We’re living in an age of connectedness. From offerings like Airbnb to Indiegogo, Americans are actively creating new ways to combine our resources to help one another experience more, do more, and gain access to needed resources together. So much of this stewardship grew from and is enabled by technology. The Internet simplifies giving and sharing. It also makes it easier to communicate needs and the impact of generosity. But the reality is, the enabling technology is new. Human need, generosity, and community are as old as time.
Many hands make light work
There is no substitute for real people helping one another. When those people come together as a community, equipped with new ways to share stories and pool our resources, the impact can be exponential. The community of Titusville, Florida offers a modern story of generosity and charity that has inspired the nation. To most who know it, the small city of Titusville is known as the home to Kennedy Space Center. But since 2015, it has been recognized for launching more than rockets. The people of this community launched a program called 40 Days of Generosity that has improved the lives of thousands, both through receiving and giving.
40 Days of Generosity was born from a fundamental question
“What if everybody – church, business, non-profit, and government agency in North Brevard joined together… for 40 days… with one purpose? To be Generous!”
The Church is One in North Brevard is an association of ministers that introduced the 40 Days of Generosity effort. It brings together pastors, community leaders, business owners, and residents in a shared effort to, “bless [the] community by learning, serving, giving and celebrating Generosity, so that we are forever changed into people who live a lifestyle of giving and serving others.”
For the past two years, between late September and early November, this community rallies together to do simple acts of kindness like raking an elderly neighbor’s yard, to raising money for a local cause, to performing large projects. In 2015, the impact was astonishing – they raised $42,060 for a Salvation Army Emergency Family Shelter and more than $200,000 to build a splash park that has brought joy to countless children and families.
The profound and immeasurable value of this “capital G” generosity movement is bigger than the outcomes. It is the “pay it forward” spirit has grown out of that first short 40 days. It truly has accomplished the mission of the founders to change hearts of people by creating an opportunity to share and support others.
40 Days of Generosity has become a movement because what the people of Titusville discovered – or maybe remembered – is that we are born with generous hearts. Most people are seeking the chance to give what they can and reap the joy of connecting with others.