Lazy, disinterested, apathetic, self-absorbed and entitled — what do all of these adjectives have in common? These terms have been used to describe "Generation Y," the class of people born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s (also commonly referred to as "Gen Y"). These generalizations have bothered me for some time, as I’m a member of this community. I literally laughed out loud (LOL) as I read how we all apparently mooch off mom and dad. I worked two jobs in college and paid for it myself, as was the case for many of my peers.
One of those peers, a good friend of mine, gave me a great idea a few weeks ago. She pointed out that people generally do not like to be categorized — people want to be seen as individuals, even when it comes to the organizations they choose to support and how they choose to support them. People do not think about “giving” the same way, but if a message or need touches them or someone they care about, they will give however they can.
So how does Generation Y choose to give, and in what ways? One example of a Generation Y stereotype-busting, charitably conscious individual is Carlo Garcia, an actor and producing director for Chicago’s Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. One day while on Facebook, I noticed that one of Garcia’s status updates mentioned Living Philanthropic. I recently spoke with Garcia about this project, how he came up with the idea and why he has continued to pursue it.
“Back in April of this year, I was walking down the street and a question popped in my head: How hard would it be to give to charity every day? If you take money out of the equation, I didn't think it would be that hard. So, I decided to challenge myself to take on the mission for 365 days. When it comes to giving, I wanted to prove that it doesn't matter how much or little you give. The only thing that matters is that you give often, because it adds up,” he said.