By Cheryl Mahoney
A few days ago I dumped a pile of coins out on my bedroom floor and sat in the sun counting up change. I always like to throw my coins into a jar and let them accumulate, but this time was special. Last Sunday was Easter, and the six weeks preceding it were Lent. I had decided that I would collect all my change during Lent, count it up at the end, and donate it all to some good cause.
For six weeks I dropped all my change into a glass, and swore to myself that I wouldn’t take any out, not even for laundry. I like to pay for everything I can in cash and I only pay in bills (too much trouble to carry coins around) so I ended up with quite a few coins.
At the end of six weeks, I counted up $20.23.
All right, I’m not going to save the world with $20.23. But I can make a difference for someone. There’s a lot of things I can do with that kind of money. For $20 I can support orphans in Sri Lanka. For $19 I can provide water for one person in a rural village. For $15 I can give three people vision exams and a pair of glasses, or help keep a potential child-soldier in school and out of war. Or I could throw in another five dollars and make a microloan on Kiva.
Possibilities abound. And if you have other ideas, let me know! I’m still deciding just where to send all my coins.
What’s really great about this, is that it’s another easy way to give. I didn’t have to set aside any money in my budget, or take any money away from something else. I just put my spare change into a glass every day, and at the end of just six weeks I had enough money to make a difference. Try it some time. See how much you can end up with. 🙂