Barely three days before Valentine's Day last year, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer for Acumen Fund, decided to convert his month-long "Generosity Experiment" into a global Generosity Day. The idea was simple: to reclaim Valentine's Day from the clutches of commercialization and turn it into a day of "sharing love with everyone."
"During my Generosity Experiment, I said 'yes' to every request for help for a month. I'd found the experience transformative and had always dreamed of getting others involved," says Dichter. That's when his friend Katya Andresen, of Network for Good, came up with the idea of turning Valentine's Day into Generosity Day. "We wanted to reconnect (the day) to the core ideas of love and human connection," he says.
Despite the short notice, the response was startlingly positive. "We reached a few million people last year through blogs, Facebook and Twitter," says Dichter. On his blog he wrote, "Our hunch was spot on: People are hungering for something more in their lives -- more connection and more meaning."
Some celebrated the day by tipping outrageously. Others volunteered at local NGOs. Still others wrote little notes of appreciation for those around them. Check out our slideshow of our favorite Facebook messages from Generosity Day 2011.
This year, The Huffington Post is starting a social media campaign to spread the word about Generosity Day. Repost this story on your Facebook wall, and tell us on HuffPost Good News' wall how you plan to celebrate. Tweet us @hpgoodnews with the hashtag #GenerosityDay with your ideas for the big day. Write a blog post! Text all your friends! Or just mention it to everyone you meet today. Happy G Day!