If someone asked you how hopeful you felt about the future of the country
and the world, what would you say? If you’re anything like me, it’s a mixture of hope and hopelessness. Especially when I look back on 2016 – a year filled with hashtags signifying disunity, unhappiness, poverty, inequality, prejudice and more. Thinking about the events of this past year got me thinking about whether I could even make a difference in the small space I occupy on this earth. A friend reminded me that if many people make a positive difference in their own realm of influence, it could create a patchwork of blessing covering over a multitude of evils. Her words had me thinking some more – what does everyone have that they could use for good? The answer came to me when I was contemplating what to do to celebrate my 40th birthday – everyone has a birthday!
Usually, birthdays are for celebrating the birthday boy or girl. But what if we turned the tables? What if we chose to use our birthdays to celebrate, uplift, bless or encourage others instead? What would happen if hundreds or thousands or even millions of people chose to use just one day this year for the good of others? With that, both the idea for my birthday celebration and the #1to100Challenge was born.
My birthday ended up being a wonderful, fun evening celebrated with friends and family raising funds for U-Turn Homeless Ministries. In lieu of gifts, everyone brought unwanted items from their homes and we held a hilarious White Elephant Auction. We got to hear about the work of U-Turn from the director and U-Turn was blessed with the cash raised and a truckful of donated goods. Best of all? Dozens of guests indicated that they too wanted to use their birthdays for the good of others and so the #1to100Challenge started its journey.
Today, we at Hip Homeschool Moms, are sharing the #1to1ooChallenge with you too. Thanks to the ease of social media in sharing ideas, this challenge can be taken up by anyone, anywhere in the world. This is how it works:
The #1to100Challenge challenges you to use your birthday this year to focus on serving others through outreach, upliftment and generosity. By January 2018, we hope that every birthday celebrated from 1 year old to 100 years old will be represented in this challenge.
You can be a part of this challenge in many ways – big or small; private or public; inexpensive or financially generous … whoever you are, wherever you are, with whatever gifts, traits, resources and abilities that you have, consider using your (or your child’s) birthday this year to bring joy to others. All you have to do is choose a way to use your birthday to lift others up and challenge #1to100 other people to take up the challenge for their birthdays too.
And, if you are comfortable using social media to encourage others to join you in this challenge, we would love it if you use the hashtag #1to100challenge if you share what you are doing. Personally, I’m excited to follow the hashtag and see if we can get every birthday between 1 and 100 represented in bringing joy, upliftment and hope to others.
If you love this idea, but are unsure about what to do, here are some ideas:
- have your friends and family bring you “in lieu of gifts” donations. They could be secondhand books for a local charity, shelter, or children’s home, like my friend, Nina, did. Or, gift cards for your local grocery store that you can use to buy goods to anonymously donate to needier people. Another friend, Danni, is holding a second hand clothing party – blessing her friends with clothes she no longer wears and allowing them to do the same. Danni is also starting a toy drive – collecting gently-used toys to start up a toy library.
- Have a birthday party with a difference. Some years ago a friend had her friends each bake a cake and head out into the neighbourhood to give the cakes to unsuspecting strangers as a sweet blessing. What fun that was! If you’re up to doing something on a bigger scale, then consider throwing a party that is aimed at raising funds for a cause close to your heart. A white elephant auction is often a fun way to do this.
- If you’re handy or crafty, consider using your gifts to bless others. Maybe make a special something for each of your friends as a thank you for their friendship. Or, get your local knitting circle to make that patchwork blanket or start a beanie-knitting challenge with all your friends.
- Save up a small amount each month on the same day as your birthday and pop it into a jar to treat someone else. Or donate the amount to a charity or worthwhile cause.
- Give a person or organisation the blessing of your gifts and services for a day, a week or a few days every month. Good at admin, or house-cleaning, or shopping, or babysitting, or reading aloud or …? Volunteer time to an organisation or person that needs the help but cannot afford it.
- If you have a product or service you usually share about online, how about tagging the #1to100Challenge onto a freebie on your birthday?
- Not all blessings have to cost much. Consider using your birthday to write messages of thanks to people in your past, your local representatives or the people you greet each week at your local grocery store.
- Give back to your local police, firefighters or other public servants – bake up a storm or take them sandwiches or bless them with a pizza delivery that day!
There are a multitude of things you can do – and more ideas coming every day. If you’re keen to join the challenge, then do follow @1to100challenge on Facebook or Instagram and @12100challenge on Twitter to pick up new ideas and see what others are doing. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #1to100Challenge to share your ideas too! Got a blog? Show that you’re a part of the challenge by grabbing this button below. We can’t wait to see this challenge bring joy to others!