Stories for Giving Games – Page 2

These are news posts that pertain to Youth and Schools Playing it Forward

Giving Games Champion Spotlight: International Institute for Child Rights Development

For Day 5 of the Giving Games, we are excited to pass the Compassion Torch from Nimo Patel’s Empty Hands Music to the International Institute for Child Rights Development (IICRD). Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Chairperson of Compassion Games International (CGI), and Jon Ramer, Founder of CGI, have had the blessed fortune to work with IICRD over the last 10 years.

The Purpose of IICRD is to “build respect for children’s inherent human dignity, nurture their sense of belonging, and reinforce justice at all levels through the implementation of strengths based approaches to child rights.”

IICRD brings child’s rights to life by utilizing the power of empathy combined with evidenced-based approaches to spark engaged action with youth. IICRD strives to deal with the most vulnerable young people in our society, and uses over 20 years of experience to work in the spaces between sectors, nourishing a vibrant network of innovators spanning more than 30 countries.

IICRD Projects

Some of IICRD’s global projects! Learn more about them here.

IICRD engages a small team of talented staff and associates around the world from their headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It is their goal to enhance the capacity of individuals, organizations, governments and young people to transform systems to fulfill their rights as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To achieve this goal, IICRD empowers the full range of community members – from youth, parents, artists, Elders, social workers, educators, public servants, doctors, lawyers, academics, business people and social entrepreneurs – to not only help children live and survive, but to thrive.

Dr. Philip Cook, the founder and Executive Director of IICRD with a doctorate in cross-cultural psychology, is a pioneer in child right’s development, and leads the IICRD from the Royal Roads University based in Victoria (Canada). Partnerships with Indigenous people on Canada’s west coast and in Latin America were central to the IIRCD’s evolving niche in grounding child rights in cultural practices supporting children. This learning was highlighted in the “Caring for Indigenous Children” Conference and led to the creation of IICRD’s unique logo.

We are inspired by the dedication that embodies the work of the IICRD and Dr. Cook. We are honored to grant to them today the official title “Champion of Compassion” for their work to bring compassionate action to life with youth and indigenous communities around the world.

Learn more about the work of IICRD and Dr. Cook here.

Giving Games Champion Spotlight: Play for Peace

For Day 3 of the Giving Games, we are thrilled to pass the Compassion Torch from the United Nations Department of Public Information to Play for Peace. Play for Peace, we are proud to say, is a hero of the Compassion Games Leadership Team. There is no other force on Earth that so embodies the spirit of compassionate play in such an on the ground, global expression.

No matter where you might point on an atlas, you will find a unique expression of Play for Peace. From India to the Philippines, Guatemala to Vietnam, Mexico to Canada, or the United States to Nepal, real mentors are in community with real youth, bringing healing and change to their communities.

Here is how Play for Peace describes their mission and purpose:

Children, youth and adults, even in communities in conflict, are deciding to choose compassion and practice peace, and
they are learning to do this through the joy of play. Few things can provide a common link between people like laughter and play. Through cooperative play, Play for Peace provides a universal and non-threatening platform around which people canscreen-shot-2016-11-29-at-1-44-24-pmcome together and learn. Play creates a gateway to moments when differences dissolve, fear melts away, and we see what connects us rather than what divides us. At Play for Peace we believe;

  1. Everyone can be an architect, builder and leader for peace.
  2. Every community can create and sustain peace.
  3. Play is one of the most innovative catalysts for peace in the world today.

Play for Peace, with the stunning collaboration and support from their staff, has participated in every Compassion Games coopetition from the first 2015 Giving Games onwards. In a way, this week marks the one year anniversary between Compassion Games and Play for Peace.

Check out Play for Peace accepting the Compassion Torch!

Thank you, Play for Peace for bringing a culture of compassion and play to life! Game on!

Learn more about the beautiful work of Play for Peace here.

Giving Games 2016 Launch with #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a globally recognized day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. However, #GivingTuesday is much more than what it first appears to be on the surface. As a response to the consumerism of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” which appears antithetical the winter holiday season, #GivingTuesday aims to take back the spirit of generosity that lies at the heart of our shared humanity. And as an international movement, it is doing it wonderfully.


