Posts Tagged ‘Savings’

Today I ended up giving my $10 to two different people!

I was joined today by Rebecca Sheir from NPR.  We met at my apartment and talked for a little while and then set out to find a recipient.

On our walk we saw Anthony from Day 67.  He was his upbeat usual self.  The next time I see him I will let him know that Maureen is giving him some shoes!  He is going to be so excited.

Chatting with Nathan

Near the White House we found Nathan.  He looked deep in thought as he sat by himself on a bench.  Nathan is 52, lives in MD, and is unemployed.  He questions my intentions when I offer him the $10, but when he realizes that it is a genuine offer, he graciously accepts.

Nathan keeps a positive attitude despite being unemployed.  He says that he hasn’t bought hardly anything that he doesn’t truly need in over a year to help him save money.  In the video below he talks about having to move into a basement apartment to reduce his monthly expenditures even more.  He also shares what he is going to do with his $10.

You can find Rebecca Sheir’s report of this experience here.

We left Nathan and walked around the city some more.  Near Gallery Place we bumped into Ivory from Day 49.  It’s been over a month since I last saw him but he recognized me immediately.  He is still trying to get more books produced.  He recently got a shipment of 500 of them which he said he sold out of immediately.  Ironically as we chatted with him, the person who is helping him get his book published walked by.

We started walking back to Dupont Circle.  On our way we noticed a large tractor-trailer with expanded sides.  It was a mobile museum exhibit on the customs and traditions of the American funeral.  At first I thought this was a very odd exhibit to have, much less housed in the back of a trailer.  We were greeted by Harry who is the President of MRA Experiential Tours which operates the exhibit.

Harry in front of the American Funeral Museum (Photo: Reed)

He invites us inside and shares the history and culture of American funerals to us.  He proves to be very knowledgeable on the subject and we find out that he has first hand experience…he worked his way through college working at a funeral home.  The exhibit is very interesting and you can find out where it is going to be by checking their website.  Although, it might not be completely up to date as Washington, DC was not listed on their calendar.

Harry started in the shipping and freight forwarding business for events.  He later got the idea of having mobile exhibitions.  He now has about 20 trucks in the fleet.  He has done work for a variety of well-known companies such as Mattel, Boeing, Tabasco, AstraZeneca, Mazda, etc.

You might recall that on Day 82 Keith gave me $10.  I wanted to give that to someone but in addition to my regular amount that I give each day.  So since I already had given Nathan my $10, I used Keith’s $10 and gave it to Harry.  In turn Harry said that he would donate the money to the National Scholarship Program of the American Board of Funeral Service Education.  The scholarship program was established to provide financial awards to students enrolled in funeral service or mortuary science programs to assist them in obtaining their professional education. Established during the 1960’s the program has awarded scholarships to hundreds of students.

Thanks to both Keith and Harry for making that donation possible!

We took a different route back to Dupont Circle and guess who we ran into sitting in Franklin Square?  Nathan had met up with his brother and they were sitting talking to each other.  We were a few blocks from where we had originally met him.  Small world.

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Day 34 – Aminta

Today was one of those days that I waited until the end of the day to give away my $10.  I got home from my theatre rehearsal and headed out around 10:15pm to find someone.

I saw many people, but didn’t feel compelled to give anyone the money.  I don’t know why.  I am often asked to explain how I pick people.  There is really no secret formula.  It is more spontaneous than thought-out.  Some people think that I only look for homeless individuals.  That is not the case.  In fact, I think it is just as interesting to learn what someone who makes a six-figure salary is going to do with the money as it is someone who is homeless.  Granted, I feel better about giving the money when I know that it gets used for something that has value to someone else. 

Tonight I found Aminta sitting alone on a bench at a bus stop waiting for the D6 bus.  She was eating a slice of pizza from a big slice pizza joint.  I felt bad interrupting her, but I figured if she had time to eat a slice of pizza she probably had time to chat with me for a few minutes.  I explained what I was doing to the 27-year-old and she accepted my $10.  Usually the people I approach, especially late at night, appear a bit nervous or uncomfortable but she was very calm and relaxed. 

Originally from Puerto Rico, Aminta works at Target and has been in DC for about three months.  Her mother, who was living here in DC, got the swine flu and she moved her to take care of her.  In a weird twist of events, she arrived here on her two-year wedding anniversary and ended up separating from her husband on precisely that day.  “We are still great friends,” she told me.

I asked her what she planned to do with the $10.  She said, “I am going to save it for one year and then we can get together and figure out what to do with it then.”  Interesting answer.  I scribble my John Hancock on the bill and date it in some attempt to mark the bill as the one that I gave her. 

I see the D6 pulling up and tell her that I think her bus has arrived.  She gathers her things, accidentally dropping her to go box of pizza on the ground.  Thankfully, the pizza stayed inside the box.  We shook hands and went our separate ways into the night.

It would be interesting to meet up with the recipients at the end of the year.  Maybe we can throw a little party or something?  Would be interesting to see who would come.  Perhaps some people who have followed the blog would come as well as some recipients.  I will keep that idea in mind.

By the way, I have not forgotten about Mark from Day 29!  I am going to follow up with him tonight to see what he has decided to do with the $10.

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