Welcome to Week 48 of The 52 Week Love Project – Acts of Kindness. The project designed to recognize 52 inspiring humans who are giving back to our community – whether in a small way or by creating a movement for change and inspiration.
Meet Stephanie the creator of Giving Gal, LLC! Inpired by a book she read – ’29 Gifts’ written by Cami Walker, stephanie decided to start giving to strangers everyday!
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
On January 1, 2001, I started my giving journey. Me as one person, looking for a way to make a difference in one other person’s life, each day.
My goal was to give daily for a year, but a year turned into 522 days. My definition of a gift was simple, to give and expect nothing in return. The gift didn’t have to cost a lot of money or time. The journey changed my life.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’ve started a giving movement called The Giving Challenge. I challenge people to look for simple ways to give each day. I’m the author of The Giving Challenge, and soon will be launching The Gratitude Challenge. This past year I did the ‘Lent Giving Challenge ‘and ‘Summer Giving Challenge’. I also, speak to businesses, schools, churches and non-profits on my journey and the power of giving.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU?
I always say, I was raised a Giving Gal, but my what spurred my giving journey was when I read the book, ‘29 Gifts’ written by Cami Walker. She gave a gift daily for 29 days. I never understood the 29 days, and so I set a goal to give a gift for a year.
HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF DOUBT?
I’m a life coach, and I’ve learned that self-doubt is a mindset. For me, when I’m scared to act or give a gift, especially if the gift involves approaching a stranger, I ask myself, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?” Usually, the worst thing, isn’t as bad as I’ve conjured up in my mind. Also, I think we are always fearful of rejection, but what I’ve found more times than not, people are accepting and say yes. I can only think of a few instances over the years, where someone rejected a gift. I remind myself, that I’m rarely rejected, and if I am, the rejection is about the person rejecting me, not me.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE/CHANGE IN THE WORLD?
Start small. Start where you are with the resources you have. I think if I set out to give thousands of gifts, I may have been overwhelmed and quit. But by setting the bar low, at one person, one gift a day, I knew that was doable. But what I found is that over the course of 522 days, I impacted thousands of people. But it’s important to set a goal and have a vision and a purpose. Get involved doing something you love, it makes giving so much easier and when times get tough, you’ll persevere to continue to make a difference.
I also think it’s important to give to yourself. I found after my 522 days, I was a bit drained from pouring into and focusing on others. I took a little break, started incorporating self-care and then jump started my giving again, and I’ve been giving a gift daily for years. If my cup is full, I can serve others better.
DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE OR EXPRESSION THAT YOU LIVE BY?
I like, “Not All of Us Can Do Great Things, But We Can Do Small Things with Great Love” –Mother Teresa
I also like the quote:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
It’s attributed to Winston Churchill, but while working on a project, I emailed his estate for permission to use the quote, and they said they’d love to give me permission, but they couldn’t find any documentation where he actually said those words.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I’m a life/book coach helping people pursue their dreams or start writing a book. I own a small publishing company and help companies and individuals publish their books.
I also have a day job and work in leadership for a Fortune 100 company.
HOW CAN OTHERS HELP/GET INVOLVED?
If you want ideas about how you can start giving check out the webiste below – there are Giving Challenges that can help you be part of it.
Visit Website: Here
Follow Giving Gal on Instagram and Facebook
Twitter and IG: Giving_Gal
Giving Gal Gazette: here