A Generosity Dinner: Meet Tristan Pringle

When we visited our home in South Africa in January this year, my wife Valerie and I hosted what we at Common Change refer to as a ‘Generosity Dinner’. You invite some friends over for a meal and each person donates some money into a common pool and then as a group you decide what needs [of people you know and care about] you will meet with that money as a gift to those people. Tristan Pringle attended the Dinner we ran and was inspired by it so much that he decided to host his own. I asked him to share the story of how that went: A while back a few of us felt compelled to create or be part of a platform where we were able to have gospel charged robust conversations about Justice. We formed an informal group of people committed to get together every few months and chat about social justice; we called it ‘Jesus Justice Us’. Our aim is to empower each other to talk about Justice and actively seek for an outlet for the things we learn. We are compelled by love, fueled by the Gospel, and we have Jesus as our main example. My friend Chido and I spent hours talking about what to do with the group and what Jesus meant...

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girlsgivinggrants

Girls Giving Grants demonstrates the viability of a Common Change type system…

  It is so exciting to go online and discover an article like this one which highlights the group Girls Giving Grants, who,  as the name implies, are a group of girls [52 to be precise] who pool their money [$100] and then offer a selection of grants to ‘an organization [that] must be a tax-exempt charity with a program improving the lives of young people in Travis, Hays, Bastrop or Williamson counties.’   The idea is based on the premise that: One girl with $100 may not make much of a difference. But 52 girls with $5,200 can. Which is an exact modeling of what our non-profit organisation, Common Change, does in terms of creating the platform for you and a group of friends [whether girls or not]. The realisation that we can achieve more [and affect more] together than we can do on our own. And also the idea that it feel so much more life-giving to do this kind of thing with a group of people than by myself. Earlier this year, the girls selected Easter Seals Central Texas as their 2013 grant award recipient. The money helped provide speech, occupational and physical therapies as well as audiology services for eight disabled children. It is really that simple – gather a group of friends, start donating...

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mcbudget

The McBudget, and our distance from poverty

As you have quite well already heard, in response to the recent protests by their workers in favor of a higher wage McDonald’s released a “Practical Money Skills: Budget Journal” for use by their employees. The budget journal has the intended purpose of educating their employees on how to live within the means provided by a normal fast food worker’s wage, and no doubt was also intended to dampen support for the protests by showing that doing so was possible. Despite what side of the political spectrum commentators have been on regarding the protests, one reaction to the budget has been nearly unanimous: it is ridiculously unrealistic. As just some examples – the income side of the equation assumes two jobs that either a) earn significantly more than fast food workers make or b) requires a 70 hour work week, while the expenses side assumes a $20 a month health insurance plan and doesn’t even contain categories for food, clothing, childcare and others. Numerous groups and individuals have pointed out the problem with the budget, from Time magazine to Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald, with the latter calling the sample budget “an insult to those living in poverty.” As I reflect on the issues of poverty, one thing that I am constantly reminded of is the distance...

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Some of the Stories of Common Change

Common Change is all about connecting resources to needs through relationships and it is these relationships that form the backdrop to numerous incredible stories of life transformation or simpler acts of encouragement or assistance in a tough time. As we continue to grow, so will the stories – have a read or take a listen to some of these to get a glimpse of the heart of Common Change and what we get to see happen on a regular basis: Meet Abi Ornellis and hear a little bit about her trip to go and work in an orphanage in Tanzania and the exciting things that transpired there. Meet Emiel, Philippa and their family who faced a bit of a crisis while working in Japan, giving a Common Change group the opportunity to be a part of the solution. Meet Brett “Fish” Anderson and hear how his being part of CC suddenly took on new life as he was able to help out some friends of his. Plus we have a whole collection of other stories being built up on the Common Change site blog. And we look forward to adding your story someday… To get involved or find out more, head across to https://commonchange.com and sign up. Also join and like the ‘Common Change’ group on Facebook or follow us on Twitter...

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What stands out for me in my involvement with Common Change – Relationships [Ben Younan]

Ben has been involved with Common Change since the early days of the Relational Tithe experiment which was the forerunner to this Collaborative Giving tool that is now available for everyone to experience. In this short clip, Ben explains how for him it is the relationship aspect that really makes Common Change such a significant thing for his family to be a part of. [youtube=http://youtu.be/tf2DbRv3jpY]   For more information on how Common Change works or to sign up and get started head to the Common Change website and get connected. Also join and like ‘Common Change’ on Facebook or follow us @4CommonChange on Twitter....

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