"An act of goodness is of itself an act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it"
-- Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian dramatist
|May 20, 2013|
What is GoodThings?
What is it about milestones? It's almost impossible not to get caught up with keeping track of numbers. I suppose they're really just how we all make sense of the passing of time and the meaning of our lives. We count birthdays. We count anniversaries. We count years on the job and the amount of time we've lived in certain places. We count fingers and toes, stitches and votes. We count goals, miles, minutes, touchdowns, home runs, free throws. We count wins and losses. We're so obsessed with numbers that we even count ties.
At GoodThings, we've got the same bug. For as long as you've been getting The GoodLetter delivered to your e-mail inbox, you've seen a number in the subject line of your weekly e-mail: GoodLetter #1, GoodLetter #30, #62, #87. Well, we've now reached that milestone of milestones, that ever-important triple digit, the oh-so-significant century mark, 100. But this week, instead of sharing a personal story about another positive grassroots idea, or a spirited non-profit organization, or a constructive corporate program or vision, or a person just like you who's using their passions to make progress, we decided it was time to ask you for help.
If you've been with us since the very beginning, this is exactly the 100th time that a GoodLetter has found its way through cyberspace to you. Many of you write us all the time to say how much you look forward to receiving your weekly GoodLetter and all that gets wrapped up in the whole GoodLetter package. There's the weekly "Favorite GoodThings," a list from one of our readers somewhere in the world who wants to share the "goodthings" that make their lives extraordinary: the views they love, the causes they care about, the people they cherish, or -- like Carla of South Carolina's goodthing about the candle -- amazing moments in life that are often difficult to describe. There's the main GoodLetter itself: a story from a real person about a refreshing idea that's making a difference and feeds that person's passions and deserves more energy and action from others. There's "Readers Respond," a chance for you to continue the conversation started by a past GoodLetter, to comment on something you've read or has inspired you about the GoodLetter. There's "Good Gravy": movies and books with positive and constructive messages, and music from independent or lesser known artists. And there's "The Upshot": a final nugget of good, your treat for making it all the way to end of the GoodLetter. With "The Upshot" and everything else about The GoodLetter, we work hard to find things to remind you that in spite of what the evening news tells you, there are real people all over doing astonishing things to make the world a better, safer, healthier, more tolerant place.
We love every minute of our jobs. Who wouldn't? We get to help connect people who care about actively making a difference with projects and ideas started by other people with the same motivation. We love finding out about amazing things that we know other people will care about. It's truly a thrill to have an e-magazine that has so many readers from so many walks of life and so many parts of the world. Our readers have the world in common! We love being a part of celebrating the shared humanity that binds good people. We have the utmost belief that our role as conduit for information about "goodthings" makes a difference in the world. Over the past two years, we've given free exposure and support to literally hundreds of non-profits, progressive companies, and community-based organizations for no other reason than because we think their stories should be told. Our passion for GoodThings and The GoodLetter is pure. Quite simply, we come to work everyday because we love it.
In some ways, the World Wide Web has made it easier for a magazine like ours to bring positive-minded people together. But it's also made things a little more complicated for us. The GoodLetter is a virtual magazine, so unless you print out your copy to read or share with others (great idea, by the way!), you don't have anything physical to hold onto the way you do with a print magazine. Maybe, in a way, that makes it seem less real.
The fact is, though, it's very real, and like anything else, it simply costs money to keep bringing it to you. But since the very beginning, we've felt very strongly about not having banner ads or pop-up windows all over our site and in The GoodLetter. We also have never wanted to limit access to any of the stories that are our site or in The GoodLetter by charging some sort of subscription fee, as many sites are now doing.
As you probably know by now, we launched our GoodThings Greeting Cards nine months ago. The primary reason is that we wanted to provide another way that our readers could share "goodthings" with each other without having to use a computer. We thought that sharing positive thoughts and ideas with other people using old-fashioned mail was a perfect off-line extension of GoodThings. Real people connecting in their own handwriting with the people in their lives. It's certainly one of the goodthings we've lost track of amidst our modern, fast-paced lives.