#GivingTuesday Staff and Volunteers.

#GivingTuesday has been described as a federated, multi-platform campaign that brings together a cast of diverse nonprofits and donation processing platforms. There is no doubt, however, that the real magic of #GivingTuesday is in the power of community; of the web of networks supporting and promoting one another to spotlight awareness of each organization’s efforts, raise publicity, and support fundraising efforts that give organizations the resources to continue long into the new year.

The Compassion Games is proud to partner with and build off of #GivingTuesday by turning it into a 12 day celebration of generosity and giving called the Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward. The Giving Games amplify service activities, which include community service projects and other global events, through December 10, International Human Rights Day. Each year, the Giving Games is kicked off with #GivingTuesday and ends on the International Day of Human Rights.

This year, it is thanks to #GivingTuesday that Compassion Games was featured in an article on the Huffington Post. You can read the article, called Compassion, the Ultimate Act of Rebellion, here.

The idea for Giving Tuesday was first announced in October 2012. The announcement was made by #GivingTuesday’s founding partner Mashable; other founding partners include Skype, Cisco, Microsoft, Sony, Aldo, Case Foundation, Heifer International and others.

Thank you, #GivingTuesday, for keeping the spirit of generosity so vibrantly alive. Game on!

Check out #GivingTuesday’s Communications Toolkit here.

Global Champions of Compassion Kickoff a “Compassion Relay”


Honors Youth, Indigenous, Interfaith Leadership on Climate Action


Opening Ceremony COP22 Climate Change Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco

November 7, 2016 – A “Global Compassion Relay” with “Champions of Compassion” was lit and now a virtual “Compassion Torch” will be passed highlighting the many ways that unprecedented, unified compassionate action unites and gives life to our communities and planet. The Global Compassion Relay and the Global Compassion Torch will bring light to the individuals, groups, and organizations from around the world focused on Indigenous Environmental Leadership, Youth Climate Action and Interfaith Cooperation.

The Compassion Relay was kicked off on the opening day of the (Convention of Parties) COP 22 UN Climate Change Conference on November 7th in Marrakech, Morocco.  Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Hinhan Wicasa and Deloria Tiospayes, Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, Chairperson of Compassion Games International was in Morocco to light the Global Compassion Torch with H.H. Dr. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Nuaimi also known as the “Green Sheikh”.  The Green Sheikh launched the Blue Youth Project in July of 2016. The Blue Youth Project partnered with the Centre for Global Education and TakingITGlobal for an event taking place in COY 12 (Conference of Youth) that has engaged over 10,000 youth from every continent on Mother Earth, in the world’s largest consultation of youth around water and climate change action.

Chief Phil will then carry the Global Compassion Torch to the National Conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), where he serves as a member of the AISES Council of Elders. Then he will bring the Global Compassion Torch to the Closing Ceremonies of the 7th Peace and Dignity Journey taking place at the Ciudad Del Saber in Panama City, Panama on November 14-17. Chief Phil will carry the Torch from Panama City to the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles co-hosted by the Reverend Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith and musical icon and social activist, Stevie Wonder on November 20 (TBC). The Agape International Spiritual Center is a trans-denominational community of thousands of local members and global live streaming sites from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and throughout the Americas. Agape is highly regarded for its cultural, racial, and spiritual diversity. From Los Angeles the torch will be carried to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota.

decarbonize-623-1In a remarkable display of cooperation and collaboration people, groups and organizations from all over the world are coming together to participate in a Compassion Games International “coopetition” called the
Global Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward. The Giving Games will kickoff on November 29th in partnership with #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. GivingTuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. In 2015 #GivingTuesday raised $107 Million for charity. The Giving Games continue through December 10, and conclude with a Global Wopila (Oceti Sakowin Thanksgiving Ceremony) conducted by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Oceti Sakowin. Urgent Message from Chief Arvol

The Global Wopila gives thanksgiving for the many good things we have accomplished as Members of the Human Family this past year, the Funds Raised by the Compassion Games for Charitable Causes, for all of existence, the blessings inherent in each moment of our lives, and honors December 10 as Human Rights Day!

The Global Giving Games are being played world-wide between youth, educators, interfaith leaders, and intergenerational allies to ignite the participation of youth, Indigenous leadership and those who work with them in community service projects, acts of kindness, and raising monies for local causes. Participation in the Games foster safe and fulfilling places of learning, helping the next generation develop into compassionate, creative, happy, and resilient members of a peaceful, sustainable and harmonious world.

Participating in the Global Compassion Games boosts and ignites a community’s capabilities to create healthy, vibrant, thriving places of opportunity and compassion. The Games engage people with different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities and belief systems to commit to play, live, learn, and work well together. Over the past four years, over 500 teams, with over 400,000 volunteers, in 40 countries, have served over 3.5 million people in the Compassion Games. Visit to find out more and sign up to play.

Contact Jon Ramer 206 972-7356


Ms. Lia Mandelbaum and a Compassionate Uprising

One of the great joys of organizing the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is meeting remarkable people who take the Games and do truly amazing things. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Lia Mandelbaum, a writer for the Jewish Journal and a resounding Champion of Compassion.

The following interview with Lia is organized into short segments highlighting some of the incredible things she was able to accomplish with the Games. (The complete interview is available at the bottom of this article.)

How Lia Got Involved with the Compassion Games and the Games in Prison [1:39]

Lia’s path first crossed with the Compassion Games when she took on the assignment of writing about them for the Jewish Journal. Her article got the attention of Shayna Lester, an interfaith minister who brought the Compassion Games into a prison in California. Shanya asked Lia to help get the word out about the remarkable outcome of hosting the Compassion Games in a women’s prison. During the 11 days of the Annual Compassion Games, 4,600 acts of compassion had been committed without the occurrence of a single act of violence. Lia went on to learn how the Games were used in the prison with a set of remarkable tactics to bring them life. For example, the head gang leaders took on the role of “Compassion Ambassadors”, making it okay for others to show compassion without it being held against them. Over those 11 days, the Games helped transform the entire culture of the prison. As Lia states in this segment: “When you treat people like human beings they can rise to the occasion, even people that you totally doubt.”

How Lia Brought the Games to Roybal High School in Pico-Union Los Angeles [0:37]

Lia went on to write her masters thesis on the impact of the Compassion Games in prison (Read: A Case Study on the Compassion Games) and brought the Compassion Games to the high school where she worked as a teacher and therapist. Lia shared the article she wrote with her supervisor, a psychiatric social worker. Her supervisor didn’t even finish reading the article before she knew she wanted to bring the Games to the high school because of their culture changing capabilities: “If this can transform a prison community, it can absolutely help our community,” she said.

Its Not Always Easy to Show Compassion [0:28]

Yet, this is not just any high school. The Edward R. Roybal High School is in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles, which has the highest concentration of gang activity in LA. They are doing remarkable things to respond to these challenges. As Lia describes in the talk: “the youth have difficult hardships” and showing compassion is risky and can be perceived as a weakness; they need to have “rough edges” just to survive and so cultivating compassion is often not an “easy, breezy thing to bring about.”

The Games Were a Student-Led Initiative [0:26]

With a new orientation toward the importance and power of compassion, they shifted into community organizing mode and the student government formed a committee committed to bringing the Games to the school. By engaging student government the initiative was student led. They appointed Compassion Ambassadors to help spread the word. They organized a Compassion Rush, a Compassion Pledge, and a Gratitude Wall where they shared acts of kindness and caring that was taking place around the campus.

Understanding and Communicating about Compassion is Challenging [0:43]

She explains that they hit a wall when it came to understanding what compassion is. They decided to bring in presenters to help make the case for compassion and have discussions in the classroom about what compassion is. They went into the classes to ask: “What does compassion mean to you? Why does it have value?  Why put effort into it?”

Students Discuss the Shame Associated with Having Family Members in Prison [0:53]

In the discussions they uncovered the difficulty students had in understanding compassion and the great deal of shame around family members being incarcerated.  In response to these challenges, they invited a civil litigator to join them and talk about the need for a more compassionate criminal justice system, and how it was possible to be incarcerated in a way that is humanizing and not dehumanizing. Lia said “I watched as he would talk about people getting incarcerated in such a humane way and the kids, their faces softened, because that’s not a message they hear all the time.”

