Welcome to bigthanks.org.

We’re in the middle of a crisis. Lots of us want to do something to help.

Last week, Michelle and I and a small group of friends had a common thought — we wanted to help local businesses in need, particularly food service workers and restauranteurs, whose source of income has been devastated in an instant. We also wanted to support first responders in this time of crisis.

So the first #bigthanks event was born — we purchased meals from struggling restaurants for first responders and dropped them off, in a socially-distanced way. During this process, we learned a lot, and we wanted to share those tips.

First, we need to do no harm — it’s vital not to disrupt their everyday operations. Second, we wanted to call this “feedhero,” but we were quickly reminded that a lot of firefighters and physicians didn’t want to be known as “heroes,” since it’s their job. We knew our idea wouldn’t scale with us needing to be involved and we quickly decided to focus on building a place to share tips and ideas and fundraising links and more.

So, the more we thought about it, the more we thought that it’d be helpful to build a place to share stories ways to productively express gratitude. We hope these inspire you and others with simple examples, or just brings a smile. Please join us in the ways that move you: consider donating to one of many campaigns that will be listed on our message board, and share ideas of ways people can show gratitude.

#bigthanks is not about us, it’s about you, and helping everyone put gratitude in practice, particularly in times of crisis.

We thought people could use a checklist or simple plan to run one or more of these events in their own community.

Update: One week in, things are looking brighter.


I've lived in Seattle since 1991, and held jobs at Microsoft, Expedia and my own few startups. I've taught a class on innovation at the UW Foster School of Business. I love Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region. I've got a wife, three kids and a dog, who, other than me, is by far the most difficult member of the household.

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