Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Gum Samaritan

By Gail P. Smith

"Grammy, do you have some gum?"  Four-year-old Naomi has already figured out that I'm the "Gum Grammy."  I checked my purse and when I didn't find any we headed up to the counter at Caribou Coffee to get a pack of "Peppermint Vanilla" sugar-free gum. Mmmm, sounds yummy, right?

 Naomi tried one piece and, of course, hated it.  I put it away in my purse, pulling out a piece from time to time, but I never really looked at the package. I mean, who looks at gum packages?

As I got to the last of the gum and pulled the empty package out of my purse to pitch it, the back of it caught my eye.  It read: "Each tray of gum provides 7 meals in American communites." It continued on and hopefully, I've made the above photo large enough for you to read the "FACT" part for yourself.

"Wow," I thought, "I only spent $2 provided 7 meals? That's a lot of bang for your buck." I turned the package over, looking for a loophole of some kind and on the inside I found this:

Unexpected to say the least, but very cool nevertheless. I cut the card out and did my good deed.  I called my daughter from the grocery store to ask if she needed anything.  I was able to help her out by buying the veggies she needed for dinner that night. I delivered them and marked off square #1 and gave the card to her to "pay it forward." She has since passed it on to someone she helped out by babysitting.  Pretty good for just a pack of gum.

To find out more about Project 7 I visited their website where I discovered their mission statement: "We make everyday products for good that help fund seven areas of need across the globe. Join our community and help 'Change the Score.'” They make the point that people think because they can't volunteer, they can't do anything. 

But Project 7 founder, Tyler Merrick believes, "We can change the world simply by changing what you buy. Little purchases can make a big impact."  "Little purchases," like a package of gum, that can feed 7 hungry people.

But, hey, don't take my word for it.  I'd invite you to take a look at Project 7's  website and see for yourself the things they are doing to help the average consumer help change the world. Or you can take a look at them on YouTube