Lessons from giving big


When I came up with the idea for GiveBig, I wanted to give more than I thought was possible. Give in a big way and see what happens as a result. Last month's check for $1000 felt amazing to write. I will definitely be doing that again, especially for a person I believe in as much as I do Jeanie.

This month I wanted something different.

GiveBig can be about time too, so I gave away my Monday.

A few days before I put the entire day up for grabs to my mailing list, on Twitter and Facebook to help make someone's day special.

More important, I would spend my day helping people feel special. I provided fun suggestions to get the ball rolling.


A couple people replied that it was a good idea, but no requests. I started to get worried.

Then something happened. Just like it always does if I can hold off the worry long enough to let it.

The night before my GiveBig, requests started coming in. Most began with the words, "I hope I'm not too late..."

"You're right on time," I said, and they were.

So...what happened?

I spent my Monday sending words of encouragement via text, DM and email. I spent it giving pep talks to several friends who I believe in, and having lunch with two more. Each time I listened for and asked what they needed and gave it generously. And as I laid down at 10pm, spent from a day of giving, I sent healing reiki energy to two more people, one whom I don't even know.

What did I learn?

  1. Believe. If I listened to the what if thoughts that plagued me on Friday night, I would have never had an amazing Monday. Trust your instincts. I can't remind myself (or you) enough.
  2. It's not only about giving. One friend tentatively asked for a pep talk, and warned: "I'm not good at receiving." GiveBig works if you accept what's given with open arms. A lot of people believe in you. I was just the one saying it yesterday. Please believe it.
  3. The avalanche. I should have saw this coming, but when it hit I was blindsided. Giving big is contagious. After her pep talk, Joy must have passed it along to half of Baltimore.

That's what I asked from each recipient. If you received something from my GiveBig that you will pass along that same generosity to someone else you care about. A pep talk, words of encouragement, a hug like-you-mean-it.

Thank you for receiving openly, and giving in return generously. It means so much.