It started innocently enough. It was a phrase I saw randomly that I thought would make a neat T-shirt for the college crowd. I saw it in my mind’s eye, emblazoned in white across black T-shirts the world over.
It was a statement of fact, piggybacking on a word that is overused, but whose definition everyone between the ages of 2 and 92 understand. It was going to be a social revolution disguised in 100 percent cotton. I couldn’t wait to see it worn by millions of folks. Everyone the world over would proudly declare in a way that only readable T-shirts can: “Cool People Care.” <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
But, like with the great social change movements, the first drops of rain could not indicate the monsoon of creativity ahead. Upon sharing this phrase with a friend, the brainstorming began. After a few hours, we had a dry-erase board full of ideas. A black shirt was the least of them. We had blueprinted a revolution.
Our first step would be a Web site full of practical tips for ordinary people who wanted to make a difference. We guessed there were tons of people, like us, who wanted to make the world a better place, but didn’t have hours on end or expendable income burning holes in their philanthropist pockets.
But we did have, say, five minutes that we were willing to offer to any given positive social cause. We knew that two guys’ five minutes didn’t seem like much–but a million people’s five minutes? Now that’s a revolution waiting to happen.
When I was graduating college, I was on the fast track to seminary. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn’t looking for full-time employment. But of those who were, I was awestruck by the amount of them first looking to intern at a nonprofit for little or no money.
Several were thinking of joining the Peace Corps or a missionary program, willing to be marooned somewhere digging village wells or organizing the poor in countries with hollow economic cores.
What was happening? Why were so relatively few people trying to land deals with big brokerage firms? Where were the people looking to make a career in sales, real estate or big business?
Was it just the company I kept? Or, was it something bigger? Was it a larger movement of young people who had come to the realization that things need to be changed and that they were the ones to do it, unyoked by marriage, children and home ownership?
But there seemed to be no one to organize this mass of do-gooders. They were like uncoordinated soldiers on some social battlefield. Each was Google-ing for opportunities.
Some struck nonprofit gold and got their unsexy wish–interning for free in D.C. by working nights in a coffee shop and dedicating their days to changing some policy that more than likely would never get their names into the history books.
But those unable to land Peace Corps internships or other socially aware gigs eventually shuffled into an office somewhere, punching a clock, serving not the public interest but the bottom line.
But their dreams of a better tomorrow were not shattered. They would give all of their weekend to a Habitat build, or serve on a nonprofit board, or teach a Sunday school class, or run every charitable 5k they could find. The grandeur of generosity had not faded. It was alive and well.
I know there are countless folks in this situation. There are people of every age, who want to do just one thing every day to make this world better. Some give blood, some donate clothing, some recycle, some visit folks in the hospital, some bike to work, some adopt a pet, some have a pen pal in a foreign orphanage, and some still need ideas.
To this end, CoolPeopleCare, Inc., seeks to motivate people to make a difference. We show people how to get involved without getting up, and how to change their world in less than five minutes a day.
We believe there is no such thing as not enough time. We believe that anyone can engage the five-minutes revolution, unleashing the power of millions of people giving five minutes or more, every day.
For me, the creation of this site allows our most historic change agent–the church–to reach a wider audience and therefore increase its effectiveness. By connecting socially minded individuals from all walks of life with organizations already transforming social conditions, a partnership is born that has the potential to bring about heaven on earth.
Through simple motivation and tiny bits of time, CoolPeopleCare can help churches bring about the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />kingdom of God as a real place in which no one hungers or thirsts. The naked can be clothed, the prisoner can be visited, and the outcast can be welcomed.
Information, followed by action, produces change. We’re trying to amplify and create this change on a larger scale than many dare to attempt for the benefit of all who need.