January 19, 2011

He Made a Difference

Remember Reed Sandridge?* In December 2009 Sandridge, then an unemployed Washington, D.C., resident, made a commitment to give away $10 every day for a year. The daily task of distributing the money engaged Reed with people from all walks of life. He gave money to the homeless, students in school, as well as to some with six-figure incomes.
The Sandridge story was so compelling that the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and National Public Radio reported it. He also appeared on television interviews in Russia and Spain.

By the time he completed the Year of Giving on December 14, 2010, Sandridge had received more than 10,000 e-mails from the more than 340,000 blog readers and 5,000 Facebook friends.

Perhaps Sandridge’s greatest legacy is the people he inspired to do similar acts of kindness. In June he held a Worldwide Day of Giving, and more than 500 people participated. He also created opportunities for others to give by showcasing the needs of disadvantaged persons on his Web site.
Though Reed, who found employment in July, ended his campaign in December, he wants to enlist unemployed persons to continue the practice. “The fulfillment that you get when you connect with others is tremendous. It has changed my life,” he says. His next goal is to volunteer with a nonprofit organization and inspire others to volunteer.
Reed’s journey is a vivid example of the power of human kindness. It ripples through society and reaches around the world. If one person can make such an impact in his community, just imagine what a difference a Pathfinder club, Sabbath school class, or congregation could make in its neighborhood community. There’s no telling just how far the impact of one small act of kindness can go. Isn’t it time that we found out?
* See “Radical Compassion,” Adventist Review, June 10, 2010.
Carlos Medley is online editor of the Adventist Review. This article was published January 20, 2011.