The simple things are usually the best activated, and National High Five Day is steadily falling into that category. There are many origin stories of the high five, but the two most documented candidates are Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team on October 2, 1977, and Wiley Brown and Derek Smith of the Louisville Cardinals men’s college basketball team during the 1978–1979 season. The idea for making the third Thursday of April a celebration began in 2002 at the University of Virginia when a group of students set up shop on the main quad of the campus and gave out high-fives and lemonade. The idea spread and over the years people of all ages and backgrounds have celebrated National High Five Day by giving high-fives all day to friends, co-workers and strangers.
With the advent of social media and the advances of cause marketing, social media users can give five and get five for their favorite charities with GoodWorld’s social giving tool, #donate. GoodWorld has partnered with National High Five Day to let people send the ultimate sign of support to the causes they care about. This year, all the proceeds from high-five gear purchases go to CoachArt — who provide arts and athletics to kids impacted by chronic illness.
And while not as organized or viral as the Ice Bucket Challenge was for ALS, the simple social buzz for National High Five Day has gotten viral support from everyone from McDonald’s and Best Buy to Budweiser and Subaru. MLB has taken to outreach on their social channels as well, and a World Record is in the offing in the future.
For those who chose to go the charity route, for every $5 donation made with #donate, GoodWorld will ‘high-five’ back with a $5 match if the donor has tagged a friend to ‘high-five’ it forward. GoodWorld gave up to $25,000 in ‘high-fives’ to donors’ favorite nonprofits to celebrate National High Five Day.
Easy, recognizable, viral. Sharable; the simple ideas usually have the best potential. Certainly this one’s worth a High Five.