Category Archives: $5 on 5

$5 on 5 charity posts.

To whom can you lend a hand? ($5 on 5)

The 5th of the month has come again, and I’m actually on time posting this for once!  If you don’t know what the $5 on 5 thing is all about hop over here for an explanation.   Last month I explained why I felt the need to take the $5 on 5 thing in a new direction (and if you have any suggestions, please share)…  While I haven’t really solidified my plans for the long haul, I felt the need to continue these posts in the meantime.

This month, rather than ask you to give $5 to a specific charity, or your local food bank, or whatnot, I’m going to challenge you to give $5, $1, $20, or whatever you can afford, to someone you see in need this month.

This may be a friend who’s having a rough time making ends meet, a struggling mother in the grocery store who looks like she’s could use a pick-me-up, or a stranger on a street corner (take your cue from Lost & Tired’s boys).

Decide now what you think you can give, and make an effort to find a person (or several people) you can bless over the course of the month.  If you feel so inclined, come back and let me know you participated :)


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$5 on 5 is getting an overhaul…

*** This is a little long, but please please bear with me, as this is important and I’d really like your feedback.  If you’re in a huge hurry you can just skip to the paragraph that starts “So what I want to do, instead” ***

On the off chance you follow this blog much (you probably don’t, but humor me) you might have noticed that I never did get around to posting a $5 on 5 post for last month.

I wasn’t exactly being a slacker… I think I thought about it every day, I just couldn’t come to a conclusion, so I didn’t post again.  Now that the 5th has rolled around again, I’ve figure I have to do something, so I’m going to start off by sharing my thought process…

The original idea, in case you have no clue what I’m talking about, went like this:  Each month, on the 5th, I highlighted a different charity, and asked everyone to give just $5 (or whatever they could afford) — In time I hoped to build a whole group of us doing this and our combined effort would make a real difference for that charity each month.  $5 doesn’t seem like much, but it can add up, and I’d hoped it would.

Here’s the problem.  The first month I gave $5.  By the second month I had a whole slew of junkmail coming in from charities I’d never heard of.  Apparently that first charity decided to “share” my information.  Great.  I wasn’t too annoyed because this gave me more charities to choose from.  The second month I gave, and I’m pretty sure that charity didn’t sell my info, but the flood of charity mail after that first month just kept coming… and coming… and coming.

By now I’ve gotten random loose change, tons of return address labels, greeting cards, stickers, a $2 check, a really nice metal keychain w/the footprints in the sand poem on it, maps, and various other things… all from charities.  All because I gave a few $’s hoping the money would add up and actually help people.  I know the saying goes that you have to spend money to get money, and I get that these charities are trying to play on people’s sense of integrity (wow, they sent me cool stuff, I *have* to give to them now)… but I’m left annoyed, maybe even infuriated at times.

I don’t have much money to give.  I gave what I could, and they’re just wasting that money now sending mailer after mailer trying to get me to give more money that I don’t have.  I give what I can, even more than I can sometimes, hoping it will go to actually help people.  Instead it seems to have gone into mass marketing campaigns that spend tons of money to send out junk mail hoping to get tons more money to send out more junk mail… this is sounding annoyingly repetitive, because it is.

This is not what I wanted to do.  If our little bits are just going to go towards campaigns to ask for bigger amounts that’s not helping the people that actually need it.

So what I want to do, instead, I think, is to ask people to give your $5 a month (or $10 or $1 or whatever you can afford) to a person or a family or a local shelter instead of a huge organization that’s sending out mass mailings and selling their donor lists.  I haven’t figured out the logistics of this yet, though… maybe you can help?

  • If it’s a family, how do I make sure it’s a legitimate need?
  • If I know them personally (and so have verified the need), how do you know to trust me?
  • How do we send the money?  This would be much cooler if the recipient didn’t know about it ahead of time, and it came as a surprise, but that would make collecting and sending the money more complicated, as we wouldn’t want to give out their contact information to everyone…
  • Say this really works, and we get 100 people participating… getting $5 from 100 people may be a huge hassle for the receiver (just think of all those thank you letters!), I don’t want to add *more* stress to people already in need.
  • I thought about making an actual non-profit so that people could trust me, could send me the money, and I could send it out in a lump sum… but that’s way more complicated than I can handle (at least at this point).  A friend referred me here: but I haven’t had a chance to look into it yet.  Any other ideas?

Please share your thoughts/concerns with me here.  I really want to continue this and do *something* but I want to make sure it counts.  For this month, please consider giving your $5 donation (or whatever you can afford) to your local food pantry.  A lot of people are hurting for food right now.


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Posting a few days late this month…

I’ve been pretty sick for the past few days and the date snuck up on me.  Rather than try to pick a chartiy at the last minute without any research I’m going to take another day or two before I post.  If you have suggestions please leave them.  

