Cents Make Sense

For as long as I can remember, there has been a clear, Lucite donation box by the cash register of most McDonald’s for the donation of change to benefit Ronald McDonald House.  Same is true for many Wendy’s which support adoption services because Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s was himself, adopted.

We would never think of taking 2 cents or even 72 cents and mailing it in to a charity!  By providing these communal donation boxes, we can contribute in ways we don’t even notice –  eliminate the change wearing holes in our pockets or gathering in the bottom of our purses – and collectively make a positive impact.

Recently I had lunch at YardHouse in Kansas City.  As part of our check, there was a card describing “Round it up America”.  As part of the program, participating restaurants such as YardHouse let you donate your change to charity “rounding up” to the nearest dollar when paying by debit or credit card.

Making a purchase at Marshalls, I was asked if I wanted to donate a dollar for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).   I got to put my name on a brightly colored paper cutout of a tennis shoe which was then posted on the glass wall by the door to the store.

It’s not hard to imagine national chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Marshalls and YardHouse raising a lot of money for charity over the course of a year even from spare change or an extra buck.

But you don’t have to be a “big company” to make a difference.  Anthony Horton works in the catering department of the Seattle Sheraton.  He keeps a donation jar for Wellspring Family Services on his desk and charges co-workers a “donation” for using bad language in his office.  You can read the entire post here.

In these tough economic times, area charities are struggling at the same time the needs of the community are increasing.  By being creative, we can all make a difference.   I encourage you to think of ways to let your customers – or coworkers – contribute a tiny bit for a greater good.  A few cents makes a lot of sense!



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