There is an entire section in the bookstore called “self-help”. What we really need is a section called “help others”.Simon Sinek
In 2002 Jay Whitelaw travelled to Namibia to teach school for a year. Young, energetic, and wanting to do something in the world, Jay thought that teaching would allow him to make a difference.
But the first day he arrived and met his local host Kamati, something happened that would profoundly affect the difference Jay would one day make, not just in an African town but in the wider world.
Through the generosity of his own friends back in Canada, Jay was able to gift Kamati a much-needed mattress and small fridge. Being able to participate in the change that small gift brought to Kamati’s life, and the ripple effect it had on his community, planted a seed in Jay’s heart and mind. A seed that lay dormant and didn’t germinate until 11 years later when Jay had another profound encounter with generosity and giving. An experience that showed Jay the impact on someone when they see the good their gifts accomplish in someone else’s life.
It was a long time coming but thirteen years after arriving in Namibia Jay did something to change the world.
He founded a non-profit called Givesome. Givesome uses modern technology, specifically a phone app, to raise money to fund meaningful projects for exceptional charities around the world.
It only takes a few dollars so anyone can be involved in giving. The unique Givesome video follow-up of completed projects shows donors the impact they have on the people they give to.
From the Givesome Facebook page:
We believe that when people experience the impact their dollars have on the lives of others they also benefit from the experience – and are more likely to want to give again.
We are compelled by the incredible potential that a growing number of engaged givers can have on our planet.
This episode is my first interview on the B-RAD Podcast and I’m so honoured to have Jay share his story with us and to hear about how Givesome is providing remarkable giving experiences that show people the difference they make when they give.
We’re biologically wired to give.
In Leaders Eat Last Simon Sinek writes this:
Mother Nature wants the ones who give to others to keep their genes in the gene pool. That may be one of the reasons oxytocin actually helps us live longer. A person who is good to others in the group is good for the species.
At our biological and spiritual best, giving is what we do as humans. We’re meant to create safe environments for each other. We’re meant to provide for one another. We’re meant to care and co-operate. We’re meant to give. Which is why we feel so compelled to do so.
And yet the charitable giving landscape leaves a lot to be desired. We want transparency. We want to know that even if we give a little it still matters. And we want to feel a connection to whom and where we give.
We want to give. And we want to see the impact of that giving in people’s lives.
Givesome enables that.
How does Givesome work?
You can find out all the details on the Givesome site but here’s the short version, which is also explained in the podcast episode by Jay himself.
Givesome is an app that allows you to give small amounts, $2, $5 or $10, to directly fund worthy projects. 100% of what you give goes to the project. Once the project is completed, you get a video showing the impact you and many others made together in the life of an individual or community.
The Givesome story is reason enough to listen to this episode and hopefully download and use the app for yourself. But Jay’s experience reveals another important lesson. Doing good work in the world requires overcoming fear, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy to respond with a “yes” to the calling in our life.
It takes courage to leave our comfort zone and move into our capacity zone to answer that insistent idea, that tug in your heart, that just won’t go away.
Jay’s story is an honest telling of the response to that tug. Of being stopped by the fear and the question “who am I to do something this large?” Until finally committing to the work and bringing to life the idea planted many years ago in Namibia.
Join me in this episode for some great stories about giving and growing, learn how Givesome is changing the charitable giving landscape, and be inspired by the potential of one person committed to discovering who they are and becoming who they’re meant to be.
Media & Resources mentioned in this episode:
Music “Get Free”, “The Bravest Thing”, and “Hey Now” by Emorie.