Give Good

Tarik Atallah
2 min readDec 24, 2023


Still from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”

Giving seems like one of those really simple things to do. And it is. You see someone in need. You realize you have something to spare, and you provide it. Be it loose change for someone on the street, or a co-worker you hold the elevator door open for. For most of us, that’s all there is to it.

Where the act of giving becomes more intricate and nuanced is when two parties, observed by the public, either bestow or receive a gift. That’s when gift-giving takes on another kind of meaning. A cultural kind. When what you give or how you accept something ascribes value in the eyes of those observing.

The British period drama “Downton Abbey” portrays the intricate social rules and etiquette surrounding gift-giving among the aristocracy. The choice of gift, the timing, and the manner of presentation all held significance and could have social repercussions.

The potlatch ceremonies of some Native American tribes involved the competitive giving away of wealth and possessions. These practices were seen as a way to gain prestige and redistribute resources.

One of the last Potlatch ceremonies.

Today, gift-giving between large groups is still as alive and as well as ever. Today’s large-scale gift givers come to us as institutions, benefactors, companies, and brands.

From Dominos’ website.

In 2018, Dominos, with the help of ad agency CP+B, Colorado, gave back to underserved communities all over the country with a stunt called Paving for Pizza. While most brand stunts, tend to explicitly define savior and saved roles, this one subtly empowered both parties.

What makes this form of giving so considered, and why I believe it deserves more attention, is its approach. It doesn’t simply throw money at a cause; it invests in people under the guise of doing so for pizza-related reasons. It’s not trying to help people; it’s trying to help people eat pizza. However, by some strange stroke of luck, it just so happens that it’s helping both people and pizza. It’s arguably one of the more graceful ways to give back. To be able to expand upon what you stand for in a way that helps others indirectly. To disguise your generosity in plain sight.