In any case, the #5on5 hashtag I was using for this on Twitter seems to have gotten pre-empted for something else (I can’t even tell what it is), and I haven’t gotten much response this way, so I may be revamping and trying to think of a better name/system to try to get this going a little better.

In any case, if you were hoping to give today, check out my past 5on5 posts and give to one of those charities, or just hold your cash for another day or two :)  

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Can you spare $5 this month? for the MDA

I’m a little late posting this one today,  due to a doctor’s appointment, my crappy memory, and an inability to plan properly, but hopefully I’m not too late to enlist a few people.

If you don’t already know what this is about, please check last month’s post for a full description of what I’m doing here and why.

Help Fight Muscular DystrophyThis month, I’m inviting everyone to join me in giving just $5 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  I’m choosing them this month for personal reasons.  If you know me very well you’ll know that I have a peripheral neuropathy, which just happens to be one of the neuro-muscular disorders that the MDA helps with aside from muscular dystrophies.  

I’ve been receiving services from the MDA on and off for most of my life.  They run some of the best clinics in the nation for neuro-muscular disorders, they have great programs to help with all aspects of dealing with living with disorders like mine, and they’ve been nothing but helpful when I’ve needed them.  They also fund massive amounts of research to help improve the lives of those of us with all sorts of neuro-muscular diseases.

I don’t have the money to give to them like I’d like to, but I can give up one meal this month and give $5.  $5 might not seem a lot, but if I can give $5, and you can give $5 (or $1, or $2, or $20), and some of your friends can join us as well, pretty soon we may be able to give enough to make a real difference.  So if you’re able to give, you can do so through the link here:

I don’t get anything out of this, and I won’t get a notification of your donation, but I’d love to hear from you if you were able to help out.  Just drop me a note here, or at our Facebook group, and let us know that you’ve joined in.  I’ll be back with a different charity next month.  If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a note about that as well.

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Will you join me in giving $5 on the 5th?

I’ve been kicking this idea around for a few months now and decided last week it was time to do it, so please hear me out and see if you won’t join me.

If you’re like me, money’s tighter now than ever, and it’s harder and harder to give to people/charities like you used to.  I do not have much money that I can call "disposable income". But like most other people, I can find money once in a while for things like fast food, pop, and birthday gifts.  I don’t know about you, but most months I could give up a meal at Taco Bell or spend a little less on a birthday present, to scratch together $5 for something worthwhile.  

It’s easy to get in the mindset that says that what I have to give isn’t enough to bother with.   But the fact is, for a starving person, $5 may be another week of life (or more, if it goes to an organization that’s good at stretching dollars).

So, in the effort of joining together with others, to make our combined efforts count — even if it’s hard to feel that our little individual contributions are worth anything — I’m going to ask you to join me, once a month, in giving $5 (or $1, or more, whatever you can afford) to a charity of your choice, or to the charity that I’ve profiled, on the 5th of each month.  You don’t have to tell anyone *what* you can give, but I’d love to see a note from you saying that you’re going to try to give.  If you can’t do it every month, that’s okay, but I’d ask you to drop me a note here, and let me know if you’re going to try to join in.   That will let me (and others) know that our drops are going into a much larger bucket, one that might, hopefully, add up to a bucketful in the end.

If you tweet, please use the hashtag #5on5 to promote this to your followers.  You can also follow the new Facebook page:

For the first month’s charity I’m going to recommend Feeding America.  I picked this charity because I think it’s extremely important to remember that people are hungry all around us, not just in third world countries, and winter is especially harsh on families that can barely keep their bills paid, so food money is especially scarce.  I know I should probably stick to international charities, but I haven’t had time to fully vet any yet, and I have vetted Feeding America already.  If you’re outside of the US I would encourage you to give to a local organization that supports hungry people in your area.  

If you will join me in giving what you can this month, to this charity or any other, please drop me a line and let me know.  If you have any suggestions for next month’s charity, please let me know that as well.  I will post a new challenge on the 5th of each month.


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Teach a man to fish… will you join me?

This is the $5 on 5 post for February.  If you don’t already know what this is about, please check this post for a full description of what I’m doing here and why.

Pass on the Gift - Heifer International This month, I’m inviting you to join me in giving $1 or $5, or whatever you can afford, to Heifer International.  Our donations may be small, but enough little bits can add up to a great thing.

"Heifer recipients receive months of training in how to care for their animal; sell the milk, eggs or other products at market; and restore the environment. Passing on this knowledge as well as the offspring of the gift animal is at the heart of Heifer’s model which has been ending hunger and poverty for over 60 years."

You can donate online here using Paypal, Google Checkout, Amazon, or creditcard.  If you work for a large company be sure to check, they may offer matching funds to stretch what you can afford to donate even further.

I don’t get anything out of this, and I won’t get a notification of your donation, but I’d love to hear from you if you were able to help out.  Just drop me a note here, or at our Facebook group, and let us know that you’ve joined in.  I’ll be back with a different charity next month. If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a note about that as well.

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