It really can be done. If anything, we should all realise that everyone has that power inherently. It’s whether we choose to, and how we use it, that determines the future.
I recently came across a blog post on a friend’s site. It was a heartfelt story of a couple’s struggle with cancer and their last hope for a treatment and possible cure with an expensive drug trial. The couple had turned to the internet through a site called “YouCaring” to crowdsource the expenses. Apart from their heartbreaking circumstance, what really struck me was that this was the first time I had ever heard of the site. This is to no fault of the site or their mission, but rather the social landscape and the times that we live in.
We all, to a certain extent, live in our own social bubbles and echo chambers. Shielded from the world, and in most cases only rarely venture outside our comfortable social boundaries. We see and experience the world through our news feeds and curated websites. Either we are too far removed from the situations, or they are so distant from our preferences and circumstances that the real news never gets past the algorithms or curation.
I guess there is a need for this filtering, or else we would be bombarded by a constant stream of noise that would be even more counterproductive.
Well I was surprised to learn of the site and its mission statement.
“We believe kindness is powerful and that by leveraging today’s technology, we can help the world by making the best use of humanity’s most valuable untapped resource: compassion.
No one should have to face hardship alone. That’s why day by day, dollar by dollar, we are working to create a global giving community on a scale unseen in human history. We are aiming to change the world for good.
And we’re doing this for free. By operating solely on donations, we ensure that no one is charged for fundraising on our site. This means that more money finds its way to the right places, doing more good for more people.”
Setting all doubts and cynicism aside, I made my donation to the couple mentioned previously. My pledge was not anything ground breaking and or news worthy, and in most cases neither were the others. But with each donation of a dollar here or twenty there, they crept closer to the goal. Just like any Kickstarter project, every dollar helps and with the power of the masses, these goals are easily within reach.
As a modern geek, I’m quite familiar with the concept of crowd funding and have been a backer of many myself. Even in the Kickstarter world, there have been a few heartfelt stories. But to have a site dedicated to fundraising for the well being of others was totally new to me.
YouCaring has been around since 2011 so it is definitely new. Further, as with all good things, there will be people that try to manipulate and cheat for their own gain. But, I think what Youcaring represents is much greater than those few bad eggs that may creep in. It represents an ideal that, if we work together selflessly, we can accomplish the impossible. Each and every person just needs to know they CAN make a difference. By one’s self, it may be insignificant, but when connected to like minded people we can do things that will benefit the whole far greater and longer than anyone could possibly imagine.
For all those that are nagged by cynicism and scepticism, just remember that, it is no different than a Kickstarter. Yes, you may get burned. But more often than not, by taking that leap of faith, you will get rewarded. In this case, you can go away knowing that you did a little something to help when someone needed it the most.
Back to the 30 sec in the title. It was something that was mentioned on YouCaring’s site that resonated with me.
“Even a 30 second share on Facebook can help. The average share raises $37”
So by this logic, you CAN really change the world in 30secs. You just need to take that selfless first step and start caring.
And, if you are interested, this is the couple that was mentioned.