and fulfilling life. I’m part of this movement because I want to challenge each of us to use our skills to forge new and innovative ways to share and express the joy of giving with others in a big way. As visionary architect Daniel Burnham once said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…make big plans, aim high in hope and work.”
When I look to the definition of generosity, I see revolution. Generosity is dually defined as “freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character” and “largeness or fullness; amplitude.” The act of living generously—of committing to a lifestyle of sharing with others—disrupts our normal way of living and forces us to entertain the possibility that our lives are not just for ourselves. It opens up our tiny worlds and allows us to see a richer, fuller view of life. That, in itself, is revolutionary. It changes the hearts of those who give and those who receive. I aspire to this joy. My Givr pledge is part of a larger life commitment to stay myself from seeing my life as solely my own. Instead, I want to become a part of this larger movement to, bit by bit, give just a little more of myself every day.
Giving to me means taking what I have and making something more with it. It's about using what I have to make an impact in the lives of others - to create and do something that is larger than my own person, than my own needs, wants and desires. I was given a new life and a second chance at a normal life because of the generosity and sacrifice of others – people in a different country willing to give of their time and money to help someone that they had never met. While I can’t pay those people back for what they gave me, I can use those gifts that I received from them to create something bigger than myself and help someone else, with the hopes that they will do the same. I want to be a part of this movement because it's a real way for people like me to make a difference. As a generation, I know that many of us have been told for years to focus on ourselves and our own self-actuatlization. I see this as a way of finding my purpose - by helping others.
I am a product of my experiences. I was fortunate enough to have lived, traveled and studied, in great schools, all over the world. I have also grown up realizing that, amazingly enough, similar social and financial bottlenecks exist in many countries. These bottlenecks wouldn't exist, to the degree that they do, if we all took ownership of the process and the role we can play to create change starting with our own communities. Giving back is about creating and investing in a brighter future for everyone. I want to be part of a movement that makes people aware just how similar we all are, no matter where we are from, and how each individual action can really add up on a collective scale!
To me, giving is acting upon the knowledge that people need people. It is about caring for others in this life and life itself, and feeling safer knowing that you deserve to be cared for as well. The more people who give, the more connected we will all be and the better we will understand one another. It is about being fully human. Giving provides a personal fulfillment in a non-selfish way. Putting yourself before others is important in learning that everyone and everything together is more important than any one person. With healthy and constant giving and deep and pure connection, possessions are less important. I want to be part of this movement to help make these truths more a part of our lives, utilizing new technologies that are already largely ingrained, and attain the motivation to do so.