Being a member of the Australian Defence Force is already a significant contribution to Australia but LAC Alex Stiles feels he still has more to give to society. He has committed to donating half of his income for six months to various charities as part of a self-founded project named ‘The Give Initiative’.
Now three months in to his charitable journey, LAC Stiles reveals the lessons he has learned along the way, and why ‘The Give Initiative’ is much more than sacrificing half of his hard earned dollars.
Working in the RAAF for five years, LAC Stiles came up with the idea two years ago but a deployment to the Middle East was a setback to the launch date.
Launching on the 1st of July this year, the logistics airman pledged to donate to charities chosen by his followers, but that’s only the surface level of what his campaign is really about. “For me, this is not just about donating money. It is a journey of self development, to learn to appreciate the smaller things like giving and to not be as reliant on money and other material objects,” LAC Stiles said.
“On the public side of it, I’m using it as a campaign to share any truths I come across on my journey and trying to inspire them in realising the value of giving.”
Not surprisingly, donating $12,000 of his income is a shock to most people that LAC Stiles encounters.
During this period, he has also restricted himself from receiving free “handouts” for himself – e.g. a cup of coffee or paying for his fuel. This has meant LAC Stiles has resorted to cost cutting measures so that he is able to donate more – like cutting his own hair.
“One of the most interesting things that’s happened is the myriad of different reactions from people to the ‘Give Initiative’. Some of them have been a bit confused, a bit perplexed… but I’m finding a lot of people feel inspired by it,” he said.
LAC Stiles’ goal is to have his followers beat his monthly donation of $2000. In the month of October, LAC Stiles will donate to a Defence related charity.
You can help LAC Stiles in his charitable journey by donating to his chosen charity or simply keeping up to date with his progress at thegiveinitiative.com.