1898255_10203953348787840_1591536311015928327_nA message from the founder:

LendOneHand.com was founded on a simple concept: Reach one hand up, and one hand down.

I apologize to those of you who have already rolled your eyes, or for whom this is patently obvious. It’s a simple concept at first blush: as you progress in life, reach upwards to those who inspire you, and downwards to those you inspire. You’d be amazed at how often your idols will engage with you in the right context (and with a respect for their time and attention). You’d be doubly amazed at how much a simple acknowledgement can do for those you inspire.

I’ve had a lot of proof of that concept on Google+. I’ve seen cool people who inspire me reach out and directly engage, time and time again. +Derek Ross has become a virtual drinking partner, team mate, and friend. +Yonatan Zunger has been both a technical sounding board and a source of brilliant conversations, and shocked me with his accessibility. The likes of +Mark Traphagen and +Eli Fennell have provided quality feedback on some of my ideas that I would have paid premium dollars for elsewhere. And, in what was probably a forgotten moment for him but a seminal moment for me, +Vic Gundotra left an atta-boy comment in one of our production hacks with G+ on our website.

There are too many others to mention, although if you call me out on them, I will. These “Hand Up” moments are powerful, and make an impression that lasts, and which often spurs the recipient to greater success. In my career, these last few years have been mindblowing in growth, and the hands down I’ve received have been instrumental in lifting me to the next levels.

On the inverse of that, I’ve jumped into conversations, shared links and projects, and engaged with folks whose name I didn’t recognize, and had them tell me later how much the gesture helped. It still amazes me when I speak, how many people come up to me afterwards and tell me how inspiring I was, and I do my best to thank each of them individually. You never know to whom you might be a role model.

I feel like there’s something more to this idea; that, as simple as it is, it could be a commitment which resonates. I wonder how many people would be willing to join me in critically examining our business spheres, and looking not just at the opportunities above us to further our own goals, but also on looking around at those who could use a little spotlight, a yes, some encouragement, a share, a comment, some tiny bit of validation, and other forms of support. I wonder if with some coordination of effort, we couldn’t force the tide to rise, lifting every ship in a vast flotilla.

On this site, we’ll explore and inspire lending hands (and reaching up) both as a community, and individually. We’ll spotlight opportunities to help, and celebrate the millions of individual “microkindnesses” that together add up to a better world. We’re not entirely sure how many ways we can help yet, but we’re willing to figure it out along the way. We hope you’ll take that journey with us.

– Chris Jenkins

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