In Tyler's case, I show what he is doing so that his supporters know where their donations are going, and that he participates in doing real work on his projects. He is five years old, but I require him to do as much as he can, after he comes up with his own ideas. We also want everyone to know that all of the money that he raises for things like Give Back to Veterans Day is only used to help veterans, especially since everyone in this world is not honest about fundraising. People often work very hard for their money. They want to feel like donations are being used properly. We greatly appreciate individuals who participate in helping veterans. It is not taken for granted. Both of our parents served in the military.
I also want to document my son's progress as we work on the next step for his project. Some grants require documentation, and perhaps Tyler may even inspire someone to take action to try something they would like to do. Creating a platform is not a contest. There is enough room for anyone who wants to participate in doing good deeds to take action and do it. Everyone has a purpose and may be called to do different things. Not every journey will unfold the same. That is okay. In fact, the beauty of it is terrific. I hope that more people look at their hearts and remain true to why they began volunteering in the first place. My parents were active volunteers in different capacities, when I was growing up. The values that I learned are what I try to pass on to my son. Making money is important, but where would we be if no one stopped to help anyone in the world? No one can do it all, but one small act of kindness can go a long way.
Based on the response, we want Give Back to Veterans Day to grow. Raising money online was hard to do, and the call to help collect items was unanswered, that's why I accompanied Tyler to safe places that he could go with a donation can. He works on his project when no one sees him or hears his conversations. Some days when the weather was bad, we had to work around that. Lots of people ignored him when he tried to talk to them about helping veterans. Some people promised to help and never showed up, after meetings were scheduled. I taught Tyler how to deal with that and more, too. He is learning many lessons at an early age.
Social media is a great tool to raise awareness about a cause, but it can require skill. People share videos of people fighting and doing unkind things. In my book, exhibiting bad behavior should not be regarded as entertaining. There are so many negative things going on in the world. Perhaps it is time to share more kind gestures, too. People mess up. People do good stuff. What we as users of social media share is powerful.
Anything we post here has been cleared by someone who agreed that we can. If someone does not want anyone to know that help was given, it is okay. Anyone can need help in life. Who has not been there? If the situation is very sensitive, we do not want to post faces or names either. Letting people keep their dignity is important. Everything is not meant to be shared online. At the same time, when people see results, it helps Tyler to get more support from people who make decisions.
If you want to join the "Do Something Good Network" in 2017, I hope this post helps to give you some things to consider. Establish your guidelines while putting together your project, then use technology as a tool to spread the word. This is my tip of the day!
co-founder of Give Back to Veterans Day