When Good Deeds Day Went Virtual

How GDD changed gears to do good in 2020.

Feb 15, 2021


When Good Deeds Day Went Virtual | How GDD changed gears to do good in 2020.

Every year, Good Deeds Day gets bigger and better. This annual event of doing good began in 2007 in just one country and in 2019 there were 3.9 million people participating from 108 countries around the world. Scheduled for March 29, 2020, it was expected to be an extraordinary year according to GDD international director Hannah Wojno.

“The work our partners were doing on the ground uniting more people and creating larger events doing good were expected to bring huge amounts of people to Good Deeds Day events, “Wojno said. “There were mega events planned around the world in Italy, where GDD partners with the Rome marathon, Taiwan, Brazil, and across Latin America by our partner organizations.”

In fact, on February 9, Wojno was heading to New Delhi, India working to finalize the plan for a new event when there was news about a new virus in China and she wasn’t sure how this would affect GDD events in Asia, but planning was still going full steam ahead on both large and small projects.

In an interview with Goodnet, Wojno discusses how Good Deeds Day went virtual in 2020:

When did you know that Good Deeds Day was going to Change?
We knew when the world screeched to a halt a month later. So, in the last minute, we realized that this [the coronavirus] was going to affect all our in-person physical plans. the world started closing and locking down and what that meant for Good Deeds Day was that the large events and the personal volunteer events couldn’t happen. That’s when we knew we had to go virtual.

What changes did you have to make?
There was so much positive momentum that we didn’t want to cancel our pinnacle event. First, we decided to postpone the day itself until there was a safer time to hold it. In the meantime, we would work with people to do good in whatever way was the safest for them, that made the most sense for them and their communities, and that addressed the critical needs that were happening at the beginning of the pandemic.

How were you able to accomplish this in such a short time?
In the middle of March, just two weeks before Good Deeds Day, we shifted our messaging to doing good from home, doing good safely, and addressing vital needs. This really worked since people still wanted to do good.

What types of projects did organizations and people do?
As we shifted to what we can do at home, our partners pivoted to helping neighbors, organizing food distribution, and getting masks to the people who needed them. As we approached Good Deeds Day, we were in contact with our partners and decided to take all the work they were doing and collected their stories and videos to do a 24-hours of good deeds campaign to show that people were still doing positive things around the world. Our partners were 100 percent into this shift.

What are you doing in 2021 with much of the world still socially distancing
Throughout the whole year, we’ve continued celebrating doing good from home and providing resources and tools for that.  People still want to take part in Good Deeds Day, and we will have a dedicated landing page up soon. In 2021, Good Deeds Day will be on April 11.

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Good Deeds Day, an annual global day of doing good, is the pinnacle of doing good year-round. Initiated in 2007 by business woman and philanthropist Shari Arison, Good Deeds Day has grown to 108 countries with millions of participants.  Good Deeds Day 2021 is on April 11.

Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.