Giving is fun! It puts a smile on someone else’s face, spreads love and kindness, and allows dreams to come true. That’s enough of a reason to give. But, sometimes you have to spice it up a little bit to keep the motivation flowing. Make giving even more fun by turning it into a game while still doing good.
Family Dinner Games
Bring something special to a typical family dinner with a Family Giving Dinner. The Family Dinner Project shares some giving-oriented games to not only add a little fun to the dinner table, but to also encourage families to think about and talk about giving and what it means. Print out the free Giving Pledge Mad Lib resource the next time company comes over. You’ll have fun, learn something about one another, and open the door to meaningful conversation.
Every time you get a correct answer when playing the vocabulary game at Free Rice, 10 grains of rice is donated to the World Food Programme. In just a few minutes of spare time, and a few churns of the noggin, you can help feed people who need it. It’s also completely free, since advertisers fund the game. Watch the bowl fill with rice with every right answer.
The Giving Game
Meant to be played on a larger scale at events or at universities, The Giving Game, created by The Life You Can Save, encourages teamwork, communication, and real-life giving. Over the course of the event, the group must work together to determine which charity to give to. It’s a total win-win.
Gamers for Giving
If you’re a serious gamer and giver, check out Gamers for Giving. This yearly tournament held in Michigan unites PC and console gaming enthusiasts for some friendly competition, fun, and charity giving. For two full days full of events and activities, players put on their game faces, all while raising funds for Gamers Outreach charities, such as providing portable gaming devices in children’s hospitals.
Beyond Virtual Reality
The idea of incorporating positive social change into video games is catching on. More than the concept of a donation being made with every Pokemon you capture, for example, this version of gaming for giving requires you to make actual effort and action to advance in the game. You might have to participate in a real-life water conservation activity, or do something related to civic engagement to unlock features or move to the next level.
With a little creativity and a whole lot of heart, game-lovers are creating a mash-up of giving and gaming that brings giving into our everyday lives. Have you participated in game-related giving? Share away!
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
A small book published in 1923, Kahlil Gibran’s work The Prophet has stood the test of time and offered simple guidance to countless readers (almost 2,000,000 copies have been sold of the American edition alone). With a short chapter devoted entirely to the concept of giving, his careful words share some insight into one of See Beautiful’s favorite topics.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran
“There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire to make their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life, and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.” - Kahlil Gibran
“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” - Kahlil Gibran
“Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.” - Kahlil Gibran
“You often say, ‘I would give, but only to the deserving.’ The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” - Kahlil Gibran
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. — Mother Teresa
Luckily for the children and families in the Casper, Wyoming area, Wyoming Food for Thought feeds more than one. As one of our Humanitarian Giving Initiatives, they were able to provide food bags to hungry children. With every purchase you made through See Beautiful that supported WFFT, you helped to feed a child for a weekend. That may not sound like a lot, but for children who don’t have enough to eat, it is everything.
Here’s a great shot of the food bags ready to be delivered.
We are so pleased to share these kind words from our friends at Wyoming Food for Thought:
Wyoming Food for Thought Project exists, first and foremost, to feed our children. But equally as important as nourishing little bodies, our food bags serve as a reminder that these children have not been forgotten. And what more powerful way to show them they are valued than a project supported by strangers across the country through partnership in See Beautiful's Giving Initiatives? The food funded by the See Beautiful Giving Initiative creates real change in our students' lives, allowing them to reach milestones in school, and in their personal lives.
Thank you to everyone who supported WFFT, and of course, thank you to Wyoming Food for Thought Project for all of their hard work. For an added dose of inspiration, read more testimonials from our funded partners.
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
If the thought of making and delivering a meal to a friend or family member in need is overwhelming, you’re not alone. Most days getting dinner on the table for your own family is more than enough, so adding a second dinner into the mix might instill a sense of panic.
Don’t panic. Here’s the perfect meal as well as a few tips to make it as easy as can be.
4 tsp olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
1 4 oz. can green chiles
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ tsp salt
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Sour Cream or Yogurt for topping
Thank you to my mother-in-law for providing this recipe. Why is this the perfect recipe? It’s vegetarian and gluten free but is still hearty. It reheats well and feeds a crowd. It’s healthy and delicious. It’s versatile. You can add in cornbread, or pasta, or rice, some avocado, and you have a full meal. And you can throw it in the crockpot in the morning and not think about it (just cook for 6-8 hours on low).
If this just isn’t happening, it’s totally fine! There are plenty of other ways to provide a meal for a family.
A few more tips...
A little extra effort on your part will go along way to a family going through a challenging time. A home-cooked meal graciously shared provides nourishment beyond a house of full bellies. It can provide comfort in times of stress and uncertainty. It spreads love and compassion. And it lets someone you love know you care.
What are your go-to recipes to share with friends and family in need? What’s your favorite meal you’ve received from others? Share away in the comments!
