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


As the largest project under the Rockstar Community Fund umbrella, every month The #GivingCards Project helps our community create unexpected joy in the lives of the people around them. If you’re not yet familiar with us, check out what we did last month and what we’ve done together so far. :heart:

We love seeing all the new faces this month and we know you’re eager to get started, so, without further ado, here’s your new assignment:

For January’s mission, we want you to bring a smile to the face of someone who may be having a bit of a hard time with their finances right now. It’s a new year, so let’s give ‘em a little financial boost and whole lotta love!

We have twenty-five $20 VISA cards to give out for this mission. We will give them out to anyone in our community who wants them, as long as they do the following two things:

1. Use this #GivingCard by January 31st to give an unexpected gift to someone in your world.
This can be a friend, family member, co-worker, or even a stranger on the street. Our goal is to show that even a small amount of money can make a huge impact, and the more creative you can get, the better.

2. Come back to this page once you’ve completed the mission and share what you did!
Tell us the story of who you chose, why you chose that person, what you did for them, and what the result was. Pictures or videos of any part of your gift-giving are even better. Inspire us with your fun and heartwarming stories! (And if your idea ends up helping more than one person, that’s fine too!)

That’s it – it’s pretty simple. If you like this mission, then we will personally send you one of these #GivingCards in the mail to use for this project. Keep in mind that you must be a member of this forum to receive one, in order to share your results.

Are you in? If so, fill out this form and then obsessively check your mailbox every day and get ready to do some GOOD :slight_smile:

A few quick notes:

– If you can tie your gift to the theme for the month, we’d love that! (But feel free to run with any ideas that end up exciting you.) As long as you create unexpected joy in a meaningful way for someone, we’ll consider the mission completed :slight_smile:

– If you want to participate but don’t want or need to use our money to do it, then by all means take $20 of your own money and get it done! Just be sure to come back here and share what you did so we can all see it. We want to make The #GivingCards Project something that everyone loves to do!

– Keep in mind that this also doesn’t have to be a traditional gift, purchased at a store and wrapped in paper. You can use this $20 absolutely any way you want – be creative! Maybe you see a homeless man on the same corner every day on your way home – use this to pick up and deliver him a warm meal… Explain the mission to your children and work with them on little $5 or $10 gifts – see what they come up with… The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination, be creative, and spend a little extra time looking for ways to do something truly unexpected and touching for someone in your world.

– If you have any social media channels or blogs, please share this project! Just link to this page you’re on right now, or to The #GivingCards Project website.

If you want to help support this project so even more people can participate in next month’s mission, you can do that here.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

** **All 25 cards are now given out ** **

P.S. These cards are only good in the United States for right now - sorry to our international friends! (But of course you can use your own money to do GOOD and then come back here to share with us anyway :wink: )


Thanks for another great month, guys! You can see all the stories shared below, and also make sure to check out the highlight pages on the website (these are easier links to share from your website or social platforms, etc):

GivingCards Mission #2 Highlights:
Total Given:
How to Support:

P.S. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s February’s #GivingCards mission – help us share the love: The #GivingCards Project – Mission #3: Make a Loved One Smile

The Rockstar Community Fund Website Is Now Live!
The Rockstar Community Fund Website Is Now Live!
RCF December 2016: An Unexpected Gift
The Rockstar Community Fund Website Is Now Live!
RCF December 2016: An Unexpected Gift

So I literally just gave out my #GivingCard from last month right now.

I was holding onto it in my pockets cuz I loved knowing it was there and could give it out at any time, but WOW. I had no idea it would feel that good to give out. i literally caught myself shaking when I saw the eyes of the guy I gave the card too!

I said “i know it’s only $20, but I really hope it helps.” he immediately shot back, “only $20? You have no idea what this means.” Turns out he had just gotten laid off and trying to come back from a few weeks in depression and was so excited to be offered this. And at 65 it takes a major toll on you - on top of other mental and physical ailments.

Then, get this - he said, “How can I help out with what you guys are doing? I’ve been wanting more positive stuff in my life and this is just amazing.”


This is when you know you’ve given it to the right person. When THEY need it more than anyone else, but one of their first thoughts is about how they can pay it forward… man… my heart!

