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In this community, generosity is a way of life

Posted by Jan Jasmin Apr 6, 2017 12:50:00 PM

We’re living in an age of connectedness. Terms like sharing economy, peer-to-peer and crowdsource have leapt from concepts to accepted norms. From offerings like Airbnb to Indiegogo, Americans are actively creating ways to combine resources and help one another experience more, do more and gain access to needed resources — even significant ones like homes and cars — together. 

However, there’s no substitute for real people taking steps to help others. And when those people come together as a community, equipped with new ways to share stories and pool resources, the impact is often exponential. It’s said that “many hands make light work” and that may be especially true in the context of modern acts of charity.

Today, we’re introducing an ongoing series about what happens when people do more than talk about giving. Our first story is set in Titusville, Florida — a small community that, to most people who know it, is home to the Kennedy Space Center. But since 2015, it’s becoming recognized for launching more than rockets. The people of Titusville have created a program called 40 Days of Generosity that has improved the lives of thousands through their acts of giving and serving. 

40 Days of Generosity was born from a fundamental question

“What if everybody — church, business, nonprofit, and government agency — in North Brevard joined together for 40 days ... with one purpose? To be generous!”

The effort was created by a ministers’ association, The Church is One in North Brevard. It brings together pastors, community leaders, business owners and residents to “bless [the] community by learning, serving, giving and celebrating generosity, so that we are forever changed into people who live a lifestyle of giving and serving others.”

For the past two years, between late September and early November, the community rallied together to do simple acts of kindness, such as raking an elderly neighbor’s yard, or raising money for a local cause and performing large projects. In 2015, the impact was astonishing — $42,060 was raised for a Salvation Army Emergency Family Shelter and more than $200,000 was raised to build a splash park that has created joy for children and a place for families to gather. 

The profound and immeasurable value of this “capital G” generosity movement is bigger than the outcomes. The pay-it-forward spirit that grew out of the first 40-day event has accomplished the founders’ mission: to change hearts by creating an opportunity to share with and support others.

40 Days of Generosity has become a movement because the people of Titusville discovered — or remembered — that we’re born with generous hearts. Most people are looking (or waiting) for an opportunity to give what they can and reap the joy in connecting with others in a fundamentally human way.

We’ll continue to profile organizations and endeavors like this one in our generosity series. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a single inspiring story. And if you know of a church, organization or community bringing generosity for others to life, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

Jan Jasmin

Jan Jasmin

Jan Jasmin is the Charitable Giving Evangelist for Faith-based Sales for Vanco Payment Solutions.

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