July 02


Twenty Nine Cents


I am four days into my PULSE assignment at Stop Hunger Now and already my perspective of goods, services and cost is changing.  Being a Certified Public Accountant here in North Carolina and having worked in a big public accounting firm, I am accustomed to rounding off numbers in financial information.  We often rounded to the nearest thousand and sometimes even millions of dollars.  When I opened my first financial information here at SHN I encountered cents.  Not something I have seen recently except in my own personal financial information where I don’t consider it useful.  However, here at SHN I am starting to view it differently.  Twenty nine cents is what it costs for volunteers to package one meal.  One meal will serve 6 people (very often children) sometimes being the only meal they will receive in a day.  That breaks down to 4.8 cents per person.  Amazing to me that for less than a US nickel we can feed a person.  That challenges me to think hard about the cents.  If through my project I can save SHN just $1000 it will feed 20,000 kids.  If I don’t get the $2.50 sweet tea (admittedly expensive but a reality) at lunch and opt for water that savings could feed 50 kids.   Now of course I will occasionally drink sweet tea in the future but I am now thinking about the cents and what they could mean in the lives of others.  What if we all think about the cents and apply them to good causes, what would that do and what kind of difference would that make just a few cents at the time?  I am challenged because I haven’t been thinking about the cents and really have not applied those that I have in meaningful ways.  That’s very much part of the gift of this experience, perspective and challenge!  I am continually grateful for this.    Who knows what next week will hold….