Can I just quit all my work and just give out these cards all day long??? Haha…

I told him to think of his passions and what’s important to him, and then to keep an eye out while around his community and see if any ideas pop up, and if so to let me know and we’ll see if we can help him turn it into something. Who knows what he’ll come up with!

So yeah… that’s my story of what I did with my #GivingCard :slight_smile: I know I’m like 4 weeks late here, but hey - we all find our own ways of giving back right? And I’m beyond thrilled I waited for the perfect opportunity.

UPDATE: My friend came back to talk for another 15 minutes with me. I think just talking one-on-one for awhile was possibly more rewarding to him than the money :slight_smile:


I had seen him around the coffee shop before and knew he was struggling with life in general, and every time we’ve chatted he’s always been super optimistic and just nice to me despite his problems. I also didn’t know anyone when I started working out of this place this summer, so for him to go out of his way and make me feel welcome was even better.

I literally hadn’t seen him for the past two months until the other day (and now I know why!) so as soon as our eyes locked I knew it was time to hand over the card :slight_smile: All the rest was just coincidence hearing about his job loss and recent depression/etc. Right time, right place, right person!


Hey everyone!!

So, #givingcards has reached Australian shores! After speaking with @Nate and @J.Money (who were both super helpful), they sent me US$20 (which is AUD$26) to do with what I will. And yesterday afternoon, I finally got the chance to give it away.

I wanted to give it to one of the many homeless people here in Sydney. We have a problem with the cost of housing and with full time employment for people with little education, so there are quite a few people lining the streets and stations of the city with nowhere to live. Yesterday afternoon I caught a train into the city to meet some friends for dinner. I had my $26 in case I met someone along the way. As I walked towards my tunnel, I heard a loud electric guitar from up on the street playing some Lynyrd Skynyrd. I turned around and walked up to the street, where I found a man playing a beat up guitar through a tiny amp. He had two cattle dogs with him, and it looked like he hadn’t had a good life recently. He was missing a fair few teeth, he was pretty thin, and he had nothing but a sheet of cardboard under him and his little money tin.

I walked up to him and watched him play a bit. He wasn’t good, but he was giving it a go at least. I caught his eye and he stopped playing. I told him that I was part of this group and that I had $26 I wanted to give to him. At first, he was like a deer in headlights. He was a bit shocked I guess, he only had about $5 in his tin. I put the money in, and then I said there was a catch: he had to take a photo with me. He smiled his massive, toothless grin and said no worries. I tried a selfie and failed, so I asked someone else to take a photo.

At the end, he picked the $20 out of the tin, turned to me and said “This is a massive help, thank you so so much mate” and we fist bumped :stuck_out_tongue: His grin never left his face, and then a grin didn’t leave mine for the rest of the night. I didn’t know it would feel that good. I’ve attached the photo for everyone :slight_smile:

Finally, thank you so much everyone. You are all inspirational and I feel so lucky to be able to be part of this community. I read a lot of your blogs, and it’s a pleasure to be able to get involved with people such as yourselves.


Yes! We’ve hit Australia! Thank you for being the first, man! Love this story, and glad it started with you. ^This right here is what it’s all about - getting face-to-face with someone and being a blessing in their lives (and in turn, our own). So glad you’re hanging out with us - come back and grab a card any month you want!


Good evening everyone,

I am excited to say that this is the first, of hopefully many, Rockstar Community Fund oriented posts!

I have to say thank you to all the bloggers in the FIRE world who have influenced and created such an amazing community to be part of. Any doubts of whether blogging was what I wanted to do or not have definitely been eased and you all do nothing but continue to motivate me.

I have been trading emails with J. Money this past week in an attempt to learn more about the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF) and how I could contribute.

I was also sold on the fact the RCF was NOT a 501©3 so that that anytime anyone donated there are no ulterior motives and it was 100% for someone else.

I then set on a mission to find someone to assist.

I figured the best place to start is the one place you know the best - home. So, I began hitting my contacts up there and had an overwhelming response of people that could benefit from $20. Obviously, we could not help all of them…this month anyways. :smiley: However, we have 11 more to go, yeah?

