Friday, March 2, 2012
Connecting Helpers Across the Globe
I'm really excited to write about today's act of kindness because it opened my eyes to a world of opportunities I would have never known about. I have to thank Eric Winger, a fellow kindness blogger (click here for his blog) for this idea. In one of his posts, he mentioned a site, www.sparked.com, where people can easily volunteer to help a variety of non-profits.
The site essentially matches people who have skills and a desire to help, with people and organizations who need that help. When you log into the site, you choose which causes you have a passion for (e.g. education, the environment, poverty, hunger, animals, civil rights, etc.), and then select which skills you have (design, marketing, research, brainstorming, copywriting, social media, etc.). The site then matches your passions and skills with currently listed "challenges" that have been posted by non-profit organizations.
I responded to two challenges today. The first was from a Canadian organization that sends medical help aboard ships to serve impoverished populations. They were simply looking for ideas about thanking donors. Many people had responded and I contributed some of my thoughts.
The second challenge took a little more effort. A kindergarten teacher in an inner-city school was looking for someone to create PowerPoint flashcards she could use to help her students learn new words. She had posted a document explaining exactly what she wanted. I was able to create the cards for her, based on what someone else had started. I then took it one step further (responding to her best case scenario) and created a version that included a link on each card where the student could click to self-check by hearing the word read aloud. I then posted both versions for her to download. How cool is that?
I'm continually amazed at the power of the internet to connect people literally across the globe who would otherwise have no way of ever knowing each other, communicating with each other, or helping each other (remember my post about Wish Upon a Hero). I'm also continually amazed at the incredible generosity that most people show. It seems to me that most people have an inherent willingness, perhaps even desire, to help others. Sometimes it simply takes the right tools to enable that capacity to materialize.