11,165 High-Fives Across the Country Fight Cancer on National High Five Day, April 19
In 2002, a group of students at the University of Virginia founded the holiday National High Five Day. Year after year, the holiday generated a communal spirit of goodwill. A decade later, the founders sought to solve the question of how to channel that goodwill into more real and permanent good.
Whether it’s a great play in a basketball game, a successful outcome of a business meeting, or just because the weather is nice, when two people raise their hands in the air and slap palms, it’s typically a sign of something good. 11,165 of the high-fives that were exchanged across the United States on April 19, however, were a sign of something great.
More than 200 registrants celebrated National High Five Day by giving 55 high-fives each and raising a total of $16,113 in the Inaugural National High-5-A-Thon For Cancer Research on StayClassy.com. National High Five Day was a global “trending topic” on Twitter, and was observed by Zooey Deschanel, Pee Wee Herman, Snoopy from Peanuts, Stacy Keibler and other celebrities, and promoted by American Express, Sprite, Subway, and Aflac.
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page even featured a banner of the president giving a high-five himself! Started in 2002 at the University of Virginia, National High Five Day is as simple as it sounds: a holiday devoted to giving high-fives. Over the years it has grown organically, and each year’s celebration has eclipsed the one before. This year, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the founders sought to channel the goodwill of the holiday into a more tangible good.
In February, the National High Five Project (NH5P) received nonprofit status from the IRS. “High-fiving people all day makes you feel closer to your community,” said Greg Harrell-Edge, a celebrant of the first National High Five Day and the Executive Director of NH5P. “We set out to harness that spirit to actually benefit people.” NH5P established the Inaugural National High-5-A-Thon For Cancer Research on StayClassy, enabling individuals to raise money to fight cancer by registering to give 55 high-fives on National High Five Day.
The organization chose four cutting-edge cancer research centers to receive the proceeds: the V Foundation for Cancer Research in North Carolina, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in San Diego, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the Gateway for Cancer Research outside Chicago. The National High-5-A-Thon For Cancer Research generated much-needed funds for these organizations, as well as additional awareness.
The StayClassy campaign page received more than 55,000 hits, and generated over 2,700 Facebook ‘likes.’ “It was simply amazing to witness,” said Harrell-Edge, “how a fun idea can galvanize people to do such a tremendous amount of good.”
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National High Five Project
National High Five Project believes that generosity is viral — pass it on!
- This Achievement raised $16,113
- This charity raised $17,000 in the past year
- 11,165+ high-fives in one day helped fight cancer
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