Thank you for joining us for our first installment of Summer of Service! We're kicking off the series with Nate St. Pierre, the founder of ItStartsWith.Us, who is sharing his ideas on how everyone can make a big difference in the lives of others, even with limited time and money. Thanks Nate!
Small Actions, Big Impact
By Nate St. Pierre
How many times have we all thought, “I want to do something with my life that makes a difference, but I don’t have any time (or money)?” I was pondering this a couple years ago, and I decided I was going to build systems where people could make a positive impact on others, in a way that was meaningful to them, in tiny increments of time and/or money. I wanted to prove to everyone that it is possible to change the world through small, consistent acts, and you don’t have to be Mother Theresa or the executive director of a nonprofit to make it happen.
Because the reality is that we are all volunteers, and we are all service leaders in some way.
Nobody pays us to take care of our kids, to help out our friends and family, or to be kind to those around us. Yet those are the things that truly matter in this life, and guess what? A little bit goes a long way with the people who are close to you.
So with that in mind, I set out to build some teams that anyone could join. I’ll give you a brief synopsis of each one here. I’m listing them out not for self-promotion, but rather to provide three distinct examples of how you can touch hearts and change lives by utilizing the concept of micro-giving. Hopefully these will give you some ideas of the kinds of things you can do in your own sphere of influence.
1. ItStartsWith.Us (5,000 members in 100 countries)
Changing the world in 15 minutes a week.
This team receives one email per week with an assignment that takes just 15 minutes or less to complete. With thousands of us working on it together, we accomplish some very big things. ItStartsWith.Us touches literally thousands of lives a week. It allows people to work together, both individually and as a team, to make a tangible difference for someone in their own lives, or for a stranger.
2. Love Drop (1,000 members in a dozen countries)
Spend a dollar, change a life.
Love Drop is a micro-giving network of people who unite as a community to help one person or family a month. By subscribing to the team for as low as $1, we make it easy for our members to change lives in a fun and tangible way. Each month Love Drop delivers a unique combination of unexpected financial gifts, personal encouragement and the support of local and online communities.This team has given away over $40,000 worth of cash, goods and services to five families in five months.
3. Love Bomb (2,000 members in 50 countries)
Changing lives in 5 minutes a week.
Once a week we come together to drop hundreds of love bombs (in the form of blog comments) for those who need it most. We find people going through a difficult time and envelop them with a community that truly cares. Love Bomb is the fastest, easiest project to participate in, and one of the most powerful. Quite a few people have told me that the reason they’re alive today is because of this team.
The biggest lesson learned from all these teams is the knowledge – the proof – that small actions can and do make a huge impact, every single day.
And because of this, every single one of us has the power to change the world.
Nate St. Pierre is the founder of ItStartsWith.Us, a global group of people committed to changing the world in just 15 minutes a week. He utilizes the concept of micro-giving to provide a fast, fun and effective way to channel and direct that passion to people who can benefit from it. Along the way he helps build strong bonds of friendship and a solid team mentality among every participating member, strengthening the entire community and adding to the overall impact of the group. Contact him on Twitter and Facebook.