The #GivingCards Project – Mission #2: Give a Financial Boost to Someone Struggling


I received my card in the last week or so. I added $5 to the pot and used $25 to support a project on Kiva. Kiva crowdfunds loans for borrowers in more than 80 countries who are often financially excluded and can’t access other fair and affordable sources of credit.

I’d been wanting to support Kiva for a long time – I paid off a good chunk of my debt using a (different) crowdfunding website and love the concept of the generosity of strangers helping someone get it together – so it was great to be able to get started.

I supported a group of ladies in Lebanon looking to cover school tuition for their kids.

The cool thing is that if the loan is repaid, I can use the $25 credit that will return to me to support another project on Kiva.

To learn more about how Kiva works:


I just wanted to share how I gave out the #GivingCards I met a 5th grade teacher on Friday night and she was sharing with me how she had a little girl in her class that was wearing the same shirt to school everyday and the kids were starting to make fun of her. After talking to the principal, she found out that they young girl was living with her mom and two sisters in a nearby shelter. After hearing this story, I knew I had found the right person. I immediately grabbed the card and told her to please get her some clothes. My friend who was with me also donated an additional $100 right on the spot. I know I will never see this little girl but hopefully she will feel the love and know that she is special.



Kiva waaaay back in the day (nearly 10 years ago, wow - which is an eternity in internet time) was one of the projects that got me really interested in the crowdfunding possibilities in our increasingly connected world. A decade later, and I (we) are still building projects that harness the crowd to do good. Love it, thank you.


Thank you so much for this one - I teared up while reading it, as I’m sure her mom will when she sees all the new clothes her daughter will be able to have. This kind of thing means so, so much. Wow.

I had a little bit of a similar experience when I was young - I wrote about it here:

Thank you for making a difference :slight_smile:


I gave my givingcard to a friend who has meds they need to buy… it wasn’t a huge amount, but it was something to help them out!


A high school classmate of mine died a few weeks ago, right around the time the card arrived. She was ~42 and had cancer but was diagnosed too late. Born and raised in Gettysburg, she stayed here and had become a leader in the community, working at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP), which does so much good for so many people. She has children in college and just became a grandmother this summer, and I know this will help them out. Adrienne had just received the “Living the Dream” award at the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

The one thing everyone has been saying is they will miss her smile. It was the first thing people visiting SCCAP for assistance saw when they walked in the door.


I am sending mine to a friend of mine that lives in another town. Her husband has a small contracting business and is the sole support of her family. He had an injury a couple of months ago that has kept him housebound (he can only move around for abt 20 mins at a time) and unable to work. In addition to keeping the administrative part of his business going, she has also taken another part-time job outside the home, takes her kids to & from two different schools in every day, cleared all of the crazy amount of snow that we have had lately, and all of the other household admin tasks that she already had to deal with before this happened. She just took apart her dishwasher with the help of youtube, figured out what part wasn’t working, and ordered it online so she can fix it herself. I know she is feeling overwhelmed but she keeps her head up and keeps moving forward and I hope she can use this to do something nice for herself or buy groceries or whatever would make her most happy.


Today was the day, I finally got to give my card away. I gave my card to my friend Vanessa. She is working hard to eliminate debt and provide for her daughter. Vanessa has been very focused on getting out of debt and I thought this was the person I should give the card to. I admire her positive attitude, hard work and loving soul. I invited her out to lunch today and gave her the card. She was very surprised and delighted at the gift.


She seriously had a beautiful smile . . . I’m sure the family appreciates your friendship and your help <3


One of the best ways to connect with people one on one!


Sometimes it’s these small, thoughtful things that make the most impact…


My gift card is en route to a dear friend in rural Illinois. She lives on a farm and there’s a lot of work to do, and given some health stuff, it’s just far more work than she can do at the farm on her own. So, a group of our friends get together each year, spend a weekend on the farm and help her get a lot of work done. It’s part working weekend, part social gathering…

But I can’t go - the date conflicts with some other stuff I can’t miss, so I was feeling bummed about that. By sending her my gift card, she can use those funds for supplies and repairs, or to help feed the people who will be staying with her that weekend.

It’s not much, but I hope it lightens her load even a tiny bit!


Buzzer beaterrrr for my Giving Card!

Okay so I actually signed up during January’s Mission- to give a little unexpected joy to someone.

I struggled with an idea all month long, mainly because I really wanted both my purchase, and my giving to bring the seller and the receiver some joy!

Yesterday I was down to the wire, but still holding out for the right opportunity. While on an errand in Highland Park, CA I ran into a group of Girl Scouts trying to hit their cookie quota. I was a cookie slangin GS once upon a time, and I know its a big deal. I decided these gals were the perfect start to my day. When I explained I was using a Giving Card to purchase 4 boxes of cookies, and assured them I was going to give them out to make some people very happy, the girls really got a kick out of it.

