At the end of 2018, Millie Savage had no intentions of parting with half of her income for three months, but knowing The Gift Initiative founder, Alex Stiles, she was inspired by the charitable work he had been doing.
It wasn’t until Alex had uploaded a video of himself sleeping on the street for awareness that Millie knew she had to reach out to him.
After briefly chatting with Alex, she had convinced herself to not only part ways with $2000 for a month, but for three months total – a pretty impressive feat for a 23 year old and recent university graduate.
“I’m single and have no dependants, I only have myself to worry about and I’m very lucky living in an inexpensive area, so that my rent is relatively reasonable,” Ms Savage said.
“It was an effort in the beginning because I’ve never budgeted before but the biggest thing that helped me has been planning.”
Just a few weeks into her charitable venture, Millie has had to develop a more “thoughtful process” around day-to-day living – meaning no clothes shopping, less food wastage and budgeting activities with friends into her weekly expenditure. Millie also cannot accept any freebies during her three month stint.
Aside from navigating difficulties budgeting, Millie has had other barriers to deal with – including some of the red tape surrounding charitable work and donations.
However, with the help of her charitable companion, she is determined to spread TGI’s ultimate goal: make giving back to the community so common, that there will simply be no need for initiatives like theirs.
“Everyone has an opportunity to give back,” she said. “You know, maybe you’ve got a talent that you could use to do a charity gig for free or something like that.
“So many people say, ‘wow, I couldn’t do what you’re doing’ but they don’t need to, they can do something small every day.”
Millie will also be donating her time to charities and taking on other challenges – like the ‘Feb Fast’, giving up something in exchange for people’s sponsorship towards a charity.
So what’s next for TGI? Well, that is up to you! “After my three months is up, we will be putting it out there for anybody else to come on board. We’re not necessarily asking for three months, people can do a month or whatever they can,” she said.
“We love to work with more people and expand our TGI network.”
See what charities Millie chooses to donate to and how she gives back to the community via Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegiveinitiative2018 or on the TGI website: www.thegiveinitiative.com.