Studies have shown that there are at least seven benefits of gratitude:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health.
  3. Gratitude increases mental strength.
  4. Gratitude improves psychological health.
  5. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
  6. Grateful people sleep better.
  7. Gratitude improves self-esteem.

Take a look at this list. We need each of these every day, but perhaps never moreso than in this time of urgent crisis.

We started the #bigthanks hashtag, website and community because we want to share stories of productive gratitude, share tips and techniques to make it easier, and encourage more of it. We also want the media to have an easy place to find these stories, and we want people who are inspired to take action in productive ways.

We want to have fun and help people, but we also want to do so within the currently-changing guidelines around public health. Navigating this requires a lots of planning and information exchange. That’s what this site is for.

When Michelle and the wonderful #bigthanks did the first Gratitude Meals project, much of the sense of foreboding and gloom that we’ve been experiencing with the COVID crisis vanished.

Our hope with #bigthanks is that you find tools, ideas and inspiration to give back, in ways large or small.


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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