Making a Difference with $1


Our church is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In lieu of a celebration, we were each given $30 to find a way to bless someone with a gift. Because we are teachers, we felt this was a “teachable” moment and would like to see how you would “pay it forward”.

We have decided to give each of you a gift of one dollar and ask that you use the money to bless someone (no, not for a candy bar for yourself.) Although it is not much, hopefully you can find a way to take the dollar and use it in a positive way. We feel this is a great way to demonstrate the scout slogan, Do a Good Turn Daily.

We want you to take a little time to think about some ways to bless another:

  • Give it to a homeless person
  • Help support someone who may be having financial difficulties
  • Support a good cause at your school, church or in the community
  • Pool your money together and discuss a joint effort with a few other scouts
  • We encourage creativity!

We hope you will have a rewarding experience, as the commercial says… priceless, and for only a buck.

We would love to hear about what happened to your dollar and how you felt about the experience. Please complete this task by next Sunday and send me a brief email or write a short note and bring it next Monday.

Thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Nagayama


Dear Scouts,

First, we want to thank you for participating with our church’s efforts to bless others. We hope you also, received a blessing through the process and that it brought a little more meaning to the scout motto, “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Mrs. Nagayama and I feel fortunate to continue to be a welcome part of troop 693 and we are grateful for the responses.

Below are your comments, which we listed anonymously, as we felt the idea was to give to others, not to be recognized. We know that one dollar is a small amount, but you did a great job and it is the thought that counts. We hope you enjoyed the process and that you learned how little it takes to make a difference in other people’s lives. Keep up your random acts of kindness; Do a Good Turn Daily!

Thank you,

Mr. and Mrs. Nagayama.

