Asking each member of the group to donate just £1 a week, 500 Reasons is a Facebook group, driven by the power of giving, that transforms lives every week
More than 14 million people in the UK are currently living in poverty, including 4.5 million children, and public spending in communities around the country is being squeezed.
The statistics are dire, change is slow-coming, and it’s easy to feel hopeless and frustrated.
This was something that played on Joe Sims’ mind until two years ago, when he set out on a mission to make a real, tangible change in the world.
On 1 February 2017, he and four friends created a Facebook group of 100 people who each set up a direct debit of £1 per week that went into a shared pot, with the vision that the sum of money would be donated to a good cause each week.
Captivated by the opportunities this model presented, word spread and things quickly spiralled, with the group growing to include 500 people with a shared goal of reaching those most at risk of being left behind – and 500 Reasons was born.
“Anyone ever feel that things are a bit shit, and it would be nice to do something about it?” reads the group’s description. “We can cut through the bullshit, bureaucracy and red tape, and come together to actually do something meaningful every week.”
Every seven days, members send nominations and vote on where to donate the money, whether it's a local library that’s at risk of shutting down, blankets for homeless people in the winter, or families who are struggling to make ends meet.
And it’s working. In the two years that the group has been running, they have given more than £52,000 to 100 different worthy recipients.
“It's a brilliant little group and I am so proud to be part of it,” Alice Purkiss, a 500 Reasons member, tells Happiful. “It's a ray of light in the world of social media, which can sometimes be a dark place.”
While 500 Reasons is no longer accepting new members, all it takes to create your own group is a Facebook account and the drive to make a change.
In a time where it can be so easy to feel helpless when it comes to the things happening around us, 500 Reasons is a reminder of what we can do to make a difference, and the power that people have when they come together to make things right.