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Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

Giving is Contagious

October 3, 2014

Giving Better, Making a Difference, Talk About Giving, Conversation Starters, Pledges

Did you know you can catch the “Giving Bug?”  That’s right, giving is contagious.  The more you give and, spread your passion for giving to others, the more others will give.  When you give, you create a ripple effect, spreading generosity throughout our community.  Your gifts today can inspire others to be generous tomorrow.

I can see you shaking your heads, giving – contagious?  Absolutely!  In fact, the contagious nature of giving has been proven in a national study by researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard University.  The study proves that it takes only a small group of individuals to make a difference.  Researchers found “when people benefit from kindness they ‘pay it forward’ by helping others who were not originally involved, [creating] a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network.”

At the Community Foundation, we have the privilege to work with generous fundholders, many who have been inspired to give by witnessing the generosity of others.  One of my favorite examples is Helen’s Hugs.  When she was a child, Helen Clay was hospitalized for cancer.  During her long hospital stay, she received a box of toys and treats from a teenage boy, a fellow cancer survivor.  Helen was so touched by the gift she decided to follow his example.  A few years after receiving her gift, she established the Helen’s Hugs fund with the goal of building teddy bears year-round for patients at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia.  The small gift that Helen received inspired her to give hope to thousands of children.

Helen’s story is one of hundreds we hear from folks we work with.  We are constantly inspired by the generosity of our fundholders and how they impact others.  And, we are also amazed at how far a single gift can go. 

This week, catch the giving bug.  Help someone in need and, with the knowledge that your single gift may be influencing hundreds of others, smile.


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Stories of Philanthropy