The Next Generation of Doing Good

Many of my patients are parents of young adults and teens. Through the years, parents have shared their stories and concerns with me, and despite the variety in culture and background represented in my patient population, parents have certain concerns in common across the board. They worry that the emphasis on instant gratification in society, focused on the needs and desires of individuals, might be producing a generation of selfish offspring. They wonder if the fast-paced electronic world is a place where “old school” values of charity and social consciousness can thrive. They want to be reassured that their children will achieve, but will also care.

Enter Good St. This foundling company is the not-for-profit project of four college students, designed as a platform for giving. The approach is the brainchild of Joe, one of the four, who at the age of twenty-one had begun to earn some money, wanted to start giving charity but wondered if the small amount he could afford would make a difference. He felt bombarded by so many important causes demanding attention, that he worried he would get overwhelmed and freeze, resulting in not donating to anything. Additionally, it was important to him to develop the habit of a “daily act of goodness” increasing what Joe calls, “the significance of what we do.”

Launched with the slogan, “Do Good Every Day,” the group aims to “open the conversation” regarding the wide variety of important causes that exist, and the opportunities we have to contribute and help implement change. They use their knowledge of electronics and coding to make it easy to do. As a subscriber, I gave them information about how much I want to donate daily which can be as little as twenty-five cents a day. I get a daily email with a choice of two featured charities. They run the gamut of a broad range of causes including breast cancer research, education, human rights and hunger to name a few. All I have to do is read the short blurb of information about each charity and click on the charity of my choice. I can also view statistics and find out how much was donated to the charities from the day before. The whole thing takes a minute or two and I come out feeling good about myself.

In addition to donating, college students have been enthusiastically volunteering in an effort to promote what Good St. does and get people involved. They talk to people in New York City and on college campuses. They sell t-shirts bearing their slogan. They use social media to get the word out as well. The company hopes to grow to the point where they will have corporate sponsors who will match donations. They want to create a forum for people to help design the choices by recommending charities to include. It is a testament to their integrity that they struggle with the ethical dilemma of how much influence to exert. As Jeff, another of the officers described, they wonder how much guidance to provide. “Let’s say people overlook an important charity?”

Good St. is causing a sensation that is worth keeping alive. You don’t have to be twenty-something to participate. The message of doing small things to make a difference is worth spreading. So get started and join the movement to DO GOOD EVERY DAY!

Click here to get started