#3 This week's mission: Loose Change the World!

January 25, 2010

Photo by Sara-ji
(photo by Sara-J)

Every week for a year I left an envelope in a public place, with the hope that it would be discovered by a random stranger. The envelope contained some loose change along with the following note:

This money was left here intentionally and is specifically for your use. I know it's not much-- perhaps just enough to treat yourself to a cookie, coffee, a lottery ticket, donation to the homeless, a new pair of socks. In any case, I hope it "changes" your day for the better.

It was an exciting and highly satisfying experiment. (I wrote about it at length in my book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.) For this week's mission, I'd like to pick up where I left off, but parlay this into something bigger and shinier.What if we each took some spare change (and a couple spare minutes) and did something simple but delightfully unexpected with it?Like:

  • Leave a handful of pennies at a "make a wish" fountain with a note "Please take one. My wish is that your wish comes true."
  • When you're at a Starbucks, give the barista an extra $1.80 to treat the next person who orders a tall coffee.
  • Leave a few quarters in an envelope taped to a dryer at a laundromat.
  • Pay for the person behind you at a tollbooth.

There are countless grand ways to change the world, and I know many of you are committed to important local and global causes. This week's mission knows its place; these are small, anonymous gestures...but to each recipient, and then added together collectively, we are accomplishing something rather mighty I think.

MISSION: Loose change the world!

I'd also like to toss this out there: might one of you feel a strong enough connection to this idea to be our official Loose Change the World Leader and begin a spin-off blog? If so, speak up in the comment section.

(As a point of reference, last year a middle school in Chicago took the change idea from my book and incorporated it into their curriculum. Here is the Loose Change the World blog that the teacher set up).

SHARE: Share all your "loose change the world" ideas in the comment section. (You can share ideas that you've already implemented and/or ones that you intend to do.)

Off we go!

miss amy k.r.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Loose change the world submissions.