Have You Ever Given to a Stranger?

We want to hear your stories about giving.

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What makes people give?  Every day we see requests for help: from charities and nonprofits, acquaintances crowdfunding for projects, or strangers on the street. Research has found that when it comes to giving, we’re often “ruled by hearts rather than our heads,” and we’re pushed to give to causes that emotionally appeal to us rather than ones we know might have the most impact. A study in 2005 found that bystanders are more likely to help strangers in distress once they recognize they have something in common—even if those connections are as simple as liking the same football team. 

Giving to someone you know or a cause you care about makes sense. But what about giving or helping complete strangers—people we don’t have connections to at all? 

We’re interested in hearing your stories about giving: Tell us about a time you donated something to a complete stranger, and what motivated you to do it.

We may share your response with our newsroom and publish a selection of stories which would include your name, age, and location. Your email address will not be published and by providing it, you agree to let us contact you regarding your response. We respect your privacy and will not use your email address for any other purpose.

Image credit: kazatin/Getty


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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