We've written about random acts of kindness here many times, even organized efforts — Improv Everywhere is a favourite — to bestow a little cheer on unsuspecting strangers. And now a new group, The Dollar Collective, is organizing do-gooders to start a chain reaction of good deeds.
It's a flashmob-meets-charity. And it only costs a dollar.
The Dollar Collective is the brainchild of Daniel Hawkins and his friends, who brainstormed "charitable events carried out in a flashmob-esque fashion" on New Year's Day. The night before, Hawkins' brother found a $20 bill at a bar and started buying other people drinks. Being generous to strangers, he found, was too rewarding to stop.
The plan: members of the Dollar Collective contribute one dollar each to every event. There are about 30 events a year. Each event involves random generosity intended to inspire the same in others, and to battle apathy, "the epidemic of first world countries."
The inaugural event? "Perfect Strangers." Hawkins' group paid for an unsuspecting young couple's Valentine's meal at a restaurant.
The couple sent Hawkins a thank-you email, and are determined to pay the $50 forward.