Music: The Unexpected Doorway for Males to Share Their Feelings [1:29]

Not surprisingly, male students had a difficult time opening up to express their emotions and experiences. There is one student that she describes as having “so much feeling inside but being so afraid to show it”.  Lia discovered that when they listened to music together, this became a safe way for him to show his feelings; she explains that Johnny Cash’s music in particular “opened a door for him and gave him permission to share his deepest pain and anguish”.  So they brought in individuals from the music industry who shared the meaning of lyrics from different musical artists including Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, and others. They focused on lyrics that brought out compassion, hope, and solidarity. She reports that the males participated the most in sharing their feelings and experiences with the help of music, which led to the males “wearing their feelings on the outside.”

Traditional Enemies Working Together Was a Shock to the Students [0:45]

They brought in leaders from the Muslim and from the Jewish community to offer an intro to Islam and Judaism through the lens of compassion. She reports that kids could not believe that so called “enemies” were standing next to each other in solidarity and sharing the importance of compassion. Lia said “These kids who are around a lot of gang violence,  they could not wrap their head around a muslim and a jew standing next to each other peacefully and in solidarity, and with such kinship… it just threw the kids off.”

Educating Oneself as a Form of Self-Compassion [0:14]

In the school there is a group called the 9+. These are youth that have to repeat the ninth-grade sometimes multiple times. They brought in former 9+ students who went on to complete high school and even graduate college. The 9+ graduates advised the students that completing high school and going to college was a form of self-compassion.

Dealing with Bullying by Understanding Others as Coming from a Place of Pain [1:11]

Another speaker shared the importance of having compassion for others.  They spoke about when people come at you with anger and hostility to take a pause and understand that they are hurting and “coming from a place of pain”. To learn this, they explained, you can better cope with confrontation and bullying by not personalizing it.

Why the Compassion Games are so Meaningful to Lia [0:23]

Lia stated that “[The Games] put you in a whole other zone when compassion is at the forefront of your head and you’re trying to hold integrity to the mission and you’re really looking at your actions and your words, and, you know, it’s just powerful.” These are great examples of how a community can use the Compassion Games to ignite engagement through competitive altruism, strengthen and bring out what’s already present and working, create an engaging environment for reporting and reflecting, and using the point system as a framework for measuring and building collective capacity.

The Best Measure that the Compassion Games made a Lasting Impact [1:31]

Lia talks about challenges to bringing compassion into a difficult environment. One of the clearest signs that the Compassion Games made a huge difference at the high school was in the following year. Even though the students who organized the Games were no longer at the school, the school hosted the Compassion Games again and plan to continue in the future.  Thank you Lia for being such a Champion of Compassion!

Listen to her complete talk here:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.22.33 AM

The Giving Games Backstory

The Giving Games Backstory

If you want the shortest possible, bottom-line summary of information about the November 29th through December 10th Giving Games, go here. What follows is the story behind The Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are the Giving Games?
  2. Giving Games Motivating Vision
  3. Why Play the Giving Games?
  4. Impact of Participating in the Giving Games
  5. Ways to Play the Giving Games
  6. Four Featured Global Projects
  7. The Compassion Report Map
  8. Resources for the Giving Games
  9. Partners

1. What are the Giving Games?

The Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward are a 12 day global challenge to inspire, develop, and celebrate our shared humanity through acts of generosity and compassion. Beginning on November 29th – a day known as Giving Tuesday – and going through December 10th, the Giving Games are played globally between youth, educators, and mentors to foster safe and fulfilling places of learning, helping the next generation develop into happy, compassionate, creative, and resilient members of our world!

