You may know who Jessica Jackley is. She’s an entrepreneur and investor with Collaborative Fund focused on financial inclusion, the sharing economy, and social justice – best known as the co-founder of Kiva.org, the current beneficiary organization for our Travel by Giving community.
I always enjoy hearing first hand insights from those who have facilitated large scale social change, and watched Jessica’s talk at Google on YouTube last night:
Jessica’s story of learning about poverty when she was 5 in Sunday school and the resulting realization that she could do something that mattered with her life by giving back reminds me of my first experience giving to someone else. Growing up, I received $5 in allowance every week, and spent virtually all of it on sportscards (& candy), much of it at Norm Johnson’s Sportscards in the Crossroads Mall (in Bellevue, WA). One week, after visiting Norm Johnson’s and buying my usual 2-3 packs of cards with my allowance, my mom and I picked up some food at the nearby QFC and headed out to the car. There was a homeless man standing outside, with some sort of sign asking for help. I have no idea what his sign said or what else had happened in my life that day (keep in mind this was 25 years ago), but I felt compelled to give. I had no money to give since I had just spent every penny on sportscards. Thus, I asked my mom for my next week’s allowance in advance so I could give it to that man standing outside. She asked me if I was sure, and then gave me $5 – which I immediately handed to the homeless man.
That was the first time in my life that I can remember giving to someone else. That mindset continued into my teens, and has only gotten stronger since. Ultimately, it’s that same giving mindset that has led to Horizon and our donation model.
What’s your first memory of giving?