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
Can you imagine giving away fifty percent or more of your income? For most people, this is totally unrealistic, because...bills. But, for the mega-wealthy, (aka billionaires), even if they give away ninety-nine percent of their wealth, they are still a millionaire ten times over. This is the idea behind the Giving Pledge. The world’s super rich commit to giving away a lot of money to do good in the world.
Despite the fact that committing to the Giving Pledge may not actually change these folks’ lives at all, it’s still a huge commitment. It's interesting to think about the reasons why someone would make this pledge and where they find their giving spirit. Every person or family that joins the pledge submits a letter stating their reasons or intention in joining.
A prevalent them throughout the letters is the reluctance of many people to join initially. As Ted Forstmann stated, “I’ve always believed that you don’t really talk about giving; you just do it.” But, part of the purpose of the pledge is to encourage others to also pledge. By publicly stating one’s intention, the hope is that others will join in as well.
This also echoes another theme that emerged, which is that the influence of others often profoundly impacted an individual’s propensity to give. Whether it was parents, a teacher, a mentor, or a friend, many of these individuals had great examples in their lives of what it means to give. I think this further demonstrates the above point as well as the nature of giving in general.
We all give in our own way, but one of the strong messages the Giving Pledge sends is don’t be afraid to share with others that giving matters and that it’s important to you as an individual or family. The act of sharing on its own may just change someone else’s life.
Here are ten great quotes from the letters from individuals that committed to giving away the vast majority of their fortunes.
"It is much easier to be generous if you have more than you need, so this is not a difficult thing for us to do. That said, I don’t think being charitable is innate. In my experience, it is learned from the examples of others." - Bill Ackman
"Fortunately, early on in my life I realised that personal ‘stuff’ really didn’t matter. Joan and I lived on a houseboat and one day it sank. We realised that we missed nothing except our treasured photo albums. Later our house in London caught fire, destroying everything inside. Last year our home in the British Virgin Islands was completely gutted as a result of a lightning strike. We were so relieved that everyone got out safely that even the loss of photo albums and notebooks were of little consequence. ‘Stuff’ really is not what brings happiness. Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters." - Richard Branson
"Making a difference in people’s lives—and seeing it with your own eyes—is perhaps the most satisfying thing you’ll ever do. If you want to fully enjoy life—give. And if you want to do something for your children and show how much you love them, the single best thing—by far—is to support organizations that will create a better world for them and their children." -Michael R. Bloomberg
"While there is often a defined division between “for profit” and “not for profit” sectors—with for profit focused on making money and not for profit focused on making a difference—our experiences suggest that can be an overly simplistic way of looking at the world. Instead, we first focus on a societal problem or opportunity that needs to be addressed, and then decide the right strategy to achieve the greatest gains. Sometimes that is backing or starting a non-profit organization. Other times, that is backing or starting a business that is focused on doing well while doing good." -Jean and Steve Case
"From day one, my parents have been instrumental in instilling in me the ethos of philanthropy, particularly my responsibility as a Muslim to give and care for the less fortunate in our society. Our role as citizens of this world is to truly support the betterment of our society so that future generations and their offspring grow up to live even better lives and strive for even more than they think is possible today." -Mohammed Dewji
"Many years ago I asked my young children what two things they needed from their parents. They said ‘food and money.’ I told them ‘roots and wings.’ My goal in pledging 99% of my assets to philanthropy is to help others with roots—food, warmth, shelter, healthcare, education—so they too can have wings." -Judy Faulkner
"As human beings, we will carry nothing with us to the other world – the only things we shall take are the good deeds that we accomplish in this world. We are in this world to be tested, and each one of us must grant the fruit of his abilities." -Elie and Susie Horn
"But for the vast majority of people who are tirelessly devoted to a particular cause; devoted to making the world a better place - giving is hard. When you’re barely able to pay the bills, every dollar matters. When you’re working around the clock and raising a family, every minute counts. Yet, remarkably, people still find a way to give. Whether it’s writing a check in whatever amount they can afford, or volunteering to serve on a committee, people somehow find a way. It’s this spirit that has always inspired me and my wife, Liz, to give." -Eric Lefkofsky
'“In poverty, sustain yourself. In prosperity, help others.” This time-honored philanthropic principle, which has been passed down through generations in China, has given me great motivation and inspiration." -Gensheng Niu
"Looking back, if I had to live my life over, there are things I would do differently, but the one thing I would not change is my charitable giving. I’m particularly thankful for my father’s advice to set goals so high that they can’t possibly be achieved during a lifetime and to give help where help is needed most. That inspiration keeps me energized and eager to keep working hard every day on giving back and making the world a better place for generations to come." -Ted Turner
Oh, and there’s so many more! Check out the full summary of letters if you want to read more.
Where did your giving spirit originate? What inspires you to give? How do you feel about the idea of sharing with others that you give?
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
See beautiful in yourself.