Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009. 11:44am.

Envelope #67

Hi may name is Lourie I'm a supervisor @ wholefoods market where we found the loose change it's been in the lock box for over a month so i finally open it to see whom it may belong to and to find a letter inside that said.
Congratulation!  You have been selected to loose change the world. So I just want to Thank You for your donation I put it toward the Whole Planet Foundation. There email address is wholeplanetfoundation.org.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009. 7:04pm.

Envelope #7

I was fortunate enough to find the envelope. I opened it up anticipating a lottery ticket with a prize of several million dollars. But I snapped back to reality and found some change that was just as good. I took the money and provided a homeless man who stands on the Fullerton exit everyday as I make my way to work, with some food. He was so grateful and it made my day too.

We always take the change we find on the ground for granted because we feel it's too small to get us anywhere. However that change changed an individual's life, even if it was just for that moment. Thank you and I am so grateful I was able to be a part of this process.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009. 9:11am.

Envelope #36

I used the loose change to tip the Starbucks baristas this morning. They are always very friendly and even remember my drink order. 

Monday, January 19, 2009. 11:47pm

Envelope #27

I doubled the amount ($1.53) to $3.06 and gave it to one Streetwise vendor without buying the Streetwise.

Saturday, January 10, 2009. 5:04pm

Envelope not referenced.

Thank you for the loose change. It was put to a good use; one week I was having lunch and forgot my bank card. I wanted a soda and chips with my sandwich and suddenly I remember the wonderful gift; and my lunch was complete. I just want to say that the world is a better place when you know that giving from the kindly of heart always bring blessing to those who give and for those who receive will pass on the blessing to other.

Thank you and may God continue to bless you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009. 4:38pm

Envelope #51

I found your envelope at the barnes and noble where I work in chicago. I ended up buying a cookie for our local streetwise vendor. He said he was going to share it with his granddaughter when he got home.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009. 4:02pm.

Our first response... Envelope #8

I found an envelope outside and when I opened it I was instructed to use it for someone who needs it more than I do.
The money in the envelope was added to our class collection for Children's Memorial Hospital.  At the end of the year all money
Collected will go to purchase Arts & crafts, books, DVDS, games etc. for children receiving in or out patient services.

Thank you for making a difference...keep up the good work!!!

go forth. (loose) change the world.

The Loose Change the World project was not forgotten after our enthusiastic planning in the fall. With the demands of a rigorous curriculum, I simply needed to wait for a break to take our "step two" in the process. And boy did we.

Students in each section (three sections of eighteen; one section of seventeen) collaboratively brainstormed ideas for our project:

How much money do we put in the envelopes?
What is our portal of contact? 
How will people know this is GOOD and not a terrorist threat? (Sometimes I get really, really sad living in a post 9-11 world and interacting daily with adolescents who haven't KNOWN anything but post 9-11.)
Should we write a note? (Yes.) What will it say? (Brainstorm.)

Across the sections, the responses were unanimous:

1. Students opted to include a minimum of $0.50 in each envelope and a maximum of $3.00.
2. All the loose change would come from their own stashes: saved change accumulated in piggy banks, a sweep under the couch cushions, a parent's cup-holder in the car, or at the very least, from a stash provided by their teacher.
3. Envelopes would be distributed ANYWHERE--not limiting the students to just our school and surrounding community. This meant that as students departed for holiday break, they placed envelopes in cabs, at airport terminals, in CTA stations, bookstores, doctors' offices, park benches, restaurants (some even left it as an extra tip!)... The list was endless.
4. Included in each envelope was a HAND-WRITTEN NOTE (a lost art form in these days of IM and txting) that said something like the following:

You have been chosen to "Loose Change the World!" We are a group of middle school students that left this envelope for you. Use it to buy a coffee, pay your CTA fare, or even better, use it to help make someone else's day just a little bit better. All we ask is that you email us at loosechangetheworld.com and tell us how you used it. Please include this number ___ in the subject line. Thank you!

The students came up with this phrase and meticulously copied each word, perfect spelling at all, along with a number I assigned them randomly in hopes of tracking the envelopes. 

It's hard to put their level of excitement into words. Of course, the idea of getting ANY kind of response was invigorating to their developing minds. But I truly believe my little philanthropists were more excited as they envisioned peoples' faces tearing into the envelopes and finding such an incredible surprise inside. 

On the day of break, envelopes were decorated and students were sent into the abyss to Loose Change the World. We could only wait and excitedly refresh the email inbox...