I’m starting a new series this week about the #SmallSteps a person can easily take to give back to their community. This isn’t about spending a lot of money or carving out a big chunk of time in your schedule- it’s all about the little things just one person can do to make a little difference, and if all of us did just a few small things to give back to our communities our world would be a better place.
Americans use checks and credit cards more than cash, by and large. That means that the few times we do use cash, we don’t really know what to do with change. That’s especially true because change is not worth much in the US- you can’t buy candy for a quarter, you can’t buy stamps, you can hardly even buy a single sticker with less than a dollar.
Save your change
But change does add up, and after a few cash transactions your change might add up to a dollar. I know that’s still not much for you, and you can’t buy much with just a dollar- just one thing at the dollar store, and even some of them actually charge more than the bill they were named for- but think of how that dollar can add up with other dollars.
I like to keep my change in a little change purse that I keep specifically to give to buskers, homeless people, and people asking me for spare change on the Metro to get the rest of the fare they need to get home. I know sometimes those people might not actually need my change and might just be taking advantage of a person who looks like a tourist- I smile far too much to look like I’m just commuting, even when I am!- but I like to do my part to help out for those few times it really is a person in desperate need, and honestly even if a person doesn’t really HAVE to have donations from me to survive, I just like to help others no matter if they need it more or less than other people might.
So I keep my little change purse and gather all the hassle of coins in there. I keep a few dollar bills in there too, the ones I can afford. I do give more than just my coins- I have “charity money” planned out in my budget and I give it to a few homeless shelters, a burn charity, and straight up in cash to some homeless members of the community who have become friends and I do happen to know are not just for-profit beggars (because that is a very lucrative job that exists in this city and threatens the livelihood of actually homeless people), but I keep my change purse for anyone else in need- even those very same for profit beggars on occasion. I just like to be kind, and it’s a way I can afford to do that with my currently limited income.