Last weekend my daughter got mugged on the way to a practice test. She wasn’t harmed, just frightened as the thief got up in her face and demanded her money. But he didn’t just take her $17, he also demanded her Starbucks. I thought at first he had asked for her Starbucks card, but it turned out she had a Starbuck vanilla latte or something in her hand. Yes, he took her drink.
So I tweeted about it. The moms tweeted back in droves–“was she okay?” Yes, just really mad that the thief took her drink.
But surprisingly I got a tweet from a company called @5DollarProject. The 5 Dollar Project is “all about bringing the world an extra does of happy.” What did their tweet say? They wanted to send my daughter a gift card so that she would have faith in the world and that kindness still exists in the world.
So I did some research on 5DollarProject. It was started by Jodi Sonoda who writes a blog called My Accidental Life. At one point in her life she found herself homeless and with a new baby that she didn’t want at first. She sold everything she owned to take care of her baby and found herself on Twitter at all hours of the night talking about her situation and companies and strangers gave her the things she needed to keep going–conversation, information and yes, pillows. “Twitter has given me a given me a place to sleep and social media has given me a place to fall if I’ve fallen down.”
The 5DollarProject is her other baby. It’s not a charity. It just an initiative to spread smiles.
“The 5 Dollar Project’s goal is to spread random happy, not be complicated. Start by picking up a treat or 5 dollar gift card to a place where 5 dollars is still worth something (cafes, coffee joints, fast food, anything!). Find a stranger, learn something about them (their job, their favourite colour, what size shoe they wear – ANYTHING) and give them the gift. Take a picture with them if you can and encourage them to pay it forward. Send the picture with your names and city to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Well they made my daughter smile. We’ve yet to get to the gift card, but when we do, we will be sure to send the picture to Jodi.
And as for Starbucks who was on the thread of tweets? Not a tweet from them. I wonder how they get such high marks for social media. Hmmmm?
P.S. Our365, a company that takes your babies first photos at the hospital also sent her two $5 gift cards. What a great thing for my daughter to know–we live in a world where complete strangers will show kindness to strangers.