Sunday, November 8, 2009

Change for Change, I knew I was saving these for a reason...

I am a saver of things that are useful. Never knowing when you might need or want to create something out of something I tend to keep a hold of things for future use, like coffee cans for instance.

There is a brand of organic coffee that is sold in a sturdy classic coffee can. For a while the ease of the already ground can o' coffee was my standard coffee purchase which left me with about 33 cans over time. Refusing to throw out such a useful item... I kept them knowing one day I would re purpose them at least once... or twice. At the time I was thinking lanterns to light a path during a party... collection cans for a fundraising challenge, I had not really thought of that one at the time.

So now we get to Change for Change and what the collection cans are doing inhabiting my dining room like a temporary art installation.

A few months ago I was thinking about ways to raise money in times when the economy and the world feel unstable. People are concerned, and rightly so, about issues that hit far closer to home than Uganda. It does not seem that these are times that large monetary donations will be flying in - and I am, I will admit, uncomfortable with asking people for them. And so the idea of Change for Change was born. A way to take what is spare to us in our everyday lives, and gather that together to help others.

Last year I deposited two or three coffee cans full of change into my savings account. I was delighted at the amount hidden within this small vessel. A ha! light bulb moment... What if all the cans I had saved, and then some, were full. What a difference we could make, what an impact and change we could help to create.

Once again with the help of the ever talented Megan Caruso the Change for Change campaign was born. The idea being that a little spare change from everyone will go a far way to helping others and bringing our community together at the same time.

From now until the end of the Seva challenge, December 15th, I am asking you to save your spare change and help make a difference.

There are several ways this whole thing can work...
  • You can pick up a can from me and take it to your work, home, office, school, neighborhood, bar... etc.
  • You can take one home and fill it from your already saved change.
  • You could have a party and ask your guests to bring change.
  • Or you can let it sit quietly in your home and fill it for the next five weeks - see how much accumulates.
Along with your collection can - or when you see them out and about - I will have information about the challenge so everyone can see where their money is going.

Perhaps you live far away or have a giant vessel full of change to donate - impossible to travel with or too far away to drop it off.
  • You could if you so desired deposit your change and donate the amount of your choosing in the form of an online donation or check. (Directions to do that are found in the upper right corner of the sidebar here on the blog - or email me:)
Near the end of the challenge, on Thursday December 10th, there will be an event - a time to get together and bring your change with you. Either in the can or in the vessel of your choosing - a baggie, a jug, jar, bucket or dish... I will announce the details of that event shortly.

So "Where", you say, "is the first place I can get one of these cans or learn more about it"... well I will be at Odd Ones Holiday Bizarre*on Saturday November 14th, held in the HHA Building, 1230 N. 3rd Street in Harrisburg PA. After that you can email me here to request a can. You can pick one up at Suba, in Harrisburg, where I work Friday and Saturday nights. I will also have one with me at upcoming events and will post a list of places where you might see one.

I may even have a "pick up your can" fundraiser... hmmm.

And, maybe you don't want a can - well then, keep your eyes open for them. Look where you shop, eat, get coffee, at a friends house or business. If you see one - throw in a little spare change if you can. In the end we'll see how much we can raise together just by giving what is spare to us.

I'm excited...

*(The Odd Ones Holiday Bizarre is a collection of local artisans selling their handmade goods. I will have a table there with new apparel, organic sugar scrubs, hand knitted scarves, hand loomed rugs - all the proceeds of which go towards the building of a primary school, sustainable farm and eco-birthing center in Uganda.)

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