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


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)!


Love seeing all these come in!!

Y’all are so creative with what you’re doing with them :slight_smile: Also makes me feel better that some of you take a while to use them because it IS hard sometimes! Esp when waiting for that perfect opportunity. It took me like 5 weeks to finally pull the trigger giving out my first one, and then I immediately got sad that I didn’t have it in my pockets anymore. It felt so good knowing you could help someone at a moments notice! (Even though technically we all can do it with any amounts of cash we carry around, eh?) Something about those cards making it more real and top of mind though…


Me too! :slight_smile: I’m scoping out the possibilities for the Feb card since it just arrived in the mail a few days ago.


I JUST got the chance to use my card this weekend! I wanted to use it to do something for a friend of mine whose husband hasn’t worked for over a year, but she didn’t want to take anything from me. SO, instead, I gave it to my daughter to take three girls from her Girl Scout troop out for frozen yogurt. One was the daughter or my friend, one was a girl who I know has a very difficult home life, and the other was a girl who only visits the troop because her parents worry about the costs of joining (we’ve offered to cover her registration costs.)

The girls were SO excited for the FroYo date! For two of these girls, this kind of friend interaction is not typical for them, and they were so happy.


Love seeing the happy faces on those kids - thanks for reppin’ PGH!


I got a message from my friend we sent the card to. He did about what I thought: he used half the money for himself and he’s going to use the gift card to “pay it forward” for someone else. He sent me the following picture:

That’s him and his wife, enjoying the musical Sister Act. They bought the tickets with the money we sent. (He gave me permission to use the picture, btw.)

My friend was really touched by the gesture, and I suspect that he’ll start doing something similar when he gets his feet under him again.

It’s funny, but he and I drifted apart when we turned 16 and have not really done a lot to stay in touch other than being friends on Facebook. But since we sent him the gift card, he and I have been messaging back and forth a little and it’s been very refreshing. It’s nice to get back in touch with a part of my childhood.

Even more refreshing is the political angle of all of this. He is very conservative and I’m very liberal. Obviously, we disagree on a lot. But it’s been so nice to see that, even in our hyper-polarized environment that we live in, he and I can still tell that the other is a decent human being and worthy of respect and compassion. I don’t think he and I will ever agree on many issues and I doubt we’ll ever be best buds again, but we can get along and be friends and love each other despite our differences.

Not bad for what was a $20 investment for me.


These are my absolute favorite stories. Projects like this exist to help us show others just how much joy can be accomplished in life with the simple investment of a few dollars and/or a few minutes of time. Thank you so much for this - it made my day!


Finally reporting on what I did with the January GivingCard! I decided to cheer up a friend who’s been struggling in more ways than one. I offered her €20 to do something fun with, something just for her! She said she’s going to save some more money and then buy a lovely dress with it :slight_smile: I hope this will happen soon, so I can post a picture as well!