Gifts of Gratitude was officially established on August 4th of 2022, Jennifer Bender's 35th birthday.
On April 23rd, 2022 our lives were changed forever. Dr. Jennifer Bender left this earth and our hearts were shattered. Jen's passion for teaching, loving, and learning has inspired so many people. She lived a full life and had a profound impact on so many of her colleagues, students, and friends. To keep Jen's memory and legacy alive, Gifts of Gratitude was launched.
Jen started her Gifts of Gratitude concept in the classroom at the University of South Florida where she taught numerous students in her Communications courses. Her idea was to put others before yourself and to display your appreciation for others through random acts of kindness.
"Be the reason someone smiles today."
A Gift of Gratitude, or GoG for short, is a simple act of kindness intended to have a positive impact on another individual. This person could be someone close to you like a spouse or best friend, an acquaintance that you keep in touch with, or a complete stranger. The goal is simple: do something to make someone smile.
GoGs don't have to cost money or even a lot of time. Some of the best GoGs are simple and straight from the heart - a compliment to a stranger, helping a turtle cross the road, taking a few extra minutes out of your day to tell your spouse you appreciate them.
You can make your GoG as big or as small, as complex or as simple, as expensive or as inexpensive, as known or as anonymous as you like. Jen had such an incredible positive impact on those around her and she strongly encouraged her students to do the same. We could all be a little more like Jen and positively impact those around us.