Introducing Common City Lexington


We are thrilled to announce Common City Lexington, a new initiative being pioneered together with First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. By bringing together individuals, businesses, organizations, nonprofits, schools, and faith communities the Common City Initiative (CCi) is designed to create an holistic ecosystem of gifting (collaborative giving).

Common Change has been spearheading collaborative giving with the simple desire to eliminate personal economic isolation by moving resources more directly to people who need them, with as few degrees of separation as possible. Collaborative giving isn’t about the transaction; it’s about the relationship.

The beauty of Common City Lexington is that it is driven by local people who are passionate about starting or expanding collaborative giving and strengthening local relationships. Sherry Maddock, Common City Lexington Ambassador, is an active resident of downtown Lexington, advocating for citizens’ involvement in all levels of neighborhood revitalization.

_DSC1284This initiative gives everyone a chance to participate in creating a more inclusive economy in their city. By establishing a gifting ecosystem that seeks to move resources directly to people who need them, we will strengthen the relational fabric of local community. The ripple effect will be felt throughout the community and have the opportunity to grow and improve our neighborhoods.

Have questions about Common City Lexington or the Common City Initiative? Send them to


Common City Lexington Page

Our Year in Review

This has been a phenomenal year of generosity. at Common Change. Together, we’ve given over $120,000 to help those we care about.

We’ve helped friends in 24 States and have given gifts of kindness and care to those we love in Canada, Cuba, Ghana, Egypt, Liberia, Scotland,  South Africa, Uganda and the United Kingdom. From the smallest gift of a birthday cake that cost $1.58 to the largest gifts of medical bills, rent and car repairs, the greatest thing we’ve given has been ourselves.

A group in California helped an aged-out foster care student with food gift cards – but went further and took him shopping and taught him how to cook. A group in Minnesota threw a party for a family living in a shelter – and a few months later helped pay the final costs on a Habitat for Humanity home for them. A group in North Carolina helped a dad setup his own business after years in prison – months later they drew alongside him as he sent his daughter to college. Two members in Philadelphia advocated for help for car repairs for a friend in kidney failure – and then went and got tested to see if they could donate their own kidneys to him.

These are not distant acts of charity; these are gifts of love, from one friend to another.

Here’s what we got up to:

