Towards a habit of generosity
A campaign that is more about giving generously than giving something up this Lent is heading towards a million acts of generosity on behalf of others.
The 40acts campaign was launched by Stewardship on Ash Wednesday with the challenge to individuals to take part in a daily challenge throughout the season of Lent, from giving an anonymous gift, to calling an old friend for a chat, or talking to a stranger.
More than 39,000 people have signed up to the campaign, with the hope being that by the end of it they will have made generosity a habit.
Participants receive a challenge and a reflection via email at the start of every day. Their bit is to then go and meet the challenge head on.
"Sometimes you get emails and you only read the first part - but every email you have sent me I have enthusiastically read to the end...it's part of my morning routine!" said Twitter user Karen.
At the half way stage, almost a million acts of generosity have been notched up across the UK and beyond.
40acts is now in its fourth year and for the first time Stewardship has coupled it with 40acts Together for groups to do collectively. Resources for 40acts Together have been downloaded 20,000 times so far.
Dunblane Boys Brigade leaders shared photos of their members handing out cakes to passers by, adding that they had to politely refuse donations from people eager to pay for their kindness.
Social media is a key aspect of the campaign and Stewardship has been thrilled to see the #40acts tag trending on social media sites around the web.
More than 3,000 photographs have been posted to Instagram by 40acts participants and if the current enthusiasm continues, some two million acts of generosity will have been acted out by the end of Lent.
"I am really enjoying the challenges and sincerely hope I can make a small difference somewhere as a result of 40acts" said participant Jill on Twitter.
Alex Khan, part of the 40acts team at Stewardship, is passionate about the difference one person can make when their small actions are part of a wider movement of generosity.
"Challenging people to include an intentional generous act into their everyday routine has helped participants to feel part of a greater mission," said Khan.
Anyone interested can sign up at www.40acts.org.uk