One Small Act x Friends = A Big Gesture

How many times do you get caught up in thinking to give back it has to be grand? For me, it was all too often. The industry I work in carries a lot of zeros behind a paycheck, of course not the case for me, but the crowd I am around are very wealthy folks. I watch them give and contribute things I could only dream about. It started to take a toll on my “I can help too” attitude, because really what was I accomplishing with a bag of food here, and buying one-dollar chocolate bars from co-workers kids?

Then I met Jayden. I was having dinner at Chipotle with my son, and I overheard a guy talking to the table near me, he asked if he could have whatever they didn’t finish eating. As he walked away, the table laughed at him. I watched as he walked to the corner to take a seat. Once the table behind me was done, they put their garbage in the trash, walked by Jayden and told him to get a job. Jayden looked down, waited until they left, and went over to the trash can to try and salvage food. That is where I drew the line; he was hungry, and people laughed at him. I invited him over to my table; my son said hi, and I asked him why he thought he deserved food out of a trash can. His response “because ma’am, it’s free, and I don’t have any money.”, then I asked him why he didn’t ask me for my food, “because ma’am, you were with your kid, and I didn’t want to scare you.” He was hungry but didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable.

Since I was finished with my food, I told him to hold on. My son and I bought him a $10 dinner, with a side of gift card for more when he needed it. “You don’t know what this means to me; this is huge.” A $10 meal was huge in his life. Which made me realize that a small act really can make a difference.

Fast-forward a couple of months; I was thinking about what one could do to make a difference with a nominal amount. So I brainstormed with my team, and we came up with a $10 challenge. The rules were simple; you spent $10 and $10 alone (tax not included) to buy something (food, toiletries, etc.). We chose school supplies because it was back to school clearance time. The rules were simple; you had to buy as many supplies as you could, take a photo, submit it for the pride, not prize contest. Nine people took the challenge, and by the time we ended, we had three garbage bags worth of stuff. So while I only gave $10 worth of supplies, together we gave $90 worth of pencils, notebooks, glue, etc. and since it was on clearance, we raked in so many more items.

We donated to a local title one school, and the teacher was thrilled. It was like Christmas to her, and she couldn’t wait to share with her students and fellow teachers. So I guess it goes to show that if you want to make a difference, you just have to do it. It may not touch everyone’s lives; it may not touch a big groups life, but it will touch someone’s life. And isn’t that what it is all about?

How could you and your friends help a great cause with just $10 each?