giving

Nepal – please give.

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After you open your hearts please DONATE what you are able.

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Giving Change a Chance.

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I want to be one of those people that makes a difference.  But I’m frustrated because I never get my ideas off the ground.  For whatever reasons I lack the focused dedication that is required.  I get one idea and that may get shot down or hit a road-block and before I know it, I have another idea.

I was brought to tears today because while talking about this I began to realize that maybe I am not cut out to be the facilitator. That maybe the best  I could do was throw my ideas out there and just maybe someone else would pick one up and run with it.  Maybe someone out there has the drive, the time and the focus but needs some ideas.

So that’s what I am going to do.  Every so often I’m going to un-clutter my ideas and give them away.

Here is an old idea, which I still think has merit.

Pennies4People.  During the Kosovo war I coordinated the logistics with the Red Cross and National City Bank, (now PNC bank ), to collect and process pennies which were to be donated from students at my children’s’  elementary school. I was to make the collection containers, collect the pennies weekly and drive them to the bank, and the bank would run them through their coin machines to count and then issue a check to the Red Cross.  The Red Cross, a non-political neutral entity, would use the funds to help the refuge families struggling in the midst of the war.

The concept was that elementary school children (grades 3rd through 5th) could join together and raise donation money.  Everyone has a penny, everyone could participate no matter if they were wealthy or not.  And for one penny the students would know they were helping children on the other side of the world.  I was hopeful that this program would spread through the city school system, and grow city by city.

I owned the web site Pennies4People.  Everything was in place.  That is until I received a letter from the elementary school principal telling me that the school had a Serbian family in attendance, and they thought we had to be considerate of their feelings.  This made zero sense to me.  I tried to explain that the Red Cross was not picking sides, that they are politically neutral,  the funds would be used to help everyone.  People who needed food, water, shelter.  It didn’t matter.  The principal’s answer was NO!

I was totally dejected, my contacts at National City Bank and the Red Cross were equally dismayed, but it didn’t matter. Life went on.

(c) 1999, The Washington Post. Photography by Carol Guzy. Reprinted with permission. Kosovar refugee Agim Shala, 2, is passed through a fence into the hands of grandparents at a refugee camp in Kukes, Albania- 3 May, 1999.(c) 1999, The Washington Post. Photography by Carol Guzy.  Kosovar refugee Agim Shala, 2, is passed through a fence into the hands of grandparents at a refugee camp in Kukes, Albania- 3 May, 1999.

I believe(d) in teaching our children the importance of compassion and understanding for those suffering, and equally important showing them how the smallest action can make a big difference.  I thought this was a win-win-win, if there is any such thing.  The principal shot it down, and my idea died with that rejection letter.

Since that time, many different organizations have used the fund raising term “Pennies for People.” Back then no one was on the internet with this idea besides me, but that doesn’t matter now.  I realize this isn’t the most original idea today, but that’s not the point, it’s still an idea.

So if you see anyway you might be able to use this for something good please do.  I’ll continue to post ideas.  Maybe one day you’ll read one that will work for you.  And if you do please take it and make change happen.

(Right now watching a football game in the background I thought why not have Pennies4People on any Sunday at every stadium that has a game. All those people in the stands have pennies.  Banks need good PR -Donate to homeless shelters or for heating oil for the elderly, anything – you get the idea)

Peace.