Month Need Met Amount
Jan Helping elderly in Cuba with food, medicine and basic needs $5,000.00
Jan Shoes/Clothes for memorial service $141.03
Jan New tires for friend $360.00
Jan Christmas meal and basic needs for Egyptian family and mom fighting cancer $580.00
Jan Mexican university student trip to Spain $1,800.00
Jan Housecleaning for family struggling $100.00
Jan New fuel pump for truck $300.00
Jan Medical bills for 2 year old with brittle bone disease $200.00
Feb Computer foundation course for young Kenyan man $450.00
Feb Tuition to help Kenyan boy finish school $350.00
Feb Memorial/travel assistance for friend after her mom passed away $250.00
Feb Help couple prepare for adoption $500.00
Feb Help with medical costs for 9 year old with inoperable brain tumor $200.00
March New tires $325.00
March Dental procedure after bike accident $2,896.00
March Outpatient lodging costs for mom undergoing cancer treatment $500.00
March Restoring money lost in a burglary $200.00
April Utility bill assistance $350.00
April Supporting seminary students with a gift of love $200.00
April Medical bills for young man without insurance $1,700.00
April Brake replacement $400.00
April Car repair $1,000.00
April Piano tuning for student $450.00
April Assist with credit card bill after friend gets married $100.00
April Plane ticket to funeral in Ghana $300.00
April Birthing costs $1,600.00
April Cleaning equipment for youth in South African township uplifting their community $465.00
April Housing for friend home from prison $250.00
April Pain patches for boy with rare bone disease $400.00
April Walker for homeless friend $114.99
April Temporary housing for family losing their house $375.00
April Helping community members reestablish livelihood projects after their village burnt down $2,500.00
May Tuition for two children after dad goes to jail $1,800.00
May Special Care for 8 Weeks for a Cancer Patient Undergoing Radio-Therapy $764.00
May Tuition for young Kenyan boy $450.00
May Medical supplies for neighborhood cooperative pharmacy $1,200.00
May Van repairs and cell bill for dad in kidney failure $2,000.00
May Root canal $1,485.00
May Emergency housing and search for long-term housing for dad and son $1,200.00
May Help with car repairs $225.00
May School expenses for family in Egypt $430.00
May School expenses for family in Egypt $1,725.00
May Emergency housing for friend in transition $1,500.00
June Utility bill assistance for friend laid off from work $125.00
June Diapers, supplies and other costs as family welcomes baby $400.00
June Rent and living expenses for family whose dad is in a coma from a scooter accident $2,000.00
June Transportation assistance for friend with cancer $900.00
June Car repair for single mom with three kids $1,000.00
June Summer school for young first-gen college student $1,800.00
June Car repair for friend in kidney failure $2,000.00
June Transportation assistance for friend in Ghana $800.00
July Rent for young pastor facing 45% property tax increase $429.00
July Months rent for friend who lost their job $1,000.00
July Renewal of permanent resident card $450.00
July Replace timing belt on vehicle $400.00
July Carpet cleaning for single mom trying to keep her kids $72.00
July Transportation costs for son caring for his mother with dementia $500.00
July Foreign adoption costs $400.00
July Help with basic living costs for single mom who recently lost her husband $223.00
July Mulch for team helping with a neighbor’s yard $60.00
July Repairing leaking roof for elderly woman $285.00
July Helping and encouraging a friend $159.73
July Sim and airtime purchase for elderly disabled friend $105.00
July Renovation of kitchen area, where workers are fed $850.11
July Motorcycle registration and insurance for man to get to work $367.00
July Support for family $119.00
August Rent and phone for woman waiting heart transplant $3,294.00
August Help with adoption fund $250.00
August Care package for 17 year old shot multiple times $400.00
August Auto repair $1,100.00
August Medical expenses for baby born prematurely $1,500.00
August Back to school backpacks $60.00
August Car repairs for single mom of four $350.00
August Care for woman after her husband passed away $700.00
August Van repairs $160.00
August Supporting young man through university $850.00
August Help for friend out of work due to leg disability $199.19
September Weekend away for friend after multiple bereavements $350.00
September Living assistance for single mom after dad goes to prison $500.00
September Food and back to school clothing for single mom and four kids $600.00
September Lifting debt burden for struggling family $1,500.00
September Refrigerator for rehab house $600.00
September Food help for an aged-out foster college athlete $2,400.00
September Funds for a keyboard for a musician $250.00
September Large print bible for man in prison $2.89
October Auto repair for elderly neighbor $500.00
October Getting started gift for new family $300.00
October Emergency food and soap making supplies for Liberian family fighting Ebola $250.00
October Flight to support grieving friend $400.00
October Birthday party for family living in a shelter $150.00
October Rent assistance for friend $300.00
October Help dad send his daughter to college $600.00
October Transitional expenses for family launching business $1,150.00
October Personal development course for 20 at-risk youth $400.00
October Medicine for woman in Uganda with HIV $250.00
October Medical costs for premature birth $2,000.00
October Replacing jar of coins and appliances stolen from elderly neighbor $500.00
October Utility bills $230.00
October Gas bill for single mom $400.00
October Adoption costs $350.00
October Airfare for community development project $1,350.00
October Cobra insurance fees for out of work friend $682.04
October Down-payment on accommodation for family in transition $389.02
November Basic living costs, food and medicine for elderly Cuban community $6,500.00
November Repair of a critically damaged roof for old man $412.12
November Starting a roadside café micro-business $1,200.00
November Recovery costs for mom after brain surgery $1,000.00
November Supporting a family business getting started $200.00
November 6 chiropractor sessions for woman with chronic anxiety and depression $240.32
November Medical bills after surgery $998.73
November Self care for friend working at an orphanage in Jamaica $150.00
November 5 tents for 5 Iraqi refugee families $2,000.00
November One month’s rent for woman out of work $1,097.00
November Assistance with property taxes $1,700.00
November Closing costs on a Habitat for Humanity home for family living in a shelter $1,000.00
November Window replacement for neighbor’s car $274.73
November Takeaway meal for family moving house $32.00
November Court fees for friend released from prison $204.15
December Helping pay for a funeral $475.00
December Utility expenses after unexpected car repairs and new baby $250.00
December Gas, food and prescription expenses for women undergoing treatment $250.00
December Bedding for families in poor community during winter $3,000.00
December Used car purchase for a friend $2,000.00
December Legal fees for woman putting her life back together $1,466.00
December Rent and insurance fees for single mom $1,500.00
December Car repairs $300.00
December Assistance for young woman working at a non-profit $900.00
December Insurance back-pay for woman facing surgery $600.00
December Flight costs to return home for young woman with cancer $300.00

Want to join the fun in 2015? Join Now and create your giving group.

Change > Cents

Written by Kathryn Arthur and Valerie Anderson

Doing: the activities in which a particular person engages.

Being: the nature or essence of a person.

What is the difference between Doing and Being? When a person does something to such an extent that it becomes part of them it is no longer something they merely do, it is instead attached to their identity and who they are.

In the last few weeks Common Change has challenged you with The Generosity Project. Hopefully, along the way, we’ve inspired you and shown you just how simple generosity can truly be.

We want to challenge you to move from generosity as an event, to generosity as a lifestyle. From doing; to being

Here are five ways you can begin making generosity a lifestyle.

1. Practice gratitude everyday. Out of the sense of awareness of what we have flows the conviction of what we have to give.

2 Look for ‘generosity opportunities’ everywhere you go. Generosity takes us outside of ourselves – outside of our comfort zones, our to-do list, our schedules and the concerns that consume us. Lift your eyes to look for the people that could use a little generosity.

3. Give more than money. Choose to express generosity in ways that take you beyond your wallet – be generous with your time, your resources, your skills, your words, your networks, and your space.

4. Join with others. We fervently believe that generosity begets (inspires, gives birth to and nurtures) generosity. Invite others to join you in regular rhythms of generosity. Share a meal once a week and invite someone who’s new to the neighborhood. Make a list of items you have that you could share with your neighbors. Create a giving circle on Common Change and together meet the needs of those you care about.

5. Make it intentional. Don’t simply wait for generosity opportunities to come your way. Build them into your regular schedule of life. Be intentional about making space for generosity. At Common Change we believe that change is greater than cents. We want our giving to be motivated by a choose towards a more generous lifestyle.

In 2015, join us in moving from Giving Generously to Living Generously. The more you practice, the more it’ll become a habit.

Consider joining a Common Change Generosity Group or starting one of your own to make your generosity more consistent alongside friends.

Learn Moreor Join Now