You may remember that recently one of my gift ideas was a donation towards the costs of sending toys to children in detention on Christmas Island. I have just been over on Louisa’s blog Everything is Edible and had a bit of a happy cry when I read that the toys successfully made it to Christmas Island in time for Christmas.
You can check out the whole story here, but in summary:
- on 15 December a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed into the rocks around Christmas Island killing approximately 30 people including children. For many Australians this tragedy had the effect of reminding us about the Christmas Island detention centre and that there does continue to be children in detention in Australia.
- on 19 December Louisa had the thought that perhaps she could send some toys she had at home to the surviving children in detention on Christmas Island
- on 20 December Louisa rang Christmas Island Detention Centre to ask whether it was possible to send gift to children there – they said yes, but advised that it wasn’t quick to get things to the Island.
- via the wonderful world of twitter, blogging and Louisa’s networks by COB on 20 December 5 businesses had pledged gifts to send to Christmas Island and Louisa had found a courier company willing to courier the gifts for $930.
- by mid 21 December the $930 goal had already been reached via a paypal donation button on Louisa’s blog.
Louisa was also able to make contact with Virgin Blue via twitter and able to arrange for this precious cargo of toys to make it on the last and very full flight to Christmas Island before Christmas.
- on 22 December Louisa and friends boxed up the gifts and took them to airport.
The final result – 200 children’s gift made it to Christmas Island and were distributed to the children on Christmas eve. Without these toys there wouldn’t have been a Christmas gift for each child in detention on the island. I think it is beyond fabulous that this type of online grassroots project can gain momentum and be successful in 72 hours in Australia.
I was also very happy to read in Trendwatching.com’s 11 crucial consumer trends for 2011 1 that Random Acts of Kindness is one of the predicted trends of 2011. In catching up on the predicted trends I was also introduced to a new term – Generation G – that’s G for Generosity, not Greed!
Trendwatching.com writes that Generation G is all about:
the growing importance of ‘generosity’ as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy…the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers. In fact, for many, sharing a passion and receiving recognition have replaced ‘taking’ as the new status symbol.
Generation G is leading the new collaborative / free / creation / crowdsourced / gift / sharing movement. Crucial to Generation G are advances in technology which are enabling people to build new social communities and enabling new ways to help the very specific causes that they are committed to.
But of course technology is not required for generosity to occur – I recently stumbled across The Toy Society, which started in Australia in June 2008 and is now a world-wide collective of toy makers – of varying skill levels– who make toys and leave them as gifts for perfect strangers (aka ‘Random Act of Craft’) .
There are more than 3200 members throughout the world who have collectively gifted more than 1800 lovingly handmade toys to perfect strangers since the project began. When a member leaves a toy gift it’s called a “Toy Drop” and is posted on The Toy Society blog and assigned a drop number.
Each toy is safely sealed, with a note to the finder, inside a press seal bag – to protect from the elements. The toy is then left to be found with a tag attached inviting the finder to “Take Me Home I’m Yours”. Finders are invited, but not expected, to let The Toy Society know they have found a toy, and these notes are also posted on the blog. The Toy Society is about giving someone something and expecting absolutely nothing in return.
I would love for you to share other examples of such generosity here…
1 Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.
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