  • I gave the $1 bill to the staff members of the Encinitas YMCA Skate Park. They always provided everyone with foods and drinks. They never said any putdowns to other skaters. When I gave the bill to a staff member, she was surprised and said that it was pretty cool that I was supporting them. Thank you for letting me have a chance to support others.
  • You asked all the scouts to tell you what they did with the one dollar bill. My story is only a few sentences long because all I did was drop it on the floor for another scout to pick up and if it was unnoticed, someone who went to that school would pick it up. Before we left, [a scout] found it and took it home or did whatever a [scout] would do to a one dollar bill.
  • Hi Mr. Nagayama. I am sending you a letter describing what I did with the dollar. I put it in an envelope which n the outside read, "This belongs to the person who finds it next." On the inside, stapled to the dollar, read, "You may not need this so please find the good in your heart and give it to someone who does." Then, I left it in the street. All right, see you later. Bye bye.
  • When you gave us a dollar I thought what is there for me to do with the dollar. Then I remembered the woman that comes to clean our house. Her son is very ill so I gave her the dollar for her son's medicine.
  • I donated my dollar to a temple. It was really fun going through this experience. Lots of people will benefit from this dollar. I felt good that someone was making good use of the dollar. I want to thank you for teaching me this lesson.
  • I didn't use my dollar alone. I combined the money to $24 and donated it to Kiva is an organization that gives money not just as a donation, but as initiative to get people to start being independent. They eventually repay Kiva, who gives it back to us. When that happens, I intend to use the 25 dollars again for Kiva.
  • My mom participated as part of a team for relay 4 life at Gahr HS. They were accepting donations for cancer research. Since, I needed to think of something to do with my dollar I decided to have a Luminaria made in memory of Joyson Szu. My mom and I put on the Lumianaria, “Your light will shine in us and guide us always. Love T693”
    • Here is what the Luminaria is about. The Light of Hope For many people who attend Relay For Life, one of the most moving parts of the event is the Ceremony of Hope. As the light dims over campsites and team members complete laps, the night is brightened by the glow of lighted bags called luminaria, each of which has a special meaning. Some luminaria celebrate the survivorship of people who have battled cancer and lived to tell the tale. Many commemorate the lives of those who have been lost to this disease. All represent a person who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to be touched by that experience.
    • This email was forwarded to the Szu family. Mrs. Szu replied to us: “My heart be touched so much. Thank you and all the scouts still memorize our family and Joyson. Sometime I feel very hard to deal with my loss but I know God still love us so much because you and all around friends. Thanks, Serena (Mrs. Szu)”
  • For my $1, I donated, along with 4 other dollars to my friend's 30 hour famine via World Vision. I did a good turn daily…
  • My dad's co-worker had a daughter named Mariah. A couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Their family spent a lot of time and money trying to cure her illness, but unfortunately the treatments did not work and her cancer was diagnosed as terminal. She was only nine years old when she succumbed to her death only two weeks ago. The family is suffering with her death, along with having to deal with all the medical expenses. So my father's company has started a fund to help this family. This is such a sad story that when my dad told me this story, I immediately told him that I would donate at least a dollar to this fund. Although a dollar isn’t much and I don’t know the family well, I'm sure they will appreciate everything they can get. I feel good that I helped a family that is in need.
  • I put my dollar in a vending machine after my water polo practice and just left it there. I don't know what happened to it but I'm pretty sure that one of the younger swimmers found it and was very happy. I felt a little happy but sad that I couldn't use the dollar but someone probably was happier to find that dollar than I would have been if I spent that dollar.
  • What I did with my 1 $ bill, is that I left it in a vending machine in front a group. The kids looked excited that, after they got their food, so many coins were shooting out of the vending machine. The kids were saying it was so cool that they got so many coins. I was feeling happy too, helping out a couple of kids.
  • “On Tuesday, May5, I went out to the Jamba Juice fundraiser at Leal Elementary to purchase a smoothie. When I realized that I was a dollar short, scout’s name, stepped in and loaned me the dollar without hesitation. What a random act of kindness! Great job scout’s name, for making Leal a friendlier place!” – Gina Rafael, 6th grade teacher.
  • Thank you for giving me a dollar. I was going to spend it on .99 toys, but my parents didn’t buy it. However, my dollar somehow, I left it in my pocket and found during my K-Junior High service in Sarang Church. I decided to give it as my offering. Our church that day, they will give all the offering to World Vision Organization. I was glad to help the people in need. Thank you.
  • I gave the dollar back to the church, CBC. I gave it back because I have heard about how the church is not doing well financially. “How did you feel about this experience?” – Confused.
  • I gave it to a homeless person. It made me feel good.
  • I used it to buy a bag of candies. Then I sold 5 pieces for 1 dollar to my relatives and earned about $10…. (this is an on-going project that has not ended yet, he has big plans). I feel good that I helped out.
  • I actually lost the dollar that I was given somewhere in my house. I will find it one day. Anyway, last Sunday I went to King Taco with my mom on the way home from church. And there was this homeless man waiting or people’s change. M mom gave him some money while I was waiting for my tacos. I ordered 4 tacos and felt guilty and greedy as a man was there with o food. I went up to him and asked, “¿Señor, quiere un taco?” I felt pretty dumb (and a little racist) as he replied in perfect English, “No thank you.” (Not to mention I have a “C” in Spanish 3). As I was finishing, I left one taco telling my mom that I was full , and the man was in the restroom, I left it in his shopping cart, and we drove away. I didn’t know what to think, but “I hope the taco doesn’t spill on all his stuff in his cart” popped into my head. (the taco was $1.25)
  • I gave it to my sister. I felt good because I didn’t owe her any more.
  • I used it to buy my friend a snack. I felt very good and doing something nice.
  • I cashed it in for quarters and left them in random places. It made me feel good.
  • I gave it to a hobo. I felt good about myself, knowing I helped someone.
  • Donate it with 3 weeks of my allowance ($31) to World Vision. Total money collected for World Vision so far, $335. “How did you feel about this experience?” – Good
  • I decided to buy printing paper for my school since there is a paper shortage due to budget cuts. Even though school’s almost over, I knew that I was benefitting the next class for the 09-10 school year. I felt proud.
  • Put it in a vending machine and didn’t buy anything. “How did yo feel about this experience?” – Good.
  • I gave it to my grandma who lives with us so she can buy stuff for herself when she goes out. “I felt good.”
  • I bought gold fish with your dollar. But with another dollar I put the dollar in the vending machine at school and I waited and watched the next person get a free snack. I think it’s a good, even though the person probably thought someone left the dollar not pay it forward.
  • I gave my dollar to someone at school who needed it for lunch. “It felt good because he wouldn’t be hungry the rest of the day.
  • I gave it to a hungry person I need. “I felt good”
  • I left it in a vending machine at CPE. I am happy because a small child got a cookie.
  • I donated $ to a friend doing a 30 hour famine. Felt satisfied that I helped someone. Felt good and happy.
  • It took me awhile to find a good way to use the dollar. I wanted to give it to someone that does something to help others who usually don't expect anything from it. As I was walking to school, two cross guards helped me cross the street and I thought they would be the perfect people. I took $3 and bought a nice, cold snapple so they had a chance to enjoy.
  • I was helping out at a bake sale that is giving its collected funds to Relay for Life which is a 24 hour walk to help fight against cancer. I remembered the dollar bill I was given and put it into the "donations" box. I was going to give it to a homeless person I spotted on the street, but I was in my car, the light turned green, and the man was on the other side of the street. I hope the dollar will help the people who are suffering from cancer and help the researchers to come up with a cure for this life-threatening problem.
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