What I Learned About Giving from a Carnival Worker’s Greed

The other day I took my kids to the carnival. I took some money out of the ATM and told them the answer was yes until I ran out of money and then the answer would be no and we’d go home. We bought all-you-can-ride wristbands. We ate family-sized funnel cake out of a pizza box. We played games. We won prizes. It was a glorious night to be a little kid. I had fun, too. It’s hard not to have fun when your kids (temporarily) think you’re the best dad in the entire world.

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Everything at a carnival is a rip off. Especially the games. Some are fixed more than others, but make no mistake–they’re all fixed. I was startled when one vendor basically admitted as much, cupped one hand to the side of his mouth and said, “Thirty bucks, boss, and I’ll guarantee your little girl takes home whatever stuffed animal she wants.”

What a racket, I thought. Guy just comes out and says the game is rigged but if I grease his pocket a little bit he’ll make it to where she’s a winner.

I don’t like slimy money people. As the co-founder of a nonprofit organization, the last thing I want is to be a slimy money person. I hate asking folks for money. It’s an uncomfortable position to be in. Most folks have limited resources. There are lots of good causes to give to. I get it.

But there are also a lot of unmet needs that exist in our world. There are four I’m particularly passionate about at the moment: building a community center ($24,000) and drilling a well ($3,000) in India, and funding a nutrition center ($19,200) and buying vitamins for 1,000 kids for a year in the Dominican Republic ($7,000).

So while the carnie entertainment specialist could cup his hand and guarantee a cheap prize for thirty bucks, I’d like to ask for less but guarantee more.

giveblitz.001Today is our second stab at a thing called #giveblitz–a social media campaign that consists of two simple steps:

1. Donate $1 to The 25 Group (online here or by text–instructions here or just click the icon to the right.)

2. Share that you gave and invite others to do the same on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else it is you use to connect to friends. Use this image and share it on your social network however you wish to help spread the word.

That’s it. That’s the ask. Here’s the guarantee:

If this catches on like it could, if we begin to pile up one dollar bills in the thousands instead of the hundreds, we’ll have our inaugural projects funded in no time and we’ll move on to doing more work around the globe (like I said, there’s still plenty to do). Partnering with organizations on the front lines we’ll feed the hungry, provide aid to the sick, bring water to the thirsty, and help those in captivity.

#give blitz is on. Today and the 25th day of every month is set aside for this initiative. Help us make today the best giving day in The 25 Group’s young history. As we watch our collective generosity grow, we may just get the same goofy smile on our faces that my kids had the other night at the carnival.

Let’s face it, giving can be a whole lot of fun.

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