What Would You Do With $10?

April 20th, 2010

tendollarsLike so many other Americans, Reed Sandridge recently found himself unemployed. He was laid off from his position at a non-profit company in Washington D.C.

Sandridge did all the things people usually do when they unexpectedly find themselves out of work. He filed for unemployment, updated his resume and started searching for a new job. To date, he is still looking, at least when he finds some spare time.

Since December 16, 2009, Sandridge has been spending much of his time doing something rather unique. Despite being jobless, he gives away $10 every day to a complete stranger.

The idea was motivated by his mother, who was fond of saying, “When you’re going through tough times, that’s when you most need to give back.” Sandridge took those words to heart. On the third anniversary of his mother’s death, he began his mission to hand out $10 for 365 consecutive days – The Year Of Giving.

Reed Sandridge hits the streets of Washington D.C. every morning and searches for just the right person. Some days he has a surprisingly difficult time giving away money. People tend to be suspicious, and a stranger offering cash out of the blue is far from ordinary.

It all started with a failed attempt. Sandridge offered the first $10 to a stranger who shot him a wary glance and walked away. The second attempt was a little smoother, but equally unsuccessful. Candidate number two refused the cash, suggesting that it should go to someone more deserving. This didn’t deter Sandridge, it inspired him. He hoped that people would ask him to put the needs of others before their own.

As the saying goes, the third time was a charm. Sandridge met a man named Knox who was trying to earn some money by shining shoes. The 50-year-old reluctantly agreed to accept. When asked how he would spend the money, Knox admitted that it would likely be used for eggnog, which he sometimes drinks before attending AA meetings.

Today, April 20, 2010, is day 122 for The Year Of Giving. During this time Reed Sandridge has met people from all walks of life. He sits down with each person who accepts his gift, and spends time getting to know them. Every recipient is asked the same question: “What will you do with the money?”

More than 122 people have provided enlightening, uplifting and sometimes baffling answers. To date, at least 15 people have refused the $10 and 2 have given it back. Others have used it for food, cigarettes, lottery tickets, bills, laundry and a wealth of other purposes. One woman even destroyed the money on the spot. No matter where the money goes, Sandridge doesn’t judge. He is doing this to reach out to his local community, meet interesting people and honor his mother, who would have absolutely loved this project.

Although Sandridge continues to look for a job, he almost hopes he doesn’t find one. At least not right away. Much of his daily life is devoted to The Year Of Giving. He is asking people to join him in his efforts and make June 15 a Worldwide Day Of Giving. All you have to do to participate is give $10 to someone you meet that day, and share you story on his website.

For more about Reed Sandridge and his year-long quest, visit his website. You can read about his daily encounters, leave your own comments and learn how you can help people.

At PeopleFinders, we love stories about people reaching out to others. We’re dedicated to helping people find and connect with anyone, anywhere, and like to hear about the personal connections people make. What do you think of Reed Sandridge and his Year of Giving project? Leave us a comment to share your thoughts, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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3 Responses to “What Would You Do With $10?”

  1. PeopleFinders.com says:

    @ D Grandy Thank you for sharing your touching story.

  2. D Grandy says:

    I have always had a soft part in my heart for people who are homeless. Today on the way into work driving down New York Avenue I was struck by a young man sitting under the columns by the old Hecht Warehouse, he clearly homeless but he was sitting there with his hands in his head and I thought wow, I know the position but I wondered when I do that is the same for both of us, did he feel like the whole world was on his shoulders, was he wondering where his next meal might be, was he wondering where his next fix might be, or was he in a fantasy land. I had driven about three blocks in slow moving back to back traffic when I suddenly turned around, I just had to go back and give that guy some money honestly I didn’t care what he did with it what pained me was the fact that he was living on the street, and that for any human being has got to be the most unbearable existence to endure. People always tell me when I do stuff like that to be careful, but I have faith that God is with me. So I pulled up by then he had laid down and he had his head covered with a jacket, I blew my horn had to do it three times but he looked up and I called out to him, “here, get something to eat” he came over took the $10, the smallest bill I had and he said thank you and I left. So kudos to Reed Sandridge for what he is doing, and I wish deeply in my heart that all the folks like him are blessed, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but God is watching. I wish I could take call of all the homeless people in the DC area, get them off the streets a shower, clean clothes, a meal, maybe even a conversation to see what’s really going on. People don’t chose to become homeless something happened in their lives, lost of job, death in the family, mental illness whatever it is these people are still human beings, when has it become so easy for our society to simply disregard these people? How could the richest country in the world turn a blind eye? Sad, very very sad. So Reed Sandridge, I hope God continues to bless you, with good health and good heart and eventually you will find your place too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For most families, expenses form a huge chunk of their monthly budget, and it has become extremely difficult for them to see a way through it.

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