The idea for the BIG LOVE Challenge came over a cup of coffee in early December. We were talking about a charity Fire Walk event we had attended some weeks back. The event was in aid of a girl who needed a special wheelchair; she suffers from Cerebral Palsy.
We donated a small amount at the time, as you do, and felt it would be nice to be able to give more... as you do. When we got home we discussed how lucky we are, how nice it feels to be able to help people and how amazing it would be to be able to really help someone in need. How wonderful would it feel, for example, to have been able to provide that young girl with ALL the money for her wheelchair? Imagine how thrilled she would be. Imagine what a difference that would make to her life. And imagine how wonderful WE would feel as a result.
There is science to back up the many beneftis to be had from giving and being kind to people. It seems that helping each other is literally hard-wired into our DNA - no wonder it feels so good. Our colleague, Dr David Hamilton, has just written a book on the subject - The Five Side Effects of Happiness - and there are many others including the excellent Power of Giving by Harvey McKinnon & Azim Jamal which goes into the subject in great detail.
The fact is, helping those in need feels utterly wonderful; it is literally like injecting yourself with a surge of happiness. And while we might not be able to go out and donate hunge amounts of money, we can still make a huge difference to other people's lives by giving time, friendship, skills, a smile or even just the gift of hope.
We created The BIG LOVE Challenge to remind people that even the smallest act of kindness can change lives and to remember that when we help someone else we are literally helping ourselves. All this while playing an important role in creating a kinder, happier and more caring society.
Whatever we may 'lose' in the moment of giving, whether it be time, money or opportunities, will be more than matched by all we gain. We believe the gains are immense and longer lasting. They include deeper friendships, teaching others generosity, greater personal integrity, a sense of freedom, joy and even love."
Azim Jamal & Harvey McKinnon, 'The Power of Giving'