Launched Public Site
Members in 36 states and 9 countries.
Forged Collaborative Giving
Groups formed out of shared value, geographic proximity, and most of all relational connection.
255% growth in membership and still going!.
Giving to People
Small Gifts with Great Love
Families and friends received gifts of kindness in a time of need.
Giving Our Change
Members give more than money; they give themselves to propose, discuss, approve and fund gifts for friends and neighbors.
Giving of Time
Countless people dedicated their time, expertise and creativity to our vision of an economy of abundance where there is enough for everyone.
Shared with People We Care about
Volunteer Hours Dedicated
Average Amount of a Gift
Average Size of a Group
Successes to celebrate
Basic Living/Survival $31830
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 California helped a single mom with phone bills to remain in contact with her kids while awaiting a heart transplant. On Dec 31 she received a new heart!
A 17 year-old Kenyan boy dropped out of school when his family could no longer afford school fees. A group paid for his last two years of schooling – and a member met with him regularly to mentor and encourage him.
A group in Oklahoma helped a friend with living expenses while he launched a self-sustaining business.
A D.C. group helped purchase a walker for a homeless friend. And celebrated Thanksgiving with him.
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.
Friends pooled their resources to help with final adoption costs – helping to build a beautiful family
Members in Virginia helped a friend with bankruptcy and legal fees – and spent hours with her giving financial advice and reworking her budget.
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 in 2014:
|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||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||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||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||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||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||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||Gas bill for single mom||$400.00|
|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||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.
Common Change was born out of a vision that still guides us: That there is enough for all who inhabit the planet. We believed then, as we do now, that if we could just get enough people together we could eliminate personal economic isolation.
Earlier this year our team articulated what we are doing and hope to see happen through our work with Common Change. Here’s our happily ever after:
9 years ago we started with one group in an experiment for six months. We simply asked, “What if we each contributed to a common fund and as we see needs in the lives of those around us, we figured out ways we could collectively meet those needs? We could lend our expertise, provide friendship and support for people suffering, or give money out of our common fund!”
This one group of friends found that, together, they could change lives. They have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those friends, family, coworkers and neighbors who were in desperate need. But beyond the money, they opened their homes to house the homeless, they helped disadvantaged teens find jobs, and they helped young adults start over. And there was always a hidden surprise.
It turned out that the people they helped appreciated their presence and support and loving kindness even more than the money. It really mattered that the money came from someone who was in the circle of friends of the person in need.
In order to make this amazing experience possible for more people, Common Change invested in a web- based platform to make it easy for people to set up a fund, donate to their fund, submit needs, weigh-in on needs and ultimately meet the needs of the people in their lives. Generous people are able to see where their giving goes. They are confident that the money and time they give is transforming lives. Excitement builds and giving grows as their outlook and approach to giving begins to affect their circle of friends and their community. They find themselves looking for people around them who might need help.
The people helped want to be part of this, too. As their lives turn around, they want to pay their gift forward. Groups begin to spring up as the ripple effect spreads until finally, no one lives in economic isolation. Safety is found within each community’s awareness of each other’s needs. It turns out there really is enough for everyone.
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