Hundred Bucks Travels Far

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Mar 9, 2009
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If you had an extra $100, how would you use it to bring more kindness in your community?  On HelpOthers.org, you have 500 characters to express your idea and every month one winner is anonymously sent the money, with full-out trust.

The whole experiment started in a humble way, and since then, it has become even humbler.  In December, for example, Jacinda Short said she'd like to spend hundred bucks to inspire terminally ill patients; on Christmas eve, we read in the papers that Jacinda took her whole family to the hospital, delivered flowers to cancer patients, and with her 14 and 20 year old sisters -- 'The Short Sistars' -- sang Christmas carols in this small town of New Zealand.  "My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, when I was 11 ... and that was around Christmas time."   The most amazing thing is that we didn't know any of this, when we read the 500 characters!   We never do, and yet, powerful stuff happens.  Not once, but almost every time.  So much so that our very own program coordinator insisted that CharityFocus stop funding this -- because she wants to fund it herself.  It's truly anonymous now. :)

For February, we just selected 'dotrut2001' as the winner.  Before we could send the money, dotrut2001 already posted an entry in Smile Groups:

I am unbelieveably happy and thankful. My kindness idea won for Feb.

I am so looking forward to grocery shopping....stretching those dollars til' they ache...to help some families in my community.

Buying oranges for a sweet lady who loves them but never buys them, getting a young mother with cancer some extras that will be easy for her to fix.  Loading up on canned goods at Aldis for a few other folks.

Being that I was blessed with cash from kids for Valentines Day, I am going to match this $100.

Thanks to the person or persons who donated to this site for kindness.

Going now to make several grocery lists. :) One for THEM  :) and one for me, as I am baking bread and cookies to go with the store bought items. It is like Christmas all over again. Thank you HelpOthers.org for this opportunity to serve others in  such a mighty way.

Just her joy of receiving the opportunity to serve was worth every penny of her gift.  And then she got the money, and right away, executed her idea and wrote about her inspired experience:

As soon as I recieved the check on Thursday I went to the bank, grabbed my list, coupons,put on my walking shoes and headed for the grocery stores.

I had 4 different lists for 4 households. Each with their own needs.When I left town for home the entire car was loaded down :)

After I got home and engaged the neighbor boys to help me unload ,I began sorting things out as I planned to deliver the following day.

I baked 8 loaves of bread and 4 pans of bar type cookies. I also made a huge pot of chili,another of spaghetti sauce and one of veggie soup.

Yesterday morinng I divided the dishes I had prepared, loaded the food into the car again and headed for town.

My first stop was my neighbor an elderly lady who lives alone. I  gave her the box of food and a bag of oranges especially for her. She just cried and thanked me !

The second stop was to the apt of a disabled young man.Due to a brain anyuresm he is paralyzed on one side. I gave him a hefty box of food, plus some frozen soup, sauce ,etc. He hugged me so hard with his good arm I thought he had broken a rib. When I left him his smile was bright as sunshine.

The next stop was an elderly woman in town . She was surprised to say the least, insisted I stay for coffee and some of the bar cookies I took  her. We had a nice visit.

The last stop was at the home of a young mother and her two children. The mother is single and is being treated for cancer. I admit I put a few extras in her boxes. Also several containers of the soup, chili ,etc that she could freeze for those days when she was  too sick to cook. She was in shock. She asked me over and over why a stranger would help her when her own family wouldn't. All I could tell her was that Kindness is everyones duty to humankind. I told her about this website too and their generous contribution !  She sat at her table taking things out one at a time and telling her kids, look  we have so and so now. I stayed to put the food away and visited with her for an hour or so. She needed hugs and conversation, so I gave her plenty of both.

Every one of these people first cried, then smiled. I have never felt so emotional or so blessed. I may  not be able to help them in this way every day, but I will be  calling on them often, just to visit and maybe take a casserole or something. For sure I will give them all hugs and smiles.

My profound thanks to Help Others.org for making this experience possible.

Perhaps Bill Gates or Warren Buffet would read this idea as an unscalable, spare-change, feel-good footnote in the grand scheme of social change.  For CharityFocus, though, this is daily business.

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Comments (1)

  • ansil hosein wrote ...

    That was very outstanding. it really don't take much to help someone that is ill or having a bad day. I myself have been going thru a lot of discomfort lately and was very ill, unable to go to school inwhich I miss very much. But, I am home schooling for a few weeks. My goal is to become a video game programmer, to help kids that are unable to progress in school. With my knwowledge I will be able to help kids with Sotos syndrome and other illness to overcome many various learning disabilities. I feel dedicated to help these kids, I had to struggle when I was in elementary school. I was told by my elem teacher that I would become a drop-out at 14. I prove her wrong. With my mother ambition of helping me learn and rebuilding my self-esteem, I will be graduating this June. As you see I feel compelled to develope a program targeted for special needs kids. A little kindness and compassion goes a long way.