#GivingCards Project

One of my favorite financial bloggers is a cool guy named J. Money, a guy with a mohawk who runs Budgets are $exy. I’ve been following his blog for more than four years, where he both gives out advice and tells us about his life. We readers have followed his family dynamic through his wife’s grad school, Baby Nickel and Baby Penny (their nicknames for their sons), and personal and business changes with their own finances. J. Money is open and honest with a kick of humor.

15 states remaining!

Two ventures he began a few years ago were Rockstar Finance, where he compiles great articles from a multitude of other bloggers, and Rockstar Community Fund. In April, I joined the #GivingCards Project, a project where they send out $20 Visa cards every month. The Rockstar Community Fund gives this money to their readers to give away to various missions attached to the gift card. From December 2016–March 2017, the Project has given away $6,867 across 35 states and six countries. I live in Indiana, but work in Kentucky, so I hoped that I could take Kentucky off their missing list. These small cards have been used to knit quilts for cancer patients, buy little plants for officemates to remind them of spring, and to purchase food for a kids’ after-school program.

April’s mission was different: “Use me to create unexpected joy for someone in your life.”

Do something beautiful for someone you know, or even someone you know of. Opening the envelope and seeing the $20 gift card, I began racking my brain on what I could do that would make someone smile. Pay it forward at the grocery store? Buy snacks for my son’s 5th grade class as a special treat? Give it to someone for bus fare? Then I opened my email…

My son’s principal emailed that the mother of two fourth-grade students died unexpectedly. These kids are nine or ten and now must sustain life without their mother. I lost my father at 15; I know that they will be on a difficult road. While the school is taking care of having counselors visiting the classes to explain situations of death and grieving to the students, the school created a fund to collect donations to help support these girls.

There it was. $20 isn’t much to a lot of people, but knowing that there are people out there who care about you, even if they don’t know you, is worth substantially more. Within a day, I sent the card to the school for the girls. It was the kindest and most selfless thing I did last week.

Thank you, Rockstar Community Fund, for picking me for the April challenge. The mission came at the best time to hopefully create a little joy in these girls’ lives, even if just for a moment.


If you want to join this mission, they give away a limited number of #GivingCards each month, on a first-come, first-serve basis. All you must do is promise to do good with it and report back to them what you did. Easy!

Jennifer Dyer Helton

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