Thanks for all your lovely comments. I am amazed and truly humbled by the far-reaching impact this project has had. Please keep letting me know about your own ways of “paying it forward.”

It is weird to walk around without the mission of giving away $100 each day. I’ve been smiling a lot but otherwise keeping pretty much to myself as I go about my business. What will it take for me to reach out to a stranger? What do I have to offer?

As people heard about my project, I got a few direct requests for assistance. Some people assumed I have fabulous wealth and am looking for ideas on how to spend it (neither is true). One particular request captured my heart.

My son Aaron posted a link to the blog on his Facebook page. Richard, one of his college friends, is in Cameroon serving in the Peace Corps. Richard posted a comment on Aaron’s wall asking for help for a nursery owner he is working with. Basically he said that $100 could rescue the whole growing season for this guy.

I know that there are lots of wonderful organizations doing great work all across the world. I love micro-enterprise and I love bringing education to girls (and other living creatures). I was impressed by Richard’s pluck and intrepidity, and I loved the connection through Aaron. We wired $100 and asked Aaron to pass it along to his friend. We got this response from Richard (he even included a link in case we wanted to learn more about air-layering):

I’m just writing to express my sincere thanks for the donation of one hundred dollars that you’re sending via Aaron to me here in Cameroon. My tree nursery friend was elated to hear that he would be able to repair his air-layering propagator. It’s really good news for him, because he is just starting to cut down his air-layered tree branches, and without the propagator to assist in them budding, they would all die. Additionally, the gift will also have some far-reaching consequences. I’m putting together a school reforestation program for a variety of schools in my area where we will plant improved varieties of fruit trees and N-fixing leguminous trees. Because his air layering propagator will work now, we were able to add his local school to the project, so the 300 students there will be getting 200 new fruit trees in their school come April as a result of your donation. Again, thanks so much for your kindness. Happy trails.

A Jewish woman born in the 1920’s Berlin fled to England during the war and ended up in the US. She raised a family and lived a long life. She worked until she was almost 80 and left a small retirement fund to her daughter. The woman taught her daughter to be frugal and gave her the tools to be generous and open-hearted. Thanks to this woman, some people in Cameroon will be enjoying fruit and shade for years to come. That’s amazing.

20 Responses to Gina Comes Through For Cameroon

  1. Jill Neuwelt says:

    I am not as generous as you, but I gave my manicurist a $10.00 tip today and a bartender $8.00!

  2. Sandra says:

    The butterfly effect continues.

    It doesn’t have to be much.
    Some times it’s just direct eye contact with a smile from the heart for a stranger.
    You will know when and to whom you are to give.

    Because people are quietly giving of themselves from our rich bounty of blessings, one gives the gift of HOPE to the world.

    Just look how your fruit multiplies!

    Thank you from all of us who got to take the journey with you.

    Guys, gals, go thou and do likewise even if it is just a smile. To some haggard harried person it says, ‘You can do it.’

    If giving a large amount and the person is overwhelmed to the point they will not accept, tell them “This is a gift, some day you will be able to pass it on.”
    It never fails and all are happy. Pure JOY for every one involved.

    The world keeps turning.

  3. Kay Dennison says:

    You are a remarkable great lady and it has been a pleasure (and gratifying) to meet you.

    I know that you continue your kindness, if not with money, but perhaps in other ways!

    • Kay- The whole experience is still settling in and I still have lots to think about. I’m so glad I chose to share the process; I hoped that thoughtful people would “get” what I was doing and that it would stimulate reflection and conversation. I got my wish and then some!! Thank you. Best wishes- Jill

  4. Pru McDonald says:

    It’s as I said in another comment: The ramifications of your gifts are endless, Jill, growing exponentially, reaching out, reaching out, and reaching out, again and again! Truly an amazing miracle, one that gives to others but gives also to the original giver in ways she cannot even comprehend at this moment in time. I am SO delighted to have participated in my own small way to this experiment, to have spoken to you in writing, and been responded to by you. Such a JOY! Such an inexpressible JOY! I feel utterly blessed! Pru

  5. Pru McDonald says:

    At 79, living on a fixed income, there is no way I could give away money to others, even $5 a day! If I’m lucky, and careful, I can come out a few dollars ahead of the bank at month’s end.

    But I firmly believe that we are here to help one another along on this journey we call LIFE.

    I have vowed to do at least one good deed, for a stranger, preferred, each day. It can be anything. Use your imagination! First and foremost, I SMILE. At everyone and anyone. I offer to all encouragement. I listen. I assist someone through a door, or hold it for them. I give others the right-of-way constantly, while driving. I wave and smile. I do it for THEM, not for myself. But oh my! how I benefit from these acts of kindness!

    I feed all the wild birds that come to my deck. I have a birdbath for them, and now the squirrels have found me, so now I vary the menu! There are countless ways in which we can all make this a better world, for man and beast, and hardly spend a penny! As NIKE says, JUST DO IT!! It will change your life, I guarantee!

  6. Melanie says:

    Indeed that is amazing. What $100 can do for the lives of hundreds of people.

  7. DJan says:

    The last paragraph in this post says it all. I was so pleased to see a post from you in November, and when I see that it was another donation to a worthy cause this time, it also made me aware of ways that I can take a small amount and turn it into life-affirming change. I have given to Heifer International, which gives the gift of a goat or a cow to a family, which changes the dynamic for generations.

  8. Susan Bolton says:

    That is so amazing…
    please send me the link to contribute, I found my wallet and would like to make a contribution as well.

  9. Similar to your Camaroon gift, I try to maximize the impact of a charitable financial gift.

    Peace Corps has a program called “Peace Corps Partnership Program” that allows people to donate to a Peace Corps volunteer’s project. It is often a good way to get a ‘bang for the buck’. Donors can search projects to fund one in a particular country or type of project, such as education, small-busines, health, etc.

    http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate

    John

  10. Pru McDonald says:

    For you timid souls out there, I share a thought with all of you. A few years after I was widowed, I somehow screwed up the nerve to take a solo trip. On the flight there, anxious and terrified, I opened my book randomly to read this very compelling and TRUE statement:

    LIFE SHRINKS OR EXPANDS IN PROPORTION TO ONE’S COURAGE”.

    That changed my life; It was either expand, or curl up into a ball, and die. Since then, I have repeatedly responded, YES!!!

    THINK ABOUT IT!

  11. Richard says:

    Yes, this is amazing. Reminds me of “Its A Wonderful Life” – the unanticipated positive consequences of a life well lived.

    Thank you Jill for leading the way and inspiring reflection and action.

  12. dean kessler says:

    Jill, How are you? I finally read through all the comments on your Month of Hundreds. Hope to see you sometime, you have a heart of gold. Now to get my e-mail stuff off this blog, I don’t know what I did, maybe if my address doesn’t come off, you could possibly delete it.

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