Changing a Life with a Dollar

This is an old post.  It is with honor I get to say that my church is still doing this and is still helping a life or two in AMAZING ways each week.  I’ll post later this week on a more personal story about a Dollar Changing a friend’s life. Originally published Change for Your Dollar 26 May 2010.
“Imagination is more important than information”- Albert Einstein
Recently I have had more than one conversation where I admitted that I don’t really vision cast. My therapist says it has to do with my lack of expectations and that I don’t set expectations so I don’t get hurt, but then again he gets paid to make me think I have problems. I honestly think it is more because I don’t see the world from 30,000 feet. I am a more “eye to eye”, “what’s happening with you” guy.
I like to think about personal friendships and helping one person at a time is more effective. Mentoring, coffee times and meetings conducted over meals strengthen me more than mass conferences. It is in these small ways that I believe people are truly helped. Not through bureaucratic offerings but the free meal of a friend. Not through the employment paper work, but through someone calling and saying “Hey, check this out”. Not through having to sit through a church service to get fed at the end, but being met where you are.
This is why I was so excited when my church, Imago Dei Community, started a campaign called “Change for a Dollar” during the Easter season. Each week, whoever brought cash gives $1. Not $5 or $50. Just one dollar and those single dollars that could have been used to supersize a meal, add an extra shot of caffeine, or fall out of my pocket are grouped together to help someone that week. So far they have helped a family from living on the streets for the week in between losing their housing and getting their temporary apartment. They helped build a sewer system in the slums of AnDong, Cambodia. A high school girl with sudden major heart issues was given money for new clothes and a wheelchair. A domestically abused mother was able to buy her kids some new shoes and pay some bills during her family’s transition. And that is just since Easter!
Those measly single dollars have added to over $600, $800, and $1000 to meet the needs of those in our community. Each week, our community hears another story of where our dollar went. Each week, we get to throw another dollar in a bucket. And instead of that dollar buying a coke with my honkin huge burrito it joins other’s little tiny sacrifice to save a life.
I know that not all churches have 1000 attendees carrying cash that week. And I am sure some of you already do something similar, as this was not our brain child.
But… What if your church/ car club/ rotary group collected a dollar from each attendee?
Would you be able to help that single mom repair her car?
Would you be able to make that electricity payment for your neighbor?
Would you be able to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables for that family that “shops” at the food pantry?
Would you be able change a life for a dollar? Pssssst…the answer is a resounding YES.
So what are you waiting for?

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