Sign Up for the Giving Games Button

2. The Giving Games Motivating Vision

What is it that makes human beings remarkable? We aren’t born with formidable claws or teeth to defend ourselves, nor a Whales Fish Friends PNGcoat of fur to keep ourselves naturally warm and protected from the sun. We cannot fly or blend into our environment to escape danger, nor are we unusually fast compared to our fellow Earthly creatures. In this regard, we grow at a staggeringly slow pace – the slowest pace, in fact, of the entire animal kingdom – where in the first years of our lives we are totally dependent on the care and protection of others to ensure we not only live, but thrive.

And we do thrive. The very setbacks human beings inherently possess are actually our greatest source of strength and resilience. We thrive not because we are physically outstanding, but because we have developed an enormous innate capacity for cooperation. This cooperation is made possible by our unique ability to deeply empathize with one another, and an intrinsic desire for deep social connections that spur us to have a natural concern for the wellbeing of those around us.

Little OnesThe Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward are a way to celebrate and put into practice what makes human beings, and our children, extraordinary. The Giving Games celebrate our natural concern for others, our desire and immense capacity to cooperate and work together, and the growth and life-satisfaction that is experienced when we give our fullest selves to the world, to help make it a safer, kinder, and better place to live.

By reminding our youth what makes them truly remarkable, we provide for them the tools to become more compassionate, fulfilled and resilient human beings, capable of living in a world they will one day inherit, and addressing the challenges of a future we will never see.

3. Why Play the Giving Games?

Extensive research in the field of positive psychology is reaffirming the reality that human beings have a remarkable capacityCG15-008-fish and desire to be compassionate and generous, and that these attributes are vital components to living a healthy and fulfilling life. Giving promotes strong social connections – known as prosocial behavior – that leads people to view others more positively, fostering a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in a community. And kindness is contagious, studies show, providing an elevated “warm-glow experience” (or a “helper’s high”) that ignites a virtuous circle of giving that boosts the health of a community as a whole!

The Giving Games are a fun and meaningful way for youth and schools to experience compassion firsthand by putting generosity into play! Let’s challenge each other as we strive together to make the world a safer, kinder, and better place to live!

Like anything, these qualities must be experienced and practiced for them to develop to their full potential. In the audio clip below, learn how educator Rahbin Shyne planted seeds with the Compassion Games that grew into a cultural transformation on her campus.


4. Impact of Participating in the Giving Games

The Compassion Games’ Giving Games are designed to amplify what is already working in your community as well as inspire
new ways to bring compassion and generosity to life. The Giving Games are an open platform – bolstered by the support and momentum of a global network of organizers and educators like you – to be creatively used and adapted in any way that fits kl-stargirl02i-fish0814your community’s needs.

The following six themes offer a way to appreciate the impact and benefits of participation in the Compassion Games. The Compassion Games are a:

  1. Catalyst to Ignite Change
  2. Amplifier of What’s Already Working
  3. Framework and Baseline for Measuring Compassion Strength
  4. An Engaging Environment for Reflection and Learning
  5. A Platform for Cultivating Open Participation
  6. Connection to a Global Movement

5. Ways to Play the Giving Games

All the ways to play the Compassion Games are intended to promote service and compassionate action with a framework for reflection on the Compassion Report Map. Ways to Play are typically framed within three dimensions: 1) having compassion for oneself, 2) having compassion for others, and 3) compassion for the Earth.

Anytime, anywhere you can perform a random act of kindness. Here are some ideas!
Anytime, anywhere you can perform a random act of kindness. Here are some ideas!
Organize a Team to benefit and serve another person, group, organization, or place within the community.
Organize a Team to benefit and serve another person, group, organization, or place within the community.
Sign up to be a Secret Agent and receive missions from the International Kindness Team!
Sign up to be a Secret Agent and receive missions from the International Kindness Team!
7 Actions to Create Peace on Earth
7 Actions to Create Peace on Earth


Featured Way to Play: Secret Agents of Compassion

Secret Agents of Compassion continues to be one of the most exciting and popular ways to play the Compassion Games fishduring a coopetition. Each day for the 12 days of the Giving Games, a Secret Mission is released to registered players and teams to inspire compassionate acts in their world with a framework for reflection.

Team organizers of registered teams can choose to receive all 11 Secret Missions in advance to better incorporate the Missions in their educational work plan.

Invite and Challenge Others to Play

fishPlayer and teams can invite and challenge others to play with them in the Giving Games. For example, a team could boldly state “We are the most generous classroom/school in the world, and will be so until proven otherwise!” This is of course a playful way to engage and motivate others to step up and participate. No one can lose the Giving Games! Instead, as the more people that play, the more people end up winning as they benefit from a more compassionate environment.

6. Four Featured Global Projects

In addition, the Compassion Games has partnered with the Charter for Compassion International to bring you four featured projects that you and your youth can choose to support! Each project focuses on one of the Charter’s partner organizations, each part of a community of thousands of groups, governments, and individuals collectively working to bring the Charter for Compassion to life around the globe. Work with your students to select one of these projects to focus on during the Games!

Project #1: Help Build a School for Sierra Leone Orphans

Sierra Leone was one of the most hard-hit areas during the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa, creating a sudden influx of orphaned children in desperate need of immediate care, shelter, and provisions which ChildHelp provided with the assistance of donations and volunteers. The next phase of support for these children is providing education. So far, ChildHelp has raised $13,400 USD towards the $80,000 USD needed to build a brand new school. Learn More About Project #1 and How You Can Support It!

Project #2: Provide Supplies for Homeless Families in Botswana

The Botho Compassion Movement is currently serving homeless families in Jwaneng squatter camps. Collaborating with local organizations, they delivered food and clothing on October 19th and 21st 2015. The Botho Compassion Movement is attempting to address concerns such as child health and safety in the camps. Though the challenges are great, founder Magdalena Whoolery feels that “with determination and perseverance we can turn this terrible situation around.” Learn More About Project #2 and How You Can Support It!

Project #3: Give Girls in Pakistan Access to Education

The Sindhi Foundation is a global advocacy, education and charity organization working to promote human rights for Sindhi people across the globe. One of their many education projects is a Sindhi School for young girls in Pakistan. Many of us see education as a fundamental human right, but this is not always the case in areas of the world such as the remote village where Naseem Lohar and two other teachers are responsible for teaching 100 young girls, ages 6 to 10, from neighboring regions in Pakistan. Challenges such as providing transportation, books, clothing, and even water for the students make each day a struggle for Naseem and his students. Donations received through the Sindhi Foundation help provide these basic supplies, as well as pay the modest monthly salaries for the three teachers and contribute to the annual rent for the small cement block school. Learn More About Project #3 and How You Can Support It!

Project #4: Support the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation collaborates with professional educators to develop school-based educational programs that will change our current culture of violence to one of safety, peace and love for everyone in our world. This is the single guiding principle, the sole purpose and motto of our work: Teaching Others to Choose Love. Learn More About Project #4 and How You Can Support It!

7. The Compassion Report Map

All acts of service are reported on the Compassion Report Map, capturing a description of the service, a reflection on the experience and impact, as well as the number of volunteers, hours of service, number of monies raised, and number of people served. Reporting provides a baseline for measuring the “compassion strength” of a community, as well as encouraging an environment for reflection and learning.

Compassion Report Map

8. Giving Games Resources

Join the Compassion Games Team Organizer Messaging App called Slack: Slack is a free communication tool for resource sharing and connecting with fellow Team Organizers. After you register as a team, you will receive a personal Compassion Games Slack invitation within 24 hours. Simply follow the link and create a free account to log in. (If you are a player who wants to join Slack without a team, or you have not received your invitation after registering a team, contact Sommer@CompassionGames.Org). Slack will make it possible for you to build relationships with organizers from around the world, share ideas, stay informed, and get support if you need it! We think you’ll find Slack a valuable tool, and really fun to use!

Giving Games Wednesday Webinars: Join us for a reoccurring Wednesday webinar at 4pm PST with the Charter for Compassion to prepare for the upcoming Giving Games! This will be a great way to learn more about the Games, get any questions you have answered, generate ideas, and connect with other educators around the world. Register here.

GivingTuesday Tools: Compassion Games partner GivingTuesday has a large collection of tools to learn more about the science of giving, creative ideas for giving back, toolkits for organization, case studies and more. They are definitely worth checking out! View them here.

