Epic Thanks is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. Founded in 2008, the original TweetsGiving celebration was imagined and implemented by six volunteers in six days, and quickly became the #1 trending topic on Twitter as thousands of grateful tweets from across the globe filled the stream.
But the truth is TweetsGiving was never about twitter or social media. It's about the gratitude in our hearts, and the transformative power our thankfulness can have when we share it with one another. It's about cultivating a deep sense of those remarkable souls who create hope in our world. That's why this year, TweetsGiving becomes Epic Thanks.
Over the past two years, from the gratitude of thousands, this global event has built two classrooms and a library in Arusha, Tanzania, where the twitterkids, led by local changemaker Mama Lucy Kamptoni, learn and grow at one of the best primary schools in their country.
Epic Change inspired me to write a blog for Tweetsgiving last year, and I shared a brief meditation for Thanksgiving. This year their Epic Thanks site goes live at 12pm on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (the same time that this blog is set to post, as are many more who are on board this year's project). Using Social Media, the project encourages everyone to spread some gratitude around by tweeting, posting on Facebook, and blogging on what you are thankful for.
President John F. Kennedy said "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them", and Matthew Henry, C17th pastor taught: "Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better." The traditional Jewish prayer that we wake up to is 'Modeh Ani lefanecha... Thankful am I before You, Living and Eternal God, who has restored my soul to me in mercy; great is Your faith.' Sensing that God has entrusted our soul within our bodies, we are inspired (literally 'breathed into') as human beings to do something purposeful with this gift of life.
If you are blessed with the ability to sit down for a good meal, among family or good friends, this Thanksgiving, add to the bounty with some 'Thanks-living'. Make a donation to Epic Change, or another cause dear to your heart that will make a real difference in the lives of others. Share the things you are thankful for with those around your Thanksgiving table, but also on your Facebook page or on twitter (and use the #Epicthanks or #tweetsgivings tags when you do!). Commit to doing one act of kindness, one deed of giving in your local community, in the coming week.
(Congregants of B'nai Israel - we are still collecting for our 'Kindle a Light' program, and your gift of a Stop and Shop card of $10 or up will be distributed to the elderly in need in the community. You can drop them in at the Temple office any time next week).
Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz