Kindness Challenge Day 7: Make a Donation

This is Day 7 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! 😀 Welcome to Day 7 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! 😉 We are now at the one-week mark, and halfway through the challenge itself!! 😀

Share Your Results for Kindness Tasks to Date!

Have you reported your progress for your daily acts of kindness? If not, now is the time to do so!

I’m having a blast mingling with the participants in the comments section of the daily task posts. Participants like Wanxuan, Hendro, Netta, Dolly, Hetal_S, Ken, Qin Tang, ASLO, Bette, etc. have been relentless in sharing their daily results with others and it has been giving other readers and participants so many inspiration and ideas in the process! Great job everyone! 😀

Some of you have been tweeting about your daily results (hashtag Kindness Challenge) which is awesome; however, do join us in the daily task comments! That’s where all the real action is taking place!

My Day 6 Review: Talk to People (I Don’t Normally Speak To)

Day 6’s task was to Talk to Someone You Don’t Normally Talk To.

 Talk to someone I don't normally talk to

Hilarious conversation I had with a friend whom I don’t normally speak to. As you can tell, he’s quite the comedian!

Yesterday’s task was a level 1 and level 2 task. Level 1 was to talk to one person whom you normally don’t talk to. Level 2 was to talk to at least three people. Being the host of Kindness Challenge, I promptly opted for level 2 to serve as an example that it is possible to do level 2 within the day itself, and it’s just a matter of whether you want to or not.

Person #1: Long-lost Friend from JC

The first person I selected was my long-time friend from junior college, D. We were good friends in JC but somehow drifted apart over the years, due to different life paths. We got back in touch after she learned about my Kiss92 segment (she even tried to tune in to support me), but it was only a one-off message and we didn’t message each other after that.

So I messaged her in Whatsapp to spark off a conversation, after which we began chatting continuously for almost two hours! It was really great catching up with her after a long while. I learned that she is in China now for work (and has been there for a year already) and she is returning to Singapore later this month. We have arranged to meet up early next month. Looking forward to that. :heart:

Person #2: Distant Friend from Frisbee

The second person I selected was someone I knew from playing frisbee three years ago. We would talk during the frisbee sessions and sometimes hang out as a group after. After I stopped joining the frisbee sessions, we kind of lost touch, though some of my friends continued to keep in touch with him.

So I dropped him a message yesterday morning, following Day 6’s task. We ended up having a deep discussion about life, relationships, and expectations stretched out over the day (the discussion itself was about an hour). I realized that my friend is a deeper thinker than he lets on, as he tends to be the comedian when around others. I had to cut the chat short at the end of the day as my phone battery was about to go flat. We agreed to chat again on a different day.

Person #3: Random Stranger

The third person was a stranger I met while at Mustafa doing my visa application. (I’m going to India in December for an entrepreneurship conference! More details when the time comes.) We were sitting at adjacent computer booths while filling up our visa application forms online.

Suddenly, the internet went down and we couldn’t continue with our application process. We began to chat. I asked her why she was going to India for and also asked her for help on my visa application. She surprised me with her ready answers and openness in helping me, even voluntarily giving me tips on what things I should watch out for. She told me I needed to have a passport-size photo (which I didn’t bring as I didn’t know) and filled me in on the steps that would follow after I completed the online form.

Thanks to her pre-empt, I realized I had to return later in the week since I didn’t bring my photo and hence couldn’t complete my application within the visit. I thanked her profusely (and her mom as well, who was sitting beside her), and then left. It was definitely a beautiful encounter. 😀 Even though we didn’t know each other, she was unreserved in rendering help to me. I definitely felt that she was an angel in disguise right there and then. :heart:

Day 7: Make a Donation

Donate

Do you make donations toward worthy causes?

I’ve never been big on donations, to be honest. A big reason is because I never know what the organizations will do with the money. Recent exposés of charitable organizations (from National Kidney Foundation, to Ren Ci (a charity hospital), to City Harvest, to others) that misuse funds haven’t exactly helped with that perception.

I always feel that if I want to help others (which I do), I might as well just do it directly through my actions and where I devote my time to, rather than through donations, because the money can well be lost in administrative fees, bureaucracy, maintenance of systems and processes, and unoptimized ways of doing things,  rather directly to the people whom I’m really trying to help. I’ve long heard about non-profits and their ineffective methods of running their organizations.

However, earlier this week, I interviewed a cancer survivor who has directly benefited from the outputs of cancer research (and the cancer research has been made possible precisely because of donations from public). It made me realize that there is indeed a place for donation and charitable causes in our world, and these donation drives do directly impact the people we are trying to help (and perhaps ourselves too someday if we are ever caught in the same predicament).

(I’m doing a write-up on National Cancer Center Singapore and inspiring cancer survivors (whom I interviewed earlier this week), which you can read about later today when I publish it.)

Today’s kindness task is to make a donation—any donation of any kind, of any amount. Let’s get started!

Your Task: Make a Donation

When people see the word “donation”, money comes to mind immediately.

While you can donate in the form of money, today’s task ISN’T limited to just monetary donation. Here are just some examples of donation:

  • Donation to the homeless or beggars on the street
  • Donation to a charitable cause
  • Donation to an entity or organization (e.g., school)
  • Donation to a disaster fund (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy)
  • Blood donation
  • In-kind donation (such as supplies, clothes, textbooks, products, services, etc.)

I know some people will probably skip this task because they don’t want to part with their money. That’s fine. Just do what you feel is comfortable. Ultimately I can’t force participants to follow the tasks; I can only assign the tasks, do the write-ups, publish them on a timely basis, and live true to the tasks myself in my life as I try to spread kindness to others.

If you’re not comfortable with parting with your money, perhaps consider the other forms of donation I’ve listed above. Blood donation (which I went for last week but got rejected unfortunately as I was not a valid candidate for blood donation due to small veins). In-kind donation such as old clothes and old books. Donation of something you don’t want anymore which you know your friend wants (don’t just shove your unwanted goods to others; that’s just recklessly discarding something from one place to another).

Even when it comes to monetary donation, you don’t have to go crazy and donate like thousands (though if you have the capacity to do that, go ahead and do so!). A dollar is a donation. Two dollars is a donation as well. Same for five dollars, or ten dollars. I’m sure most of you spend more than this on your lifestyle, be it places you wine and dine, your monthly cellular bill, your apartment rental, things you buy, electronic equipment, etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to request that you donate an amount that’s merely a split fraction of the amount you usually spend on entertainment and life.

Myself, I plan to donate to National Cancer Center Singapore after interviewing a cancer survivor on Monday and realizing that the donating to cancer research does make a difference. I’ll be sharing more about NCCS and the interviews I did in a post later today. Stay tuned.

(If you’re interested to donate to NCC and do your part for cancer research, visit this page: http://www.nccs.com.sg/Giving/WaysofGiving/Pages/Home.aspx. Thank you!)

Share Your Results!

What type of donation have you selected? To whom/which entity did you choose to donate to and why? How much did you donate (if you’re comfortable sharing; not meant to use as a measure of how well you did the task)? How did you feel when making the donation?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done, proceed to Day 8: Pick Up Litter.

Image: Phil_Parker

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