So, during this time, I spoke to my father and he said he would look into someone who could also benefit from some extra cash. About an hour later he calls back and tells me about a young man named Andrew who works for him (my father is an operations manager for my hometown government).

Andrew works for my father at the recycling center located in my hometown. I have written a previous post on my site about recycling in the Midwest, and I am all for anyone who can bring more recycling awareness to the small towns in the Midwest (or anywhere for that matter). So needless to say, I was instantly intrigued.

However, it continues to get better. After I spoke with my father more about Andrew he pointed out a few great things out about him

Andrew works about 11 hours a week at two different recycling centers in my home county. Not only that, he volunteered his own time at the recycling centers for free, prior to being hired part-time…for an entire year!

My father continued to state this 22-year-old young man is a “helluva worker” and is a great employee.

So, after we had determined Andrew’s work schedule and the best place to meet him, I was in for another surprise - my father stated he would match my $20 with his own (I do not plan on using any of the #Givingcards, as awesome as they are, as I hope that someone else on here may use my $20 monthly donation to help out). So now, Andrew was getting $40! Hell yes.

I should mention that prior to meeting with Andrew, I spoke with a woman in an official capacity who helps Andrew manage his bills and money, and I confirmed with her that this would be allowed for us to give him the $40. She was exceptionally nice and stated that Andrew was “such a hard worker,” and in fact, has only missed one day of work in the last year and that is because they made him stay home because he was sick. She stated that any cash that Andrew is given (not through a paycheck) is 100% his and he can spend it how he pleases.

Saturday morning shows up, and I notice as I am driving in to meet Andrew and my father, I am smiling. I was literally smiling and laughing with excitement by myself…in my car. Probably freaking out other drivers beside me.

Oh well.

I meet up with my father and we head to the recycling center to meet Andrew. His coworker, was aware of what was going to happen; however, Andrew had no idea.

We show up and the place was packed – probably because it was a 65 degree day in January. Which, is great!

I saw Andrew helping out everyone by unloading their cars and directing multiple people to the proper areas to drop off their recyclables. I must add, he greeted everyone with a smile on his face.

During a short break, Andrew made his way over and spoke to my father, and I introduced myself to Andrew.

We spoke for a little bit about recycling and work and life. He stated that he was nursing a sore shoulder from his martial arts last month (he has been practicing for 12 years) and that he won his match…and is now retired from competing.

I had to ask him about his volunteerism at the recycling center and why he chose to volunteer so much time to recycle.

He stated simply that he enjoyed meeting all the people that came through, and he enjoyed making the world a cleaner place to live. He even brings his own boxes of recyclables when he comes to work.

After hearing this, I told him that I had something for him. At this point, Andrew still had no idea what was going on and gave me a really weird look.

I smiled, reached in my pocket, and pulled out the $40 in cash and handed it to him. Before he could speak, I told him that I was part of a great community helping people out all across the world and that we wanted to help him out with a little something, too.

Needless to say, he was pretty excited! He said that $40 was a lot of money and that he was not sure what he would spend it on. I told him that it was now his money and that he could do whatever he wanted with it

I don’t think Andrew understood the feeling that he conveyed from me on Saturday. I know as a writer (even an amateur one) that I should be able to put it in words, but I do not believe I can. Simply amazing. It is great to help people out and even better to help them out directly.

I plan on helping more people out throughout the year (we have some pretty big plans for a family in the upcoming months).

I want to thank you all for allowing me to be in such a great community of people. You inspire me. When I am not sure about this blogging venture I have taken upon, it is the people and the ideas like the Rockstar Community Fund that make me realize what great people are still out there.

You all are amazing.

Thank you



I plan on helping more people out throughout the year

That’s the thing about this concept, it is really addictive. After you perform such an act once, you want to do it again and again. Thanks for sharing your story, it was brilliant!


Love kids like this! Super glad you were able to make his day - and thank you so much for letting people use your contribution to continue to do good :slight_smile:


Yes! Well done @IndependentHoosier and @HernandezPrime!! We’re stretching around the globe now, love it!! And the best part is that we dont’ even know how much farther these ripples effects we’re starting will go :slight_smile: But what a nice break from all the toxic stuff going on in the world around us, right?? Doesn’t take much to give a little joy in someone’s life, and you two have proven that beautifully. Thank you.

