By participating, players are called upon to perform acts of service and kindness in our neighborhoods, on the job, in service-providing agencies, and wherever their daily journey takes them. The acts of service are organized projects or simple acts of kindness to aid a neighbor in need. The 2013 Games will run from September 11th, 2013-September 21st, 2013.
The 2012 Seattle Compassion Games began Friday, September 21 as a joint project with the United Way Day of Caring, and continued through Sunday, October 21 the last day of the Next Fifty at Seattle Center.
In the face of gun violence in Seattle and the nation, many in our city became fearful that we would lose sight of what unites a community. While many individuals and organizations have been working in the community for decades to create real opportunities for those traditionally disenfranchised and to bring light to issues of poverty, injustice, and violence, the time seemed to call for even greater participation. Whether newly awakened or long engaged, the Compassion Games called all people from all sectors and all parts of our city to share the vision of justice and to collaborate to create a connected and caring community.
The goal of Compassionate Seattle is to cultivate a vibrant culture of compassion to support Seattle’s 10-year Compassionate City Campaign and the Charter for Compassion. Seattle laid the the groundwork in 2010 by becoming the first city to affirm the Charter for Compassion, and we are now creating synergy among the many citizens, groups, organizations, agencies and coalitions working on behalf of compassionate action in our community.
The 10-year city Compassionate City Campaign calls on us to identify community needs and work to address them. With the Compassion Games, Compassionate Seattle is calling citizens, government and institutions to work together to find creative solutions to meet the needs of our neighbors.
The Compassion Games provide a social platform to translate the visions and hopes for a Compassionate Seattle into concrete, real and tangible expression in the community for collective impact. We believe that compassionate action – individually and collectively, small scale and large, planned and random – tangibly transforms our world for the better, increases our consciousness and hope for what is possible, and gives us confidence that we can be the change we seek in the world. You are a catalyst for change and your participation will make these games a success.
There are no winners or losers in the Compassion Games. Instead, winners multiply the more the games are played. Compassion Games and activities are designed to have social impact, to help us try new things, and build relationships and trust. Social impact games and activities can help turn apathy into action. Engaging with others can change your heart, change what you value and re-connect you to your community. (There is research that backs all this up; look here: www.showmethescience.com)
The challenge to play the Compassion Games comes from the city of Louisville, KY, whose mayor asked his citizens to perform acts of service in that community during a one-week period in April. His goal was 55,000 acts of service. Instead, more than 90,000 acts of service were recorded, and Mayor Greg Fischer proclaimed his city “the most compassionate city in the world.”
“Anybody can do this,” Mayor Fischer said. “It requires no extra money from the city. It’s calling out the goodwill that resides in the people already. So my challenge to my fellow mayors is to take us on. And being a compassionate city, we have to help you beat us, of course, and we’d be delighted to do so.”
In Louisville, service projects included packaging 33,570 meals for needy children, 9,000 volunteers who picked up litter, 3,200 donated books, and 950 blood donations. Compassionate Seattle, with the support of King County and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Council, has taken up the challenge. Are you in?
The Compassion Games are a project of Compassionate Seattle and are being produced in partnership with The United Way of King County, City of Seattle, Seattle Center, The Next Fifty, City Club, Seattle Takes Care, Young Partners in Development, Happiness Initiative, New Stories, Great Transition Stories, Compassionate Action Network International, Seeds of Compassion, City Club, ServiceSpace, HelpOthers.org, and Karma Tube.
We are inspired by the remarkable work of our partners, including United Way, whose mission is to “improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.”
And by ServiceSpace, an all volunteer-run organization that leverages technology to inspire greater volunteerism. We share their hope that “through small collective acts” we can transform our world and in that way “create a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community.”
1) Join the Organizing Committee for the 2013 Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest
2) Suggest a community engagement activity/project. Organize a project for your organization, community or your sector to engage the community and volunteers in a way that is meaningful to you and your ongoing work.
3) Promote a “hidden treasure” of neighborhood history, past acts of compassion, or opportunities for engagement that can be part of a neighborhood/geographically organized “scavenger hunt”
4) Become a partner/sponsor of the Compassion Games.
If you want to know more, we have a Frequently Asked Questions document that you can view and comment on here. If you want to find out more about how to organize and produce the Compassion Games in your community, email Jon Ramer at jon at compassiongames.org.