A little change goes a long way

Column by Jill Seelmeyer. E-mail [email protected].

What can $10 get you these days? Maybe a meal at a restaurant, a movie ticket or a new t-shirt. But did you know that $10 can also provide someone 45 meals?

I learned recently that God’s Pantry Food Bank can take a $10 donation and turn it into 45 meals for their clients. God’s Pantry works to combat hunger issues and provides Kentuckians a place to turn when faced with economic hardship. The food bank serves 50 counties in central and eastern Kentucky, and a 2009 study found that one in seven people in this service area were impacted by God’s Pantry last year alone.

I had no idea that such a small amount of money could go so far. I spent over $10 on one dinner out last weekend, so I felt a little guilty thinking about how I carelessly spend money sometimes. Like most college students, I worry about money at times, but I have never been forced to think about how I will pay for my next meal.

I understand that I am fortunate enough to say that I have never personally experienced hunger or poverty. For this reason, I also understand that I am obligated to give something back to those who aren’t as fortunate as I am.

When it comes to societal issues like poverty and hunger, it is so easy to wonder whether my small donation will really do any good. However, these “small” donations are huge in that they can be stretched far when given as a charitable gift. The fact that $10 can provide 45 meals is enough proof for me to feel confident that any gift I can afford to give will make a difference.

For most college students, it probably seems almost impossible to make time to volunteer at organizations like God’s Pantry, but most of us can sacrifice a meal out or a few coffee shop purchases to give $10 or so to a charitable organization.

It is also very easy to give a gift to God’s Pantry and similar non-profit organizations. After learning about God’s Pantry and how many Kentuckians are impacted by their services, I simply went to their website and gave my small gift that way. Other Kentucky food banks, like Dare to Care and Kentucky Harvest, also offer online donation options. Giving to the charity of your choice is now as simple as online shopping.

While I would like to be able to offer my time as well as my money to a charitable organization, for now, I am happy to know that my $10 donation is money well spent.