When I was a kid, ‘giving back’ wasn’t a high priority on my list. Did I like helping people? Sure, but if a Mighty Mouse cartoon and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich got in the way, that ‘giving’ feeling got the pause button.
Over the last decade or so, ‘giving back’ became woven into the fabric of my everyday life, mostly due to members of my family who enjoyed being generous. During my radio career from ’92 to ’02, I discovered new opportunities to give, sometimes as easy as making a mention on the radio to help a local cause.
My favorite, in 1998: we had a member of Make-A-Wish NH on our morning show to raise awareness for two local kids. One of them wished for a tree-house, the other for a home movie theater. Just by sharing their message, local contractors and donors showed up en masse to help out.
In 2009, I made a promise to myself: 10% of every dollar I earned as a speaker would be given to charity. This has created some amazing moments, ones which still warm my heart whenever I recall them.
There was still something missing, though. Things were growing, the schedule was filling up, ‘giving’ was getting more consistent…but it was dependent on individual events.
As the masters will tell you, making something a HABIT will greatly increase the odds of a behavior continuing. I needed to make giving a consistent, daily thought.
That’s when Beach Bum Philanthropy was conceived, inspired by my preferred dress code: blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt…and I like to help people.
Why complicate life with starched collars and pressed pleats, right?
Knowing my passion for this, my sister recently hatched a plan. She has always been generous, but just topped herself. When a card recently arrived, she dropped a bomb…right in the bank.
A generous check was enclosed along with instructions to, as creatively as possible, help as many people as I can.
The brief journey since has been amazing. In its first week of existence, just waking up each day with my eyes and heart open a bit wider than before, Beach Bum has bought groceries for a senior citizen, helped a young boy (with a serious health condition) fulfill his wish for a tandem bicycle, and help a gentleman and his friends enjoy a lunch to celebrate his final chemotherapy session.
Here’s the best part, for me: NONE of these ‘giving’ moments were done on my own. Other people were part of each moment.
I am surrounded by Beach Bum accomplices!!
As we enter week #2, my eyes are wide open. My ears are listening for opportunity. And my heart is overflowing with a desire to help others while sharing the energy with as many cool people as possible.
Who can YOU give to this week?
How can you help at least one person, each day, to smile and feel better?
It’s easy…and it’s fun.
You just gotta think like a Beach Bum and ride the waves of good feelings!