As the designated Director of Development for my own two children, I have spent a lot of time contemplating how I can teach them the value of giving back to society. This time of year, we tend to focus on giving to community charities, to our houses of worship, and sometimes to struggling lands that we’ve never even visited.
But this sort of giving shouldn’t be just once a year, and it needn’t be financial or material.
We can make a big impact by helping a neighbor through a crisis, tutoring local schoolchildren, or even just by spreading greater awareness about the non-profits and socially-responsible businesses whose missions we find meaningful. In this final category, I am grateful to have discovered a powerful tool, the Case Foundation’s #GoodSpotting campaign.
Most of us are accessorized with smart phones, ready at any given second to take and share photos of our gorgeous children, intoxicated friends, or whatever else tickles our fancy. So why not share photos of people doing good?
It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s free, and it makes a difference. I first learned of the #GoodSpotting campaign around Thanksgiving, and I was instantly hooked. It was not only aligned with my values of what it means to give back, but it also gave me another way I could teach my children the importance of doing good.
Since my kids are age three and under, and don’t yet get the concept of money, I try to explain giving with objects like food or clothing, or through photos like in #GoodSpotting.
I sat my three-year-old down in front of my laptop to see the Case Foundation’s #GoodSpotting gallery and asked him to describe what might be happening in the photos. We have also gone on #GoodSpotting safaris together around town. I think he’s really figuring it out.
Maybe the best thing about #GoodSpotting is how much good you can find out there when you look for it. Come with me now on a photo safari of what a day of #GoodSpotting might look like.
- We head off to school in the morning, and pass Shaw Middle School where City Year is out front greeting students four days a week.
- Then we drive past the Central Union Mission on our way to school.
- At school, students collect food for Martha’s Table each month. This month it is breakfast foods!
- On the way home from school, I pop into Whole Foods to pick up a few things for dinner with my younger son. Lots of #GoodSpotting opportunities at Whole Foods.
- We drive home from Whole Foods and again pass Shaw at Garnet-Patterson Middle School. They’re collecting shoes for the community.
As you can see, #GoodSpotting is everywhere! #GoodSpotting is in our homes, it’s on the street corner, and in our local schools. Our communities are built stronger by the good that is being done within them. Thank you to the Case Foundation for calling upon us to spot good this holiday, in the true spirit of the season.
While the #GoodSpotting campaign may be coming to a close soon, I challenge all of you to continue #GoodSpotting if not for the inherent lessons for our children, but to spread awareness about wonderful non-profits in our city, and socially responsible businesses.
Alice is a stay at home mother of two in Washington, DC. She is a passionate advocate for education in DC, and can often be found spreading awareness on education and other causes on Twitter at @AliceSpeck .