Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Miracles Wrought with Pocket Change

One of the things I enjoyed most about this past Christmas season was the opportunity to focus so much of my time and effort on giving to others. What a sweet experience that was for me this past year. Wanting to give not just to those I knew but to also be of benefit outside of my extended family and friends, I devised a little scheme to be sure that I had a little something extra to share at a time when our family was financially strapped. Whenever I was out and about I made sure to pay cash for everything, instead of using my debit card or checks. All of my pocket change I saved in, well,... my pocket! Then, whenever I passed by one of the umpteen Salvation Army workers with their little red buckets outside my favorite stores, I'd drop that extra change inside. I did this over and over and over again. I later figured that during the month of December, I donated quite a nice sum to that local charity!

Not to miss out on any of the fun the rest of the year, I've been saving up that pocket change in this nifty little jar...

Nothing fancy, there!

At the end of every month, I count up the change, deposit it in my account and then write a check to one of my favorite charities. It is amazing how much a little bit everyday adds up to a substantial gift!

I have several favorite charities that I would like to share with you:

1) The Christian Appalachian Project
Appalachia runs from Southern New York down through Northern Mississippi. It was originally settled in the 1700s by Europeans and some Africans looking for freedom and opportunity. These settlers were extremely independent and often isolated from the rest of the country. This area is rich in traditions but encompasses some of the worst poverty in our nation. The Christian Appalachian Project administers financial, temporal and spiritual relief to the people of this area, building stronger communities one person/one family at a time. Please visit their site and consider helping as you can.

2) The Nature Conservancy
"The Nature Conservancy's mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive."

Decades before "Environmentalism" became a fashionable term, my mother raised my sister and me to treat the earth and all of God's creations with tenderness and sensitivity. She was concerned with over-development of rural areas, the de-forestation of her beloved North Carolina and any wanton destruction of animals' natural habitats. She believed in living gently on the land. Upon her death, my sister and I opened a memorial donation fund in her honor.

If someday you make a donation to them, would you kindly consider doing so under my mother's name:

Member #11912294
Address: 4 Pelham Green West, Waynesboro, VA 22980
The words "Tribute donation in memory of Kathleen Melvin Atkinson"

3) Christian Childrens Fund
Sponsor a child from various countries of the world. Receive regular updates on how they are doing. Surprisingly affordable!

* * *
Ladies, I'm so excited about this that I'm going to sponsor Pocket Change Miracles. On the last day of every month, I will provide a Mr. Linky and I would like to encourage everyone to share your stories of how your pocket change went to help someone in need.

Well, I've got to run for now, but there will be more on this later.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a great idea.

Did you ever read The Christmas Jar? I think you'd like it.

Trish said...

I agree with Ruth....it is a great idea. I'd love to share some pocket change stories...get that linky going....although dear Elizabeth, I really don't know what a linky is!!!! HA!

beth at aunties said...

Such a great idea! I am reading the Christmas Jar this week and it is a sweet story which goes along with this. Lunch does sound great.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful and simple idea! ... "by simple things, great things come to pass" ... the world would be a different place if we all participated in pocket change miracles like you!

Love this idea!

BTW, I'll post the pizza roll recipe later today -- come and get it! LOL