Year of Giving

Christine Whelan | Posted on 04/12/10

Yesterday on NPR I heard the story of Reed Sandridge, who, after getting laid off from his job, embarked on a Year of Giving. He goes out in search of perfect strangers, hands them $10 and asks for their personal story--which he posts on his blog.

This gives a new meaning to character sketches, huh?

About 30% of the recipients of the $10 used it for food or beverages -- like a latte. But the next most common use for the cash was to give it away to someone in need.

And if you read a story that moves you -- someone who you might hire, someone whom you could introduce to a contact -- Mr. Sandridge has a page for followup, where readers can lend a hand.

Says his brother, Ryan, to the Washington Post:

"He forces attention to people who are usually ignored... I hope others maybe slow their life down just a little bit and see that there's more than just the daily grind. I don't know if that's part of his message or not -- but that's one of the things I take out of it. Look around, pay more attention, be more giving."

The Year of Giving has gotten some local coverage in the Washington area, but from what I can tell, Reed Sandridge isn't in it for the press: It seems like he's just doing this on his own, to be altrusitic. I love this story.

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