Now if our mailman gets all the other 24 #GivingCards out the mail he’s accidentally forgotten about, we’ll really be in business!! (The joys of projects blowing up on you, haha…)

Oh, and @IndependentHoosier - we didn’t even think about the 501©3 in that way, but you’re right! 100% pure giving w/out that status, for sure… Not that we wouldn’t take the option if it made the most sense for the project :slight_smile: Having the freedom to help people any way we want would be even MORE amazing with being able to give out tax write-offs too! Especially to all those companies who require it in order to give out money, womp womp…

But hey - you do what you have to to make that Good happen! And this is just the start of it all! Welcome to the crew!


@HernandezPrime @Nate @J.Money

I am new in these forums, but I have been lurking on them recently…the stories of everyone’s personal paths to FI and their giving paths have been pretty cool to read. I can’t believe it took me so long to find them.

I cannot wait to read even more stories throughout the rest of the month…and year!

Thank you all for the incubator to allow us to come up with these ideas and the support of the people to go through with them.

p.s. The 501© status holds a special place in my mind…sometime if we all ever meet up, I will buy first round and explain :slight_smile:


Come to Fincon this year and i’ll gladly drink your beer! (we’ll probably have some sort of Rockstar Finance meetup there too - always more fun in real life than electrons :))


I gave my friend some money earlier this week. He’s the sweetest person ever but he’s had a string of bad luck recently, including a new job that didn’t work out, an old job that couldn’t take him back and a laptop that went on fire. I couldn’t bear to have him sitting alone in his house, freezing and starving to death, so I gave him enough to get by for the next month(ish). I couldn’t actually afford to give him as much as I would have liked but I did what I could.

As I was doing this, I was thinking about how giving the money away would affect my own finances, and although it won’t do any real damage it will make a few numbers go down (and I MUCH prefer to see numbers go up!). I remembered something I’ve read in a few places, about how being generous with money is part of having an ‘abundance mindset,’ and how when your mindset is right money will find its way to you.

So I waited to see how the universe would compensate me: not that I helped my friend for my own benefit (I couldn’t have ignored his situation; it would have driven me out of my mind with worry LONG before he died of starvation!) but I figured that if giving him a substantial amount of money was the right thing to do, I’d get some kind of sign.

I transferred the money to my friend on Monday morning. On Tuesday morning I went to work, and in my inbox was an email telling me I was getting a pay rise. Later that day I was given an extra project at work (I get paid per project).

So, whether you believe in the universe or not I was pretty happy with that! Maybe I’ll give all my other friends money too…


Agreed mate, the world is a strange place right now, but as long as there are people like this community trying to spread goodwill around, it’ll always be a nicer place to live :smiley:


Instant karma hey? Congrats on the promotion, and you’re spot on with the mindset idea there!


Thanks! :slight_smile:


I know there was a delay in the cards being sent out this month, but mine still hasn’t arrived. Anyone else not gotten theirs yet?


SO sorry, guys - there’s something up with the post office this month. We’re talking to them again today, trying to figure out what happened. We don’t have the money to do individual tracking, so they’ve just gone out regular mail (after the initial mailman delay), and obviously it’s been a rough month. We’re working on it, and I’ll update you as soon as I know something!



Great for you! I believe that any one of us trying to work better on our finances hates to see our numbers go down…however, by giving your friend, what you could, his numbers went up. I believe that is amazing.

A true test of character is sacrificing when you do not have that much to give up in the first place. To help someone else out when you know that it will impact your finances is the ultimate definition of just that . So, I applaud you for being a wonderful friend and showing true companionship in someone else’s time of need.

Great job on receiving your promotion and another project!


Hey guys, I know you’re all wondering why there aren’t more stories shared from January. Long story short, we had a major problem with the post office that took us virtually the entire month to resolve. Ultimately we did get it fixed, but we want you to be aware that the #GivingCards results for January are going to be coming in throughout THIS month (February), so start checking back on this page about mid-month and you’ll see them appearing :slight_smile:

So sorry for the delay!


FYI, I just got my card in the mail today! Wanted you to know, Nate!

Jody in PA