But we also launched our greeting cards to help us modestly underwrite the cost of bringing The GoodLetter to you every week. We now have 110 recycled-paper greeting cards that all of us here at GoodThings designed and produced, and they're all for sale on our Web site. Most of the cards feature words -- "Favorite GoodThings" -- that you've shared with us. Some -- like our "Colorful Voices" -- feature the real words (and support the arts education) of elementary school children. Others offer new ways to send holiday greetings.
Of course, if you're an avid reader of The GoodLetter, you've heard us tell you all of this before. Perhaps you've grown tired of hearing us talk about our greeting cards in "The GoodLetter." If you are put off by it, we certainly apologize. If it leads you to unsubscribe or consider unsubscribing to The GoodLetter, we're sorry for that, too. Maybe it is actually time we parted ways.
Lately, we've been reserving a place in The GoodLetter to talk about our cards for just a couple of reasons. First, we love the cards. Chances are, we'll never give Hallmark a run for their money, but we feel pretty confident that our cards give people a truly unique and fresh way to connect with each other. No greeting card copywriters, no tired clichés, just the words of real people expressing the things that make their lives extraordinary. And the other reason we promote our cards in The GoodLetter is simply because we need you.
Quite literally, if every one of our readers bought as few as five single greeting cards to share with friends and family, we could continue to keep bringing you "The GoodLetter" and spreading the word about the kinds of life-affirming, dedicated, passionate efforts that make the world so incredible. But we sincerely need your help.
So what can you to support us and to ensure that we'll survive? How can you help?
1 -- Buy GoodThings Greeting Cards.
Our online store is a secure place to shop, and we never share any of your personal information with anyone else. Did you know you can buy single cards -- not just packs of cards -- in our online store? You already know that your online purchase of our "Colorful Voices" cards goes to support youth arts education programs. Did you know your purchase of some "Worldwide Favorite GoodThings" cards supports organizations chosen by the people whose words we featured on the cards? You can always feel good knowing your purchase of our greeting cards helps us continue to spread the word about ideas and actions that are making the world a better place. And we ship all over the world! By the way, if you're one of the many people who have already bought a few GoodThings Greeting Cards and have a great story about how you used the cards, won't you drop us a brief note and share it with us?
:: See all of our cards
:: See Colorful Voices cards
:: See Worldwide Favorite GoodThings cards
2 -- Nervous about making purchases online? Find them in a local retail store near you that carries GoodThings Greeting Cards. Check out the current list of stores
Don't see your favorite store on the list? Tell them about us and tell them how to find us on the Web at www.goodthings.com
3 -- Tell your company or non-profit that we can customize any of our cards for their use around the holidays or any time of year. We look forward to the opportunity to use the back of our cards to help your organization tell its story. We offer special non-profit rates and volume discounts. And the best part is, 10% of every customized card order goes to the organization of your company or non-profit's choice.
:: Holiday cards
4 -- Finally, so many of you already help! Every week, you tell other people about the stories you love. Like Michael Wallach's GoodLetter from last week about bringing Israeli and Palestinian teenagers together (Detox for the Spirit) or George Watson's GoodLetter about how his dog brought him to terms with the important things in life (Dogs and the People Who Need Them), or Celeste Wilson's recent piece about fighting homelessness (That Human Touch) or Jessica Neff's story about her efforts to provide educational opportunities for Nicaraguan children (Becoming the Big Picture). Spend a little time in the GoodLetter archive, find your favorite GoodLetter, and tell your friends about it.
:: GoodLetter archive
:: Tell a friend!
Who are we at GoodThings? We're people who believe in the power of connection, in the strength of the human spirit, and in the good that can come from people who believe in making a difference in their communities. We're people with families and dreams, and we know you are, too. We feel lucky that you've chosen to read The GoodLetter and to be a part of something we care so much about. We sincerely hope you continue to discover ideas here at GoodThings that will surprise, delight, and energize you to do good -- even great -- things.
:: The Team at GoodThings, Inc.