Greater Good Science Center: The Greater Good Science Center is an incredible resource on some of the latest positive psychology studies. Check out some of the positive psychology research on compassion and generosity at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center here.

The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE): CCARE is another remarkable resource for cutting-edge research on how compassion, altruism, and generosity impact human life. Learn more about their research and other educational resources here.

9. The 2015 Giving Games Partners

The following organizations are sponsors and supporters of the 2015 Giving Games.  Thank you!

Legacy Sponsor
Legacy Sponsor
Legacy Sponsor
Legacy Sponsor

Compassionate Schools Play Compassion Games!

The past year of 2014 was a breakthrough year at Compassion Games International. Besides the extraordinary growth from 19 to 159 Teams in just one year, the development of the Leagues burst the gates right off any barriers of limitations that we could have dreamt of. And leading the way? None less than the new Education and Schools League.

Two exceptional educators stepped up to coordinate this league: Rahbin Shyne and Lia Mandelbaum. They each bring with them a vast array of skills and inspiring ideas to help schools bring the Compassion Games into their classrooms.

Long before we met Rahbin – a Compassionate activist and teacher at Reid High School in Long Beach, California – she had written a number of books on compassion, even one coincidentally entitled “Compassion Game, 10 Days of Compassion, Quick and Easy On-Line Actions to Better Our World.”  It was only a matter of time that our paths would meet! And we are eternally grateful for that.

As a seasoned educator, Rahbin brought to the Games tested and practical lesson plans and prepared the Teachers Compassion Games Guide.

photo-66It was Lia who we can credit for first showing us how possible, even critical the Compassion Games are on a school campus. Remarkably, Lia – who is also a writer for The Jewish Journal – first heard about the Games when she wrote a story about them being played in a women’s prison in California. Since she was an intern social worker at Roybal Learning Center in downtown Los Angeles at the time, she immediately identified the power of the Games and what they could bring to the culture of her campus.

She surprised herself with resounding results.

It was Lia’s Supervisor – Cherie Hudson at Roybal who embraced the concept of the games. Cherie said, “The Games are all about strengthening connections and making a positive impact on the world through acts of kindness. As a school social worker, I wholeheartedly believe in the value of human relationships and the interconnectedness of all people, so the Compassion Games felt like a perfect fit between the core values of my profession and the needs of our community for healing and safety”.

Announcements were made over the school intercom, during meetings, and in classrooms. Packets were created to explain the Games and then distributed to the teachers. Lia and Cherie wanted to be sure that not only the students played the Games but that the teachers, staff, and even the maintenance crew played too. Lia devised a clever way to engage parents as well, empowering them to “catch” their child being compassionate and sending in a “Titan Token” to be added to their team’s tally.  In this stroke of brilliance, Lia found a bridge from the campus to the home. Now, even siblings and even neighbors will benefit from the Compassion Games as compassion blooms out through their communities.

Lia also brought in speakers including the L.A. Galaxy Soccer star Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez talked to the students about the courage it Omar_Gonzaleztakes to be compassionate, helping to motivate and inspire the young students there. Here is the link to the Time Warner Sports Spanish news segment with Omar visiting Roybal (The clip begins at 1 minute and 30 seconds!)

Omar Gonzalez visits Roybal:

As soon as the Education League was initiated we began to immediately hear from teachers, each requesting we set aside a period of play for them that was later in the year than the annual September 11th start of the Compassion Games. Considering they had just gotten back to school in September, we couldn’t help but understand the rationale behind the suggestion, and we said “Of course!” The Education and Schools League now starts its participation in the Compassion Games in October, kicking off the school year in a blaze of compassion in action.

Compassion Games Excitedly Received on Campuses in Los Angeles

Thanks to Cherie and Lia, the Compassion Games have since been embraced by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health who have introduced us to each of the area organizers who place representatives in each school throughout the LA county. Subsequently, we been invited to present to all of the representatives themselves.  After presenting alongside Lia and Rahbin at a number of the meetings, Head Compassion Games Coach Sande Hart says, “I have introduced the Games to many groups over the past year, but never have I experienced a sense of enthusiasm as great as it’s been with educators. Heads were constantly nodding in excitement about the Games, and even tears were shed! It’s clear the Games bring a creative alternative solution infused with hope to the campus culture where it is so desperately needed today.”

