By Celia Fantauzzi, Store Manager, TD Bank
You stop by the bodega to pick up milk, pay with cash and end up with some loose change. Then what? Do you throw it in your pocket or purse and forget about it? Add it to other change you’ve been saving to help you make a big purchase? Does the impact that small change could make to someone else ever cross your mind?
With so many worthy causes and organizations out there, it can be hard for us to pinpoint where we want to volunteer our precious time and donate our hard earned money. And when we do give, it’s easy to feel like our contributions are too small to make a difference.
Stop for a moment to consider this: last year the TSA collected $76,000 in loose change left at security checkpoints in New York City area’s three major airports. While pocket change may seem too small to make a difference, collectively that forgotten change would be enough to provide 380,000 meals to New Yorkers in need. That said, I’d like to ask my neighbors in Crown Heights and throughout Brooklyn to join me in remembering that small change can have a big impact on our community.
I am fortunate to work at TD Bank, a company that embraces the core value of engaging deeply with our customers. We have a history of giving back to the communities we live in through company-wide fundraising efforts, grants and working side by side with local organizations.
For example, we recently launched a charitable program called “Bring Change,” which takes advantage of the coin-counting Penny Arcades in many of our stores. From now through February 2016, we’re inviting 500 communities to donate a few coins to support organizations that are making a positive difference locally. In addition, TD will match the coin counting up to $2,000 for each for these worthy organizations.
I’m proud that Crown Heights was chosen as the second TD Bank store in New York City to participate in this program. Having launched last week in Harlem, the charitable campaign now travels to Brooklyn where it will benefit a local Crown Heights food pantry and family benevolent fund on Friday, May 15.
The Full Gospel Assembly has been a part of the Crown Heights community since 1978. With 300 members, the church graciously serves neighbors in need with a public food pantry, providing warm meals to struggling families multiple times per week. Through its Family Benevolent Fund, the church helps assist families, providing financial assistance to parents and children who need it the most.
It may be hard to imagine, but your pocket change is enough to chip away at the cost it takes for organizations like Full Gospel Assembly to run their daily food pantry or fund their hardship assistance program. From each individual, to the mom-and-pop shop down the street, to the Fortune 100 giant, I believe we all should explore big and small ways to invest in our communities. Whether this means volunteering in our parks or schools; providing discounted products and services to those in need; or offering grants that enrich our neighborhoods, there are countless ways to give back. And it can start with just a few spare coins.
Think of it like dropping a pebble in a pond. No matter how small the pebble, it will create ripples. When we combine our efforts with those of our neighbors and customers, our impact is that much greater. By supporting the causes that matter most in our communities, we can all take pride in knowing even small change can bring big impacts.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.