A couple months ago Groupon advertised a coupon to donate to DonerChoose.org — $10 for a $20 donation to the project of your choice. I snatched it up and made a deposit into my karmic bank.
After choosing a project that suited my do-gooding beliefs and submitting my donation, the website offered me the opportunity to set up a standing contribution to be charged to my CC each month. How nice of them to make it so easy.
I now donate $10 a month to an urgent project, which gives priority to high poverty-levels, teachers who never received funding before and projects that are about to expire. Adding monthly automatic charges to my credit card didn’t really mesh with the advice I received from my financial planner, Bryan Trugman (follow the link if you need some fantastic advice on managing your money), for paying down my debt. But it makes me feel good about myself. (And I canceled my Blockbuster online account about the same time, so it all balanced itself out!)
Today I received an e-mail with the subject “Thank you note from Mrs [name].” The teacher’s students are four and five-year olds at an urban school. She states that “many children only have the opportunity to play outside in our schoolyard because the neighborhood streets are not safe. Our prekindergarten children would love to have tricycles to take turns riding.” One of my donations had reached this project and she had received enough money to buy the four tricycles she wanted for her kids.
The thank you read, “While in the classroom, we spent much time focusing on Literacy and Math and Learning Behaviors. Equally important for young children is the development of large muscles and getting the exercise which they need. Also, outdoor play helps the children focus more attentively in the school classroom. The tricycles, along with the balls and jump ropes we already have, will give the children more opportunities to have fun and exercise.
Obesity in children is a problem in America.
I know these tricycles will get much, much use! The children will really enjoy riding them in our schoolyard. Thank you for considering the funding of 1, 2, 3 Here We Go!”
I remember my days in nursery school. We had dozens of tricycles and we would race them around the yard, or the gym on rainy days. I’m not sure how big of factor they played in my development today, but it’s a fond memory. And what stands out even more than that is memories of playing outside, riding up and down the block with my friends, till the sun went down and our moms made us move into the backyard. Ahhh, to be a kid again.
I had forgotten about the automatic donation that tacks itself onto my Discover bill each month, but I’m glad I did it. It may have only been $10, but it was $10 that went to a good cause.
Now when I see a kid on a tricycle, I’ll feel glad I helped a little boy or girl create a childhood memory that will stick with them.