Daily Saving Adds Up For Giving

52WeekChallengeGiving to charity is does not have to mean writing a big check. Indeed, charitable giving in a tough economy can be very hard for the kind hearted. A simple money saving idea can make a big difference whether you are saving for your vacation, an emergency fund or to be a philanthropist. The 52 Week Money Challenge encourages putting away a little bit every day in increasing amounts. Start with $1.00 on Week One and add an additional dollar every week until you reach $52.00 on Week 52.  The cumulative  growth results in a grand total of just under $1,400.00!

To make it easier to save, set up a jar in a prominent place that you’ll see every day.  Start with loose change or small bills. If there are others in the household, encourage them to contribute. The small contributions everyday will make event the largest weekly sum easy to achieve, especially when the savings habit is established.

Savings Chart

Here is a chart that you can print and tape to your Giving Jar.  Good luck saving and enjoying giving it away again.

It’s not business, it’s personal: Story of Cancer

Blogging for 5 Bucks is Change has been a wonderful privilege.  I have learned of the amazing things that people can do to change the world. I have had the honor and privilege of writing about many wonderful nonprofits, charity visionaries and passionate change-makers. These brilliant and caring people have been committing countless hours to causes and ideas that will make a difference in our lives.

Meet Marty Smith

One such change-maker is my friend Martin “Marty” Smith. He took a diagnosis of cancer as a higher call to live his life everyday in the most meaningful and impactful way. He has dedicated his time to sharing his business knowledge (any topic, you name it). He does it for free helping hundreds understand the confusing online digital world.

Cure Cancer Starter

Marty has also taken on the biggest and last challenge of his life. He has created a crowdfunding cancer research site Cure Cancer StarterCureCancerStarter.org is a crowdfunding platform developed with support from Raleigh web developers Atlantic BT and in cooperation with five “pilot” cancer centers:

  • UNC Lineberger Cancer Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, NY)
  • Duke Cancer Institute (Durham, NC)
  • UW Carbone Cancer Center (Madison, WI)
  • City of Hope (Los Angeles, CA)

Cure Cancer Starter100% of donations made to cancer research on CureCancerStareter.org go to cancer research centers! CureCancerStarter.org is FREE for any USA.gov approved cancer research center.

One of the unique aspects of Cure Cancer Starter is the transparency of the funding platform. The physicians and researchers receiving donations from Cure Cancer Starter investors are obliged to share their progress on their projects. They want to engage with their donors and welcome sharing their advances.


Any donation is welcome. Check the site for one that speaks to you personally. Afterall, while the process is run like a business, we know it’s personal.

Drag Queens and Beauty Pageants

We live in the South, y’all. So what’s the singularly most defining event of living in the South? The Beauty Pageant, of course! From “Miss Firecracker” to “Sweet Potato Queens”  we have celebrated the wonder and absurdity of beauty pageants.

This Saturday, September 14th, the grand-daddy (or Momma?) of all pageants will be held to crown the “Bingo Beauty Queen”! These pageant contestants are all members of Mary K Mart’s cadre of timeless beauties, the Drag Queens who support the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolinas. Eight times a year these lovely “Ladies” are the hostesses and entertainers for Drag Bingo, raising thousands of dollars for AASC.


This weekend the ladies are getting competitive as they vie for the Grand Price of $1.99 and the title of “Bingo Beauty Queen!” Join the fun for just $20 which includes your bingo games and all the entertainment you can stand. There is a great dinner deal of $5 for 2 hot dogs, chips, dessert and a drink!  Plus the last game of the night is a 50/50 raffle game and you could win up to $500.  Attending Drag Bingo is even more fun when you bring a big group so contact AASC for a table reservation.

The event will be held at the Durham Armory, 220 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701. Doors open at 5:30 pm. The event often sells out so get your tickets now.

Walk a mile in her shoes – one penny at a time

One of the goals of 5 Bucks is Change is to raise awareness for charities that can take a small donation and really make it go a long way. In the case of the African Well Fund, the long way is a mile measured by pennies; 84,480 pennies to be exact. Why a mile of pennies? Because many families in Africa have to walk miles every day to fetch water. That daily walk means that children are not in school, parents can’t work regularly and there’s a high probability that the water is not sanitary, increasing water borne illness risks.

This week the African Well Fund is challenging everyone to think about how easy it is for us to get fresh, sanitary water and participate in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – Pennies for the People.” It takes 84,480 pennies laid end to end to make a mile. So start collecting – one penny at a time – and try to save a mile’s worth of pennies in recognition of the distance others have to walk for their water.

Pennies can add up. 84,480 equal a mile.

Pennies can add up. 84,480 equal a mile.

In her blog post, African Well Fund staffer Elizabeth March lays out some great ideas how easy it is to start a collection at home, in the office or at church. She also provides resource links for teachers of all grade levels with background information.

The African Well Fund is dedicated to raising funds for building and maintaining wells in Africa. It was formed in October 2002 by a group of U2 fans inspired by the media coverage of Bono’s May 2002 trip to Africa. All donations to the African Well Fund go directly to Africare. Africare is the largest and oldest international non-governmental organization focused exclusively on Africa.

This week I encourage you to start small with just one penny and watch how it can lead to big things.

Snidely Whiplash Rules – Mustache Competition for Charity

The 1st Annual Bear & Mustache Competition

The 1st Annual Bear & Mustache Competition

Who doesn’t love a villain with a great ‘stache? Remember the great mustache of Snidely Whiplash? This Saturday there may not be any villains but there will be plenty of mustaches,  beards and facial hair at the First Annual Durham Beard and Mustache Competition. Join the fun at Bull McCabe’s Saturday, March 16th from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. Bring your best mustache for the contests for the Best Amish, Best Ginger, Best Ladystache, Most Likely to Tie a Woman to the Railroad Tracks and more. Does it sound like this event is just for the guys or hairy gals?

No, it’s also about womanly arms! Host LUEWWD (the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham) will present a Arm Wrestling Competition for the ladies. Add beer, bands and prize giveaways from local breweries and restaurants and you have an event!

All the fun is to benefit Liberty Arts and The Scrap Exchange – As men are rated for their beauty, women will demonstrate strength in a raucous arm-wrestling tourney. Bring a wad of bills to “vote” during the arm wrestling events, as all proceeds go toward arts programs for underprivileged women and girls. Admission is $5 or $15 if you want to compete.