Gifts for Strangers handed out some holiday cheer!

On Saturday, December 15th, Improv AZ and over a dozen agents braved the cold and rain to spread some unexpected holiday cheer in downtown Phoenix as part of Gifts for Strangers.

Started by Improv In Toronto in 2010, “Gifts for Strangers, is a world-wide cause to spread kindness and goodwill around the world, just through simple acts.” Groups in 33 cities all over the world gave small gifts to strangers in their communities on the same day. Our agents were motivated to make others happy and give to others with no expectation of anything in return. Several people came with bags of gifts to give and their children in tow.

Gifts for Strangers Phoenix crew

Gifts for Strangers Phoenix crew

Our agents walked around downtown Phoenix and greeted strangers with “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” and offered them a gift. Some of them were leery of the surprise gift, but many of them were happy to take our gifts. The children who were offered gifts were ecstatic. Some people were so touched by the gift their eyes filled with tears and they hugged our agents.

One agent included money in her gifts. She saw a gift recipient take the $10 that was in his gift and give it to someone else who needed it more than him.

We walked the streets giving gifts for about 30 minutes before regrouping to share stories from our gift giving adventures. From all accounts, this flash mob was a huge success.

Happy Holidays everyone from the crew at Improv AZ! We hope to see you at our events in 2013!

Gifts for Strangers flash mob location chosen

We’ve set the time and location for our Gifts for Strangers flash mob, coming up on the 15th!

It turns out there are a bunch of shows and events going on downtown that day, including Christmas shows like the Nutcracker. So we’re going to meet at the Light Rail station at 3rd St and Washington, and walk a loop around downtown past the Convention Center, up by Herberger, and hand out our gifts!

Be there at 1:00pm, and we’ll start handing out our gifts shortly afterwards.

Everyone will need to bring about ten small gifts, all wrapped up, ready to give away. These should be small, inexpensive, personal things. If it is something you make, like a CD mix of your favorite songs, that’s great. They should be things that will make people smile and feel good, and that’s far more important than how much you spend.

We’ll post more information this week, and if you’re on Facebook, RSVP on the event page and share it with your friends.

Join our Gifts for Strangers flash mob to spread a little holiday cheer!

Gifts for Stranger

presents (macro) via found_drama

For many, the holidays are a stressful time and a lot of people get away from the joy of the season. Gifts for Strangers was started a few years ago by Improv Toronto to spread cheer to others. Twenty-three cities participated in this last year. We’re joining in the fun this time around!

So here’s how it works – we’re going to gather on the afternoon of December 15th in a location where we will likely run into lots of random people (specific location TBA) and give small gifts to people we don’t know.

Everyone who wants to participate is expected to bring 5 – 10 small wrapped presents to give away. Don’t spend a lot of money on them. These should be small, personal gifts that you think will make someone smile. Maybe you make it yourself, like some art or a mix CD. Think about what might make your day a little bit brighter if a stranger gave it to you out of the blue?

We just want to spread some holiday cheer to people who may not be expecting it!

If you want to join us doing it here in Phoenix, let us know in the comments and watch our blog for more details. You can also RSVP at the Gifts for Strangers Facebook event!


We are meeting at the Light Rail Station at 3rd Street and Washington at 1:00pm! Read more.