If you follow me on my personal page, author page, or over at IABB, I’m sure you’ve seen the hashtag #ADollarFromTheHeart a time or two.

#ADollarFromTheHeart is something I started last year to help people who are in a tight spot and need a hand up.

My parents raised me to be the type of person who helps others when I can do so.  I have never claimed to be rich (because God knows I’m not), but if I have a little extra money and it’s not being used towards bills or food, if someone is in need, I try to help them.  Even if it’s only $1.

I don’t really know when the idea came to me, but I knew that a lot of people would be more wiling to give $1 rather than $5 or $10, and believe it or not, those $1 donations can add up really fast.

I am very selective of who receives help from #ADollarFromTheHeart, because like most good things that get ruined, there’s always that one person out there who will take advantage and never feel a bit guilty for it.

That’s why I make it as personal as I can.  I get to know the people who are in need, or I reach out to mutual friends who can verify the situation.  I work hard for my money, too.  I don’t want it to go to someone who doesn’t truly need it.

And really, that’s something that’s hard to figure out sometimes.  I’ve seen so many instances in which someone who has a nice car suddenly hits rock bottom and it’s so  unexpected.  They go to get Food stamps and people judge them for that.  You think they’re proud they have to receive help like that?  No, they’re not.  But they don’t have another choice at the moment.  They’ve got mouths to feed and sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and do things you never thought you’d have to.

The situations of the people I help are no different.  Something unexpected happened, or bills were just too much for the month and they don’t have the money they need for a prescription, or the baby’s diapers.

Most human beings have been desensitized to what’s happening around them.  They’ve lost their compassion along the way.  There are those who really couldn’t care less about a person sitting on the sidewalk, starving.  As long as they’ve got their nice home and phone and all the conveniences they could ever want, they just don’t care.

But maybe that’s my problem.  I care too much.

Trust me, if I ever won the lottery I’d probably give 85% of it to other people.

That homeless vet? I’d get him a house.

The little boy who dreams of becoming a scientist? I’d put him through college.

The kids across the street who run around in dirty clothes all the time?  I’d make sure they have new wardrobes and the whole nine yards.

Money truly is the root of all evil, guys.  People chase after the almighty dollar and you’ve got to have a good sum of it just to live decently these days.

It’s hard.

It sucks.

And watching people struggle really tears me up on the inside.

So if you see me posting about #ADollarFromTheHeart, please take two seconds to read what it’s for.  Your $1 will help lift the weight off someone’s shoulders.  It may only be a temporary fix, but you can bet they will never forget the day a complete stranger wanted to help them.

Trust me.  I still haven’t forgotten that day.


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