Surviving and Thriving

has partnered with Giving Cards to help you go out and do some good in your world!

Donna’s round of cards is now closed, but you can always head over to the homepage and request a card from the general fund there 🙂

We approached Donna to be one of Giving Cards’ first kickoff partners because she’s a long-established member of the personal finance community who was even a part of our Love Drop team way back in the day!

She and her audience often discuss and participate in different ways to give back, so we thought it was the perfect group to offer a chance to test drive this new philanthropy project with us 🙂

Thank you all for everything you already do, and we can’t wait to hear your stories!

Results are now in – check them out below!

Birthday Cake Kits

I was going to use my card to purchase supplies for “birthday cake kits” for my local food bank. I happened to be at Kroger on a great sale day. Here’s a pic of my cart and the kits. Since I went shopping without my giving card (oops!) I decided to include it in one of the kit bags. Maybe someone can use it to buy a gift! Thanks so much for choosing me to help make a difference!

Stocking the Little Free Library

My daughter and I purchased some books for our Town’s Little Free Library. We mostly bought kids books, but I found a couple of novels and some crossword puzzle books for adults. We placed them in the Little Free Library, which was almost empty when we visited. I have been taking care of the LFL for four years now and I almost never get to see who is enjoying the books, but it is almost always nearly empty when I visit.

TP for the Food Bank

Our local food bank seldom gets donations of toilet paper, an essential but expensive item. I found a TP sale and delivered $25 of rolls to them, using the giving card you sent me. Thank you for giving me this chance to contribute to the Fairbanks food bank.

Angels in Motion

I chose to help Angels in Motion, a group that delivers “blessing bags” of snacks, drinks and hygiene items to people who are unhoused and living with addiction in and around Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J. The group is meeting this month to assemble a batch of bags, so I chose to purchase items marked “highest priority” on their Amazon wish list. But instead of just clicking and shipping, I compared prices between Amazon and the military commissary and found I could get 64 Pop-Tarts for $11 on base, vs. 60 Pop-Tarts for $20 on Amazon. So I bought the Pop-Tarts on base and used the $9 savings to buy 30 pouches of Capri Sun Roaring Waters, another “highest priority” item on their wish list, one which I’m sure that anyone living unhoused in the brutal city heat will appreciate. A local friend is attending the bag-assembling event and will deliver my donation in person, conserving fuel and reducing the carbon footprint of yet another Amazon delivery. Thank you so much for this opportunity to really reflect, think and donate in a mindful (and frugal) way.

Senior Luncheon

I was privileged to use my card for good to provide 2 special cakes for the Senior Luncheon at my Dad’s church. I try to visit my father at least twice a year and because I work from home, I’m able to stay for about a month each time. During that time, I like to help him serve at the Senior Luncheon at least once while I’m here. My Dad is 83 and SERVES the luncheon each time…to his peers. When I inquired with Ms. Carol (Pastor Gary’s wife who heads the Luncheon) on what might be most needed, she told me “The Seniors do like their desserts!” so that’s what I focused on. Our next door neighbor Patty (BEST COOK IN THE WORLD) helped me with the cakes and I finally got to see how to make her frosting. She’s one of those bakers that doesn’t go by the recipe, she just “knows” how to make it. We made a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting (and sprinkles) and a banana split cake.

I brought them to the Luncheon and got them plated up. The banana split cake was half gone before lunch was served and they made a good dent on the chocolate cake too. They don’t mess around with dessert, let me tell you. Lunch was a choice of Sausage/Veg or Lobster bisque soup with ham/cheese sandwiches and a side of mandarin oranges. I got a chance to hug some of my favorite people and have lunch with them. My Dad was sneaky and when he was ready to say the blessing before the meal, called out one of the Seniors for her birthday – and included me in it too! (Thanks, Dad…)

Thank you so much for allowing me to spend some extra time and spoil these wonderful people. It’s a small town and the Luncheon is on a donation basis. The Seniors pay what they choose, or nothing, and no one is ever turned away. I don’t get to “do” for them often, but I love being part of their community. I told several about the Giving Cards program and they thought it was great. One of the workers is going to pass on the information to her daughter also. I got lots of pictures but most are tucked away in my heart for me to enjoy when I go back home. Thank you again for a wonderful avenue to help and spread some love.