Instead of a Lent of abstention, which many Christians practice by resolving not to do certain things like eat chocolate or gossip, CoolPeopleCare.org flips this notion on its head by instead encouraging a discipline of proactivity.
Sam Davidson, the site's president and co-founder says, "Lent in traditionally a time when many people cease to act. We feel that our content can be used as a Lenten discipline in the opposite way – by encouraging people to live out the mission of God in their lives and communities."
The idea originated in 2007 when Dixon Kinser, a minister at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee approached Davidson and asked if his church community could use the site's daily suggestion as a communal activity.
"I had been subscribing to CoolPeopleCare's emails for a few months, and each day I thought more and more what it might look like for a church community to commit to acting out these ideas," said Kinser. "Last year was a big success, so we decided to do it again."
CoolPeopleCare's signature feature is a daily article called "5 Minutes of Caring." This 99-word suggestion is a motivational and educational article aimed to show readers how easy and important making a positive difference can be.
While the site is not officially affiliated with any religious group, Davidson says that many Christians and churches use the site as a resource in their personal spiritual journeys. "We're happy to play a part in that," he adds.
Churches and individuals who wish to participate in this year's "Cool" Lent can visit CoolPeopleCare.org and sign up to receive the daily emails and list their church as a participating community.
Lent begins on Wednesday and lasts for 40 days until Easter, which falls on Sunday, March 23.