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3 Radical Ways to Give of Yourself

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Jan 3, 2017
by LAURI VALERIO at United Way Worldwide

This year, take a step back from traditional giving and think about ways you can give gifts that last. Young people like the famed Kid President are driving radical generosity around the world. In the words of Kid President...

The world is changed by ordinary people, little people living out big love. And that's what gives the world a reason to dance.

KID PRESIDENT

Here's some advice for and from young people on radical giving.

  1. Fail. Put yourself out there. Give yourself over to vulnerability, experience failure, learn from it and-most importantly-talk about it. Watch Tara Suri and Niha Jain's TED Talk about their failed attempt to create community development projects to empower women forced into prostitution on the outskirts of New Delhi. (We also recommend our generation's queen JK Rowling's graduation speech on "The Fringe Benefits of Failure."

TARA SURI & NIHA JAIN: LEARNING TO FAIL

Tara Suri, galvanized by sexism and poverty she encountered, at 13 founded Turn Your World Around, an organization that engages youth in making a global difference. Niha Jain began advocating at age 13 for women's rights, mobilizing young girls in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to volunteer at a battered women's shelter and to raise awareness of domestic violence.

  1. Listen. Learn from those younger than you and teach those older than you. Child prodigy Adora Svitak challenges us to give our ears to, and gain insight from, the kids in our lives. As Adora says, "To show you really care, listen."

ADORA SVITAK: WHAT ADULTS CAN LEARN FROM KIDS

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs 'childish' thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

  1. Love. Give what you have to those around you. Research shows it will actually make you happier. Hear Michael Norton's advice on how to buy happiness.

MICHAEL NORTON: HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS

Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness - when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

Next Giving Tuesday make plans to fail, listen and love. To get started today, visit our volunteer search page.  And don't forget to dance!