Good for Goodness Sake

 Lakresha Moore is overcome by emotion after being handed a $100 bill by a Secret Santa  


Lakresha Moore is overcome by emotion after being handed a $100 bill by a Secret Santa

I came across an article today that really made an impact on me. It is about pure giving because it is the right thing to do. 

Here is an excerpt from the article:

At a suburban Goodwill store on Friday, Theresa Settles selected a large, black comforter to warm her family until she can raise the money to turn the gas heat back on. A petite woman approached, her face obscured by dark sunglasses and a wrapped winter scarf, and handed Settles two $100 bills stamped with the words “secret Santa.” “The only condition,” she said, “is that you do something nice for someone. Pass it on.”

Apparently, this is the doing of a gentleman named Larry Stewart, who died of cancer a couple of weeks ago. He had been “street giving” for the past 30 years or so, and asked that his tradition be carried on. And so it was. 

This is a pretty inspiring story to read in a holiday season when people are really hurting financially and need to lean on the kindness of fellow human beings. The reason to give was simply to give. The reason to be good was simply to be good. This guy, Larry Stewart, has nothing to gain (I don’t think) by giving so much of his money. 

I have to admit, when I first read this article, I thought: This is a great guerrilla idea. How can I use this idea for one of my clients? How can I help brand them as community servants?” But, I had to turn off the marketer’s part of my brain and simply realize that the real impact of this story is NOT the fact that people were being given $100 bills, but the fact that it was done without regard for credit. It was done without need for recognition or a newspaper article. (However, I then wondered how they got a photo and got this article to the AP… hmmm…). The impact of the give could not be leveraged if this was a planned give with planned coverage and a PR pitch – you kill the essence.

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