Cool People Care: “5 Minutes Can Change the World”
In May of 2006, Sam Davidson had just returned from Washington, D.C., where he attended a rally on the National Mall to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Feeling motivated to do something meaningful, he approached his friend and nonprofit colleague, Stephen Moseley.
Two hours later with a dry-erase board full of ideas, the core of Cool People Care’s Web site was in place. Instead of just making a T-shirt with three simple and catchy words, the pair launched an online resource aimed at encouraging people to take the necessary actions to change the world for the better.
The two believed that if people are told how they can make a difference in less than five minutes a day, they just might do it. Just like tiny water droplets make a tidal wave, if enough people care for five minutes a day, something positive might result. This became the core idea behind “5 Minutes of Caring,” CoolPeopleCare.org’s daily article, which describes how anyone can make a difference in less time than it takes to brew coffee.
But also knowing that five minutes wouldn’t save the world alone, Davidson and Moseley wanted to offer their site visitors more. They wanted to offer readers the inspiration of a great idea and a good example, so they supplemented their 99-word “5 Minutes of Caring” articles with longer how-to articles, a community calendar and nonprofit directory for their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
After a summer of writing, planning and testing, the site officially launched on August 17, 2006. The two breathed a sigh of relief. Proud of their hard work, they went back to their day jobs.
But then things got busy.
The word spread about what the site offered and was seen by many as a valuable resource that showcased the ideas that so many needed, as well as empathized with the thoughts and stress that so many have. Yes, people do want to make a difference, but they feel pressed for time and inspiration. Cool People Care clearly demonstrated that a significant impact could be made in a small amount of time, and it highlighted world-changing ideas of every kind.
Within six months, CoolPeopleCare.org had to expand its community calendar to cover events happening anywhere in Tennessee, and when not even a year old, the site offered event listings for 40 U.S. cities. Traffic to the Web site and e-mail subscriptions increased, and the pair had their hands full and left their nonprofit jobs. They started a movement, assembling do-gooders of every age who needed ideas and direction.
The company soon began selling merchandise, focusing on items that helped people live a more caring lifestyle – reusable organic coffee mugs, canvas grocery bags and sweatshop-free T-shirts. Cool People Care began building a brand.
Now, over three years since the idea was first shared, the site has listed more than 6,100 events, partnered with more than 2,300 nonprofit organizations and has been visited by people in more than 150 countries. And it keeps growing!