hello my name is paul. last night i was fortunate enough to be a recipient of a small change bill. my wife and i were at an event asking for donations because a few weeks ago i fell off a ladder while hanging up artwork at my wife’s place of employment. luckily i managed to avoid major damages to myself but ended up with a dislocated and broken right arm. two orthopedic surgeons manage to perform close and open reductions on my arm (two days apart) which resulted in placing a metal plate and screws permanently into my humerus. while i am very grateful i didn’t break my neck or back, it has not been easy with a right broken arm. due to my injury i have not been able to work and will not be able to so for a least 2 months. i am currently employed as a substitute early education teacher (prek), i used to be a permanent teacher but was laid off due to lausd’s reduction in force. unfortunately i cannot work, i don’t qualify for state disability because lausd does not pay into it instead it pays into calstrs and program that i don’t qualify either. in order to do so i would have had to have been teaching for at least 5 years and i barely have 3 years. i don’t qualify for unemployment because i have to be healthy and abled bodied to work as soon as soon there was something available. i don’t qualify for general relief because my wife makes more than allotted amount which $355 per couple and my wife makes about $900 a month. so with no income coming in, im having trouble coming up with my half of our living expenses (rent, utilities, food, and other things). i have tried selling various things on cl and i have tried many avenues but i have had no luck. i normally make art to sell but i can’t use my right arm. so as last ditch effort we decided to set up a table and ask for donations and this is when someone generously placed a $5 bill into our jar. we are very grateful for the donations. we are still trying to ask for more and hopefully we come across a few more small change bills. thank you for giving me opportunity to share our story.

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@12 months ago with 2 notes

I flew to Boston for work with a crew of 5 people total.  We typically tip the hotel van driver $1 for the ride from the airport to the hotel. Today I decided to save the crew $1 each by tipping the van driver with a small change bill.  

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@1 year ago with 1 note

This Saturday morning’s rain was surprisingly unexpected, yet a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt suited me just fine. What caught me off guard was exiting the freeway, Southbound-605 toward South St., seeing two individuals standing alongside the metal ramp. The younger figure, female, stood rock frozen, completely motionless, her hands tightly grasped together, shoulders bunched but her eyes were flaming. Was it fear? Or was it the deteriorating vision of my eyes? It does not matter if it is 1:5 or even 1:100. I am one of the guilty. The guilty who, when seeing individuals amongst the sidewalks holding handwritten signs, would pretend that they are not there. Walking pass them as if they wore an invisibility cloak. We all are guilty. We cannot consider every single human being but there is always a chance to lend a helping hand, a generous smile, a quick greeting.I was behind four cars from the uphill slope. There was no hesitation. I knew I had an umbrella deeply tucked in the bottom of the large bag, unused for weeks. Then the light bulb hit, “small-change, small-change.” I quickly grabbed them, rolled down the window, made a soft hand motion. The second figure slowly emerged towards my direction - it was a wet, slippery slope, I… could… not bear to think of how piercing the cold must be. This figure was a man in his early to mid-60s, his face covered in a speckled of black and white gradients of hair. It happened so fast; the traffic light turning green, last-seconds of grabbing quick snacks from the car compartment, the exchange, the words he spoke, “Thank you, thank you. Bless your soul. Thank you so much.” 

And that was my small-change-project story. Within minutes, I was parked. Shivering in shorts and a sweatshirt, the interior of the car watered but my heart knew that those two individuals had something to smile about. Well at least until the rain stopped that day. 

10:00AM.

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@1 year ago with 2 notes

My friends were very very stressed that day because their project kept getting rejected from their bosses, so I surprised them with some delish milk teas to cheer them up!! Words were spread abt SMALL CHANGE PROJECT and they left work with a smile on their faces and milk tea in their hands :)

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@1 year ago with 2 notes

I live in Los Angeles and I’ve always seen people waiting off the freeway exits asking for food and money, but have always avoided eye contact and the pressure at all cost. On the day after Christmas, as I was exiting the freeway for the mall, I hesitated for a long time and just as the light was turning green, I read her sign. She wasn’t asking for food or money or trying to sell me anything, she was asking for “change.”

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@1 year ago with 5 notes

little happy more convenient

My happy $5 for a friend who needed Pho. :)

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@1 year ago with 1 note

Kenya water project

A Catholic missionary visited my church today to raise funds for the Kenya water project to bring clean, fresh water to the villages of Kenya.  I donated my five dollars in hopes of saving lives. 

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@1 year ago with 1 note

This week has been a rough week on my mom (the toughest person I know) dealing with trips to the ER for my grandparents, chaos at work and lastly someone hitting her car and leaving. I decided to spend my small change to cheer her up today at work, by dropping off her favorite boba through drive-thru! She was so surprised it made my week :).

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@1 year ago with 7 notes

Homeless Man: Excuse me…
(Anthony and I turn to respond to the man)
Homeless Man: Wow. Umm…wow. I’m just, I’m surprised. Usually when I try to talk to people they just ignore me or turn away, you guys are actually responding to me like a human being.  So I want to thank you guys for acknowledging me.
Anthony: Yeah, no problem man.
(The homeless man gives long speech about how he ended up on the street, how soup kitchens and shelters aren’t open everyday so he can’t always get food or take showers)
Homeless Man: I hate asking for money because I know that people work hard for their money.  I once had a job myself and now I am on the streets…
(Anthony pulls out his wallet as I look for mine in my purse) 
Homeless Man:  But I’m not asking for your money. If you can spare the time, if it’s not too much trouble, I’m proposing that you guys come into a restaurant with me and buy me a meal. That way you know where your money is going and you don’t have to worry about what it will be used for.
Us: We don’t really have the time, but we have a small change bill.  
The concept of the small change project is explained to him and we told him he should buy himself a meal if he needs it, but to be mindful and remember the concept of the bills.
Homeless Man: Wow, that’s really cool. You know what, I’m going to share whatever I get with the first other homeless person I meet. Thank you guys so much.

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@1 year ago with 1 note

After counting down to the new year and dancing, I took a cab home at around 3am. I gave my small change as extra tip to the cab driver, who was a very nice man who wished me a happy new year!

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@1 year ago with 1 note