The following is a guest post by Katya Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer, Network for Good. This article originally appeared on Katya's Nonprofit Marketing blog at www.nonprofitmarketingblog.com.
Valentine’s Day has never lived up to its sentimental ideals for me. When I’ve been single, I found it sad. When I’ve been in a relationship, I’ve felt its romantic gestures have a quality of obligation—and mean less than heartfelt expressions on otherwise ordinary days. It has strayed far from the general celebration of love and caring that I’d like to think is its true spirit.
Until last year, when I, along with Scott Case and Ellen McGirt, joined Sasha Dichter in an effort to reboot Valentine’s Day into what Sasha called “Generosity Day.” The idea was to say yes to every opportunity to be kind, helpful and appreciative of those around us. It was a call to be open-hearted.
Give to people on the street. Tip outrageously. Help a stranger. Write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them. Smile. Donate (more) to a cause that means a lot to you. Take clothes to GoodWill. Share your toys (grownups and kids). Be patient with yourself and with others. Replace the toilet paper in the bathroom. All generous acts count!
This year, let’s make it even bigger. Consider being a leader or advocate of Generosity Day on February 14. Help shape it, inspire it and spread it! Make it your own - in the ways that will work best in your community. It will be a great experience that inspires the greatness in everyone.
If you’re interested, sign up here with your contacts and ideas, and we’ll keep you posted on the plans we make together.