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Small Change Equals Big Change

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We are all aware of countless charitable organizations doing amazing work. It would be wonderful to be able to give to them all. For many of us, especially philanthropic young people, there simply isn’t as much to give as we would like. This is where an industrious group of students came up with an amazing idea.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, a charity group called “Good St.” (www.goodst.org) was created by four college students facing the dilemma of lacking money, but no lack of heart. In the words of one founder, “I found myself as a student with not so much funds, but a desire to make a difference. I wanted to give in a small way to all these causes.”

The site works by mobilizing a community of registered members, affectionately known as “streeters.” Members can donate as little as a quarter a day. Every day a “streeter” will get an email identifying a cause for the day. A choice of two charities will appear in the email. For example one may be funding cancer research and one providing home care. Each streeter will choose between the two and drop their donation for the day in one of the two charity’s coffers.

Small Donation Adds Up Over Time

After participating in this engaging and thought provoking donation process, members are left with a thought for the day. The thank you page prompts streeters to follow up their donation with a good deed for the day such as conserving water or donating extra clothing or food.

It may seem that a quarter a day couldn’t possibly do much to help. However in a year the budding charity has grown to over 250 members who collectively give over $29,000 a year to over 600 causes. These numbers continue to grow and prove that a little bit of money adds up, and that no place is too small to start giving.

Parents: Children first learn habits at home. At the phase in their life where they are growing and developing, they are also far more likely to retain actions and lessons that are repeated. Start by setting a good example at home. It doesn’t have to end at charitable giving and should also include small acts of kindness and assistance. Lead by example and try to make helping others a part of daily life in the home.

Teens: Why do you study every day, or do similar work in school over and over? Because it is through practice that we learn. A great man once said “it is better to give a little every day than one lump sum at once, to make charity a daily routine.” There is no reason to delay the practice of helping others. Start making a habit of doing a small deed, or giving of yourself (it doesn’t have to be money) in some small way each day. These small things add up over time, and the habit will carry you into a happy adulthood.