Meanwhile, in Seattle, The Compassionate Schools Network was birthed

schools-networkThe emerging Compassionate School Movement is in large part led by Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Compassion Games, Charter for Compassion, and Compassionate Seattle hosted a conference in August called “Building the Compassionate Schools Movement: From Sandy Hook to Seattle,” igniting conversation and joint action to bring compassion into schools, to teach emotional wellness and whole person development, teacher and administrator interconnectivity and engagement, and to use compassion to propel students’ success for learning and life.

We are both honored and proud to be a founding member of the Compassionate Schools Network. On September 15, 2014 this new social collaborative network was launched. The Compassionate Schools Network is a free online community and resource-sharing platform for students, parents, school staff, and community members.

Click here to learn more about the Compassionate Schools Movement and Network, including co-creative ideas for bringing Compassion into the classroom, and how your school can affirm the Charter for Compassion!

Click here for the full press release of the Compassionate Schools Network launch:

North Thurston County School District Brings the Light!

558112_453974094671300_819099736_nThis year also marks the initiation of Washington State’s North Thurston County Public School District’s participation in the Compassion Games, They stand in solidarity with the emergence of the “Compassionate Schools Movement”, and they aren’t alone. Over 50 schools have committed themselves to participating in the Compassion Games as a way to bring compassion and the Golden Rule to schools through the competitive spirit of giving and cooperation.

Currency of the Heart: Coins of Compassion Introduced to Schools in Spirit of the Games

In an inspiring feat of creativity for the Games, North Thurston County – led by Compassionate Schools advocate Superintendent Raj Manhas –  formed a currency for their district called the “Coins of Compassion.” Unlike any currency you’ve ever heard of, over 20,000 of these coins have been given to principals and other leaders within the district, which are then given to anyone who commits an act of kindness or compassion. Paying it forward is the ultimate measure of economic success in a compassionate society. By the end of the Compassion Games, it is not the goal to have the most of these coins, but rather to give and receive them as much as possible. It is, effectively, a game of acknowledging others and their goodness, and in return, also being seen for the good we each give to others. Coins of Compassion are a living economy of the heart and they’re now in the hands of kids who are learning to give and receive them to and from each other.

We know the Compassion Games are changing what it means to compete, and now it’s clear a new value system of currency has emerged; and who knows where it will go?

While all leagues come together to play in the Global Games Coopetition, Schools can also play from Oct 15th to the 25th, closing on National “Make A Difference Day.” In 2015, educators will be treated to a series of conference calls with speakers and both plenty of time and resources to ensure their success in the next Education League Games. Rahbin’s goal is to see 150 Teams (classrooms, schools, or school districts) participate in the Compassion Games in 2015.

A Compassionate Response to Ebola

Ebola is certainly in the news and everyone is having to respond to this terrifying threat. The 2014 Compassion Games team known as “Fearless” are living up to their name. After hearing about a fundraising effort on The Shift Network’s Summer of Peace program, they decided to raise funds to support education and outreach in response to the recent Ebola breakout in West Africa.

The “Alliance for the Earth” initiative is a part of the Liberia Peacebuilding Project, an organization helping the people cope with the Ebola crisis.  The funds were donated to the Foundation for West Africa which supports Sierra Leone’s Independent Radio Network and Radio Moa 105.5 FM, a community-owned radio station in Kailhaun, Eastern Sierra Leone. Both radio stations are helping to keep the people informed and to educate them on how to prevent the spread of ebola.

The Compassion Games also inspired compassionate contemplation, so Fearless team members also put Andrew Kromah, Foday Sajuma from Sierra Leone, Harper M. Karmon and Christian Wolo Bethelson from Liberia; all who are working tirelessly to help their countries deal with the ebola situation on church and personal prayer lists.ebolareport

Here’s a great example of how the inspiration of the games can be brought to bear on pressing social challenges that we are facing.  Above is the report submitted to the Compassion Report Map.