Then I set off to find recipients. Highland Park isn’t a very affluent neighborhood so I didnt think it would be too hard to find people in need of some joy, but surprisingly I did not see anyone that looked like they could use some cookie-laden joy. I decided to get myself some lunch and went into recently opened Blaze Pizza in my neighborhood. I had tried to go on their grand opening day and there were over 200 people in line, so I knew the workers in there had had quite the busy week. Without even the cookies on my mind (because, pizza) I was stunned by how kind and friendly the mostly teenage staff was! As I went down the line talking with each employee, I had enjoyable interactions and conversations even though I could see that these kids were working hard. The light bulb went off, and I decided to surprise them with a delicious break time treat. I reached the end of the line and was checked out near a manager. I let him know how his team had impressed me and I asked if it would be okay to offer them the cookies, ‘just to give them a little joy.’ He and the team were so excited, and they gladly posed for a pic with the cookies.

I know it was a simple gesture, but I truly believe the Girl Scouts and the Blaze team felt a little joy knowing someone wanted to make them smile that day.

Thank you Giving Cards project for bringing joy to my life as well!


Just got mine in under the wire before the end of February. It’s been burning a hole in my pocket for a few weeks now and I’d been looking for the right opportunity to use it. My work took me to a local hospital this week, and in the lobby is a Starbucks. A pretty busy Starbucks, use by doctors, nurses, volunteers, visitors, etc.

So early this morning I waiting in the long line. It was funny that a few nurses behind me were grumbling about the length of the line. I made a purchase, after my purchase I had over the card and an extra $20 match to the cashier and asked her to buy the next couple of coffee’s on me. She did a double take and said “Wow, just wow”

I hung around to see the reactions of the next people in-line, and low and behold the grumpy nurses behind me left with smiles and a cup of coffee on the house. I thought this was a great way to give back, you never know what people are dealing with at a hospital, nurses and doctors bust their butts. Thought it was a great way to general brighten up someones day, randomly. So glad to be a part of the #GivingCard project! Thanks gentlemen!


Given the giving card snafu with January/Feb cards, we’ve gotten a little behind on this whole thing. However, if you remember the first month, we decided to match the gift card and give $40 each month.

It really has been a challenge to figure out how to do this and do it meaningfully. $40 isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. I thought about going and handing it to one of the many homeless folks around here, but I always worry about what that money will be spent on. Besides, I like for these things to be more personal. But it was taking forever. I kept looking around for the right way to do it.

Last week, I looked on Facebook and saw that my childhood best friend had been laid off from his job at Lowe’s Home Improvement. He and his wife have three kids in elementary and middle school. They also live in a town in NC where jobs are pretty scarce. When I messaged him on facebook, he was not too hopeful about finding another job in that town, but he doesn’t want to uproot his family from their home.

I put the card and the money in a letter, explaining where the money came from and why. Again, $40 isn’t going to put much of a dent in a mortgage payment, but we decided to send that card and money to his family anyway. As I wrote in my letter to him, I know it isn’t much, but luxuries are going to be hard to come by for him for a while, so maybe that’ll help. Maybe he could use that money on his kids.

I don’t know how he’s going to react to this. He was always a proud guy who didn’t like the idea of being the beneficiary of charity. I told him in the letter that if he doesn’t like it, he can choose to spend it some other way. He’s always been heavily involved in his church, and I suggested that he could give it to them if he felt so inclined.

Overall, I feel like this was a really hard assignment, but worthwhile. Honestly, I hope my friend will use the money for his kids, and I suspect he will.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures of this other than a picture I took of the card, the envelope, and a $20 bill. That’s not real exciting, so I think I’ll just stop with the narrative.


Hey everyone. My husband and I gave the card to one of his work colleagues a couple days ago, Frank. Within the last couple years Frank has been through a lot. He lost his job and had to get one that paid a lot less, his wife decided to divorce him, The person he is renting from is getting ready to kick him out because the person doesn’t want to keep the upkeep for a renter and it’s the only place around he can really afford, he’s also trying to take care of his adopted son while dealing with all of that.
He is just seeing it a little rough, though he maintains a very friendly attitude and is constantly working hard to make his new job work out for himself and the loved ones he is taking care of.
When my husband gave him the card he was quite grateful that anyone would even want to help him out like that.


Sorry I didn’t get my card until February, so I couldn’t do my bit in the mission until later in the month, but I’ve included it in my month end report:


I love that it made a $40 baby, hahaha


This goes through our collective minds so much when we think about who (and how) to help with these projects. I think the letter and note of explanation was perfect. I think the money will go to good use, and I’m glad you’re still working on this project with us each month!


I love this whole entry - so perfect! I was smiling the whole time (and I used all those kids’ smiling faces on the Totals page)!