I have a charitable heart, but not a charitable wallet. I wish the latter could support the former, but that’s just not possible for me right now.
However, I’ve discovered a great, modest way I can give to a good cause. It is simple and easy.
My local grocery store (part of a large regional chain) often has “buy one, get one free” specials. Usually, I only need one of whatever is on sale, but when I remember to do so, I’ll pickup two and give the second to the food bin they have at the front of the store for donations.
On Wednesdays, they have a “penny item.” If you make $XX amount in purchases, there will be one special item that you can get for a penny. One week it might be toilet paper. Another it might be coffee. You just never know, but it is nearly always something that most people will want or need. I am trying to get into the habit of paying attention to their penny specials – even if it is something I would not purchase – so that then I can give that item to their food/donation bin.
Back about a month or so ago, when we were in the deep of winter, their penny item was some hot chocolate mix. I didn’t need it as I already had a good supply at home, but I put my penny down and put the hot cocoa over in the donation bin. It made me feel good and smile to myself, because I could imagine some laughing children coming in from playing in the snow, and Mom greeting them with some hot chocolate – perhaps a luxury that they had given up, like all others, when she had lost her job months ago. It made me feel good that my little contribution might bring some happiness and smiles to a family that was facing truly difficult times.
I’m going to try to pay more attention at the store and try to do this on a regular basis. Another $2, $3, or even $5 on my grocery bill won’t be that noticable to me – especially when the posted prices are buy one get one – and it could make a real difference to a hurting family. If I find that I’m getting in a tight spot myself, in between paychecks, I can still use a penny to make a contribution, and help someone who truly may have no other aid.
I’m glad that my local store makes it so easy for me to give. Maybe you’ll find your store does this, too.
© 2011, writingreading