Sandridge did all the things people usually do when they unexpectedly find themselves out of work. He filed for unemployment, updated his resume and started searching for a new job. To date, he is still looking, at least when he finds some spare time.
Since December 16, 2009, Sandridge has been spending much of his time doing something rather unique. Despite being jobless, he gives away $10 every day to a complete stranger.
The idea was motivated by his mother, who was fond of saying, “When you’re going through tough times, that’s when you most need to give back.” Sandridge took those words to heart. On the third anniversary of his mother’s death, he began his mission to hand out $10 for 365 consecutive days – The Year Of Giving.
Reed Sandridge hits the streets of Washington D.C. every morning and searches for just the right person. Some days he has a surprisingly difficult time giving away money. People tend to be suspicious, and a stranger offering cash out of the blue is far from ordinary.
It all started with a failed attempt. Sandridge offered the first $10 to a stranger who shot him a wary glance and walked away. The second attempt was a little smoother, but equally unsuccessful. Candidate number two refused the cash, suggesting that it should go to someone more deserving. This didn’t deter Sandridge, it inspired him. He hoped that people would ask him to put the needs of others before their own.
As the saying goes, the third time was a charm. Sandridge met a man named Knox who was trying to earn some money by shining shoes. The 50-year-old reluctantly agreed to accept. When asked how he would spend the money, Knox admitted that it would likely be used for eggnog, which he sometimes drinks before attending AA meetings.
Today, April 20, 2010, is day 122 for The Year Of Giving. During this time Reed Sandridge has met people from all walks of life. He sits down with each person who accepts his gift, and spends time getting to know them. Every recipient is asked the same question: “What will you do with the money?”
More than 122 people have provided enlightening, uplifting and sometimes baffling answers. To date, at least 15 people have refused the $10 and 2 have given it back. Others have used it for food, cigarettes, lottery tickets, bills, laundry and a wealth of other purposes. One woman even destroyed the money on the spot. No matter where the money goes, Sandridge doesn’t judge. He is doing this to reach out to his local community, meet interesting people and honor his mother, who would have absolutely loved this project.
Although Sandridge continues to look for a job, he almost hopes he doesn’t find one. At least not right away. Much of his daily life is devoted to The Year Of Giving. He is asking people to join him in his efforts and make June 15 a Worldwide Day Of Giving. All you have to do to participate is give $10 to someone you meet that day, and share you story on his website.
For more about Reed Sandridge and his year-long quest, visit his website. You can read about his daily encounters, leave your own comments and learn how you can help people.
At PeopleFinders, we love stories about people reaching out to others. We’re dedicated to helping people find and connect with anyone, anywhere, and like to hear about the personal connections people make. What do you think of Reed Sandridge and his Year of Giving project? Leave us a comment to share your thoughts, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.