Actively Caring refers to any behavior that goes above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the health, safety or welfare of another person (Geller, 2001). For years, Dr. E. Scott Geller has been using behavioral science in organizations to keep people safe.
In the aftermath of the April 16th, 2007 tragedy, Shane McCarty, Joey Zakutney, Brandon Carroll, Hunter Bradshaw, David Dorsett, Deepu George, Taris Mullins, Joanne Dean Geller, and Dr. E Scott Geller initiated the Actively Caring Movement. These students recognized 2,000 people across the Virginia Tech campus with green actively-caring wristbands for performing acts of caring with the instructions to pay it forward, by passing on the wristband, when (s)he observes someone else performing an act of kindness.
Our Vision for the World:
Imagine a world full of compassion - individuals helping others, receiving kindness with gratitude, and recognizing others who are actively caring. We believe that recognition for kind acts is the most effective way to help increase kindness, facilitate a sense of connection and remind people that their contributions matter to others and the world.
Our Aspirations for Students at School:
Imagine if we could help all U.S. students develop the life and career skills to flourish in the 21st century and possibly select a career of service to others. Take Kayla -- she enters Kindergarten, her first elementary school classroom, and leaves a classroom for the last time as a college graduate after 16 years of schooling. In that time, she amassed more than courses and degrees; she left with a value to serve others, the skills to help her friends and strangers, the experiences to interact well with all a diverse group of people. Imagine if these skills of caring were quantifiable to show measurable growth in social-emotional and leadership development. What if there was more than skills and a value to serve but real pathways to begin a purpose-driver career as public servants or leaders of a civil society (e.g., nonprofit staff members or social entrepreneurs). Careers of service exist and thus, our vision is to build a “School to Public Service” Pipeline that creates the structural pathways for students to select a career of actively caring to benefit society.
The SAPS Process
Observe an act of kindness.
Thank the person for actively caring.
Pass the wristband and tell the person to "pass it on."
Share your story at AC4P.org