The #GivingCards Project – Mission #5: Create Unexpected Joy


What states are still unrepresented?


Anything not in red on the map above, plus we’re getting South Carolina, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and Kentucky this month…


Below is the copy of the post that will be published on my sorority’s alumnae blog next month. I can come back and post the actual link, once it’s published. Found a great opportunity for the April gift card!

One of my favorite financial bloggers is a cool guy named J. Money, a mohawked guy who runs the blog Budgets are $exy ( I’ve been following his blog for over four years, where he both gives out advice and tells us about his life. We readers have followed their family dynamic through his wife’s grad school, Baby Nickel and Baby Penny (their nicknames for their sons) and personal and business changes with their own finances. J. Money is open and honest with a kick of humor.

Two ventures he began a few years ago was Rockstar Finance ( where he compiles great articles from a multitude of other bloggers and Rockstar Community Fund ( In April I joined the #GivingCards Project, a project where they send out $20 Visa cards every month, giving this money for their readers to give it away themselves with various missions attached to the gift card. From December 2016 – March 2017, the Project has given away $6,867 across 35 states and 6 countries. live in Indiana but work in Kentucky, so I hoped that I could take Kentucky off their missing list. These small cards have been used to knit quilts for cancer patients, buy little plants for officemates to remind them of spring and to purchase food for a kids after-school program.

April’s mission was different – “use me to create unexpected joy for someone in your life.” Do something beautiful for someone who you know, or even someone who you know of. Opening the envelope and seeing the $20 gift card, I began racking my brain on what I could do that would make someone smile. Pay it forward at the grocery store? Buy snacks for my son’s 5th grade class as a special treat? Give it to someone for bus fare? Then I opened my email….

My son’s principal emailed that the mother of two of the fourth-grade students died unexpectedly. These kids are nine or ten and now must sustain life without their mother. I lost my father at 15; I know that they will be on a difficult road. While the school is taking care of having counselors visiting the classes to explain situations of death and grieving to the students, the school created a fund to collect donations to help support these girls.

Bam – there it was. $20 isn’t much to a lot of people, but knowing that there are people out there who care about you, even if they don’t know you, is worth substantially more. Within a day, I sent the card to the school for the girls. It was the kindest and most selfless thing I did last week.

Thank you, Rockstar Community Fund, for picking me for the April challenge. The mission came at the best time to hopefully create a little joy in these girls’ life, even if just for a moment.

If you want to join this mission, they give away a limited number of #GivingCards each month, on a first-come, first-serve basis. All you must do is promise to do good with it and report back to them what you did. Easy!


I used my gift card to treat a sweet lady from the Good Samaritan Homeless Shelter to a delicious meal. I was excited to be part of this project and the most rewarding part was her reaction.

On April 14th, I received my $20 gift card with a quite comical letter. I was excited and thought very hard on how to best use the card. There were so many around me with needs but decided that I wanted to take it a step further.

My husband and I volunteer at a homeless shelter and there is one lady there who really has touched our hearts. I wanted to do something that would leave a lasting impression.

On April 19th, I was able to leave work early and took her out to really nice restaurant about 15 miles away. She started crying (tearing up) when we pulled in. She said “no one has ever done this for me.” She stated that she had not been to restaurant in a long time. We took pictures and had a good time…as well as a good meal :slight_smile:

The picture you see is what was posted on my social medias. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Natasha D
Hands for Good


@emerald127 @handsforgood7 YOU GUYS!!!

You are my little angels spreading the love!! You both did a fabulous job, THANK YOU!!!

Totally lifted me up today, I needed that. (And your recipients even more! So amazing what a small random gesture can do, right?? I swear I wish I had like a thousand of these to give out every month to people… we need it in our world!)


Thank you for the #GivingCard! I received it last week and since, my husband and I have been going back forth numerous times on the best use for it! Since we couldn’t decide on the best use, we made a list and now we are slowly but surely crossing one line at a time off. So far :

Last year, as soon as we closed on our first home, we adopted a dog from Florida. The ladies that volunteer for this particular rescue are superheroes! They focus on the dogs nobody wants due to health issues or age, and then they keep the pups in boarding until a family steps up. In our dog’s situation, they took one step extra and drove her all they up to Rhode Island to make sure she’s in good hands. The day before we received the card, I saw on their page that they desperately needed donations to cover medical bills. Therefore we figured No Paw Left Behind should be the beneficiary so we donated to them.

Donating felt really good, so we decided to keep going and see what else we could do. My brother and sister in law lost a pregnancy last year, it really touches their hearts when someone does something in the memory of their twin girls. So for earth day we planted a tree in their memory💓 It was only $10, but it put a smile on their faces and that is priceless.

Next on the list is a small gift for a kind and always generous friend that’s been through a lot lately.

I love what the #GivingCard started! It’s small gestures that make a difference and I couldn’t be more grateful for being reminded how nice it feels when you bring some light into someone else’s day.

That’s Nina saying “Put those good deeds on my card!”


Another Giving Card, another awesome month! This $20 actually stretched to help TWO sets of people. :slight_smile:

I used $8 and added in a $50 gift certificate to Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting to create a silent auction set for a fundraising event being held for a cool kid named Stetson in my area. He’s fighting off cancer and seems to be winning but the medical bills are stacking up. I’m hoping the $8 and certificate turns into $20+ for Stetson’s family.

I spent the rest on dog and cat bowls, leashes, and collars to help Daisy Troop 115167 collect supplies for the GLF Pet Committee. The GLF Pet Committee is a group of neighbors from Gleannloch Farms that supports local rescues with money and supplies. So I guess this $12 made the day of two little girls, their mom, the GLF Committee, and the rescue(s) that end up with the supplies this time around! :smiley:


I think this is our first #GivingCard being used by a canine, haha - thanks for sharing your story!


Always happy to see you joining in, Crystal - and thanks for all pictures each time :slight_smile:


Well, I done screwed the pooch on this one.

My wife and I decided that we’d spend our money this month on a couple here where I work that is expecting a baby. (Arriving by C-section tomorrow) They’re both in their late 30s and I apprehensive (as all new parents are) about the whole thing. We thought we would buy some baby supplies for them. Diapers, wipes, etc…

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, we match the card so we’re giving $40 each month. Well, let me tell you, $40 doesn’t buy a whole lot of anything for babies. But we still found a large box of diapers, some wipes, and a little baby book. All together it cost $44, and I don’t mind going over a bit for a friend.

Here’s where I messed up. I took it in to work this morning, and the dad was already out. He’s off for a week, and mom is on bed rest. We have all the stuff, but they won’t get it until the dad comes back in a week or so. I’ll post pictures then.


I want to tell you about my friend, Justin. Justin was been my friend since 2010. I met him in Chicago when I was at an extremely low point. I had finished graduate school, and for months and months, I could not find a job. I began waiting tables at a restaurant called Palette Bistro in the meantime. I felt like I was floating aimlessly, with no family nearby, and the restaurant was the only place where I belonged.

Justin became my family there. He was my brother, he was insanely intelligent and introspective, and we were struggling through life together. When I met my husband in 2011 working at the restaurant, he stuck by my side and was present at our wedding in 2014. Justin and I were both hard workers with empathetic spirits, and I knew we would know each other for a very long time.

In 2016, about one year ago, my husband and I decided to relocate to my hometown of Birmingham, Ala. I felt like I was leaving a part of myself behind, leaving my dear friend Justin. It became even more difficult to be apart when I realized that he had fallen on hard times and had lost his job and his apartment.

We all fall on hard times, but I knew he was hurting and I felt helpless. When he finally told me about a month ago that he was signing a lease on a new apartment, I wanted to do something special for his home that he has worked SO incredibly hard to attain. That’s where The #GivingCards Project comes in. Justin needed a bed, and the $100 gift card I requested for him helped provide that. There isn’t anything better I could have done for him - giving this special person a place to rest his head at the end of a long work day.

I am SO incredibly grateful for my journey in life with my friend Justin, and for this project that allowed me to gift something he needed. I wasn’t able to capture our tears on video when we reunited and when I told him about the $100, but we have just cried in the last picture. :slight_smile: Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!


Such a thoughtful gift at a necessary time . . . love this story, Nicole - thank you for spreading the project to Chicago to create some unexpected joy!


Thanks for another great month, guys! You can see all the stories shared above, 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 #5 Highlights:
Total Given:
How to Support:

P.S. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s May’s #GivingCards mission.


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: The #GivingCards Project – Mission #6: For a Family Member

The #GivingCards Project – Mission #6: For a Family Member

Over Christmas, one of my coworkers wrapped the desk of another coworker with wrapping paper. Computer, monitors, the desk themselves, drawer handles, individual pens, knick-knacks.

The wrapper got promoted recently to a Senior position (despite being one of the youngest people on the team), so I bought a ton of wrapping paper with the gift card, including specialty paper that says variations of “You are Old” all over it, and wrapped the wrapper’s desk!


The blog post was published today - here’s the link!


heyyyyyy look at that!! very cool, thank you! :slight_smile:




Hi all! Sorry I’m so late for this month’s GivingCard project. I just really wanted to make sure I would put the money to good use! And today I knew what to do with it! There’s someone in the roller derby community that’s a great help in a few Facebook groups (one for beginners, and one for people with injuries). She’s always super supportive, gives great advice, and is just always there to help. I sent her a message just now that I’d like to send her something as a Thank You. I will come back here and share her name and all that if she’s ok with that!


I love this! :slight_smile: How was their response? :slight_smile: