We’ve all heard of the Baby Boomers and Gen Ys, but it is Generation G that is making a big impact in Australia. No, the G doesn’t stand for Greed – it stands for Generosity. And on the 28th April 2011, over a million Gen G’s will be performing random acts of kindness for International Pay it Forward Day, a community movement which began in Australia and has spread to 30 countries worldwide.
Australia was even voted the most generous country in the world by The World Giving Report recently, demonstrating the powerful impact our Gen G’s are having on social change. This amazing spirit was certainly seen earlier this year when Aussies dug deep and raised over $100 million dollars to help Queensland flood victims. Big business also came to the rescue: The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) donated $1.35 million; BHP matched employee donations to a whooping $1.3 million.
But you don’t need to be big to make a difference. Two Australians – people just like you and me – decided to create a video to help survivors of natural disasters rebuild their lives and their communities. Code named ‘Project Phoenix‘, the video will be released via Youtube on the 28th of April 2011 in celebration of Pay it Forward Day. With only their time, an iPhone 4 and iMovie, this odd partnership between Diego (from Sydney) and Anita (from Melbourne) is another example of how ordinary Australians are reaching out in extraordinary ways.
It is not surprising everyone is getting on in the act. The organisers of Pay it forward day expect over a million global citizens to reach within and carry out an act of kindness on the day. They hope a much larger crowd will join in: if their wildest dreams come true, over 3 million people will join in this year’s celebrations. Are their expectations unreal? No, they are not. According to a report released last year, official Australian donations to charitable organisations topped $2.76 billion. And it’s not just Australia. Overseas, the royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting into the spirit of kindness and have pledged to ‘Pay it Forward’ as they start their new life together: Instead of receiving wedding gifts, they have asked people to help the needy by making a donation to 26 charities chosen by the couple.
But it isn’t just about monetary donations that Gen G’s are getting excited about. According to Volunteering Australia, Aussies volunteer over 700 million hours each year to help the local community. Just last month in the Newcastle town of Toronto, over 200 local volunteers bandied together to help three children whose single mother was terminally ill. Led by an unlikely hero – a chicken farmer aptly named “Chicken Mick” – the team of local volunteers raised over $100,000 to help pay off the family’s mortgage and renovate their home! The difference a community of Gen G’s can make is powerful; as “Chicken Mick” says “All it takes is a group of people putting their hands together and someone to lead the charge.”
These sentiments also ring true for International Pay it Forward Day, which began in Australia in 2007 by a few people who were willing to put their hand up to help the local community. Now turning into a worldwide phenomenon, over a million Gen G’s around the world are ready to take part on the 28th April. There have been 16 state and city proclamations internationally and hundreds of schools participating in pay it forward activities.
Gen G’s are influencing business too, expecting them to do their bit to help the local, national and global community in humanitarian efforts. A great example of this happened in the India recently when the Parliament introduced a bill that requires large companies to support good causes by donating 2% of net profits.
When it comes to unconditional acts of generosity, the 28th of April is a day to remind us of the power of giving. Pay it Forward Day, founded by Australian Blake Beattie, inspires everyone in the community to pass on good deeds in the hope that recipients will pay kindness forward to others in need. Blake states ‘One good deed might not seem like much, but if everyone did something good for someone else, then the cycle of generosity and kindness can inspire us to become better people. Imagine if everyone paid kindness forward every day – what a difference that would make!’
Don’t wait: visit payitforwardday.com now and join over 800,000 others who have visited the website for inspiration and ideas. Like their facebook page. And make sure you share the story of how you played a part on the day; there are countless ways to get involved and every good deed counts!
Image credits: “This is the life” courtesy of HiggySTFC (flickr.com)
Article credits: Written by Betty Zeritis (media contact) and Blake Beatty (Founder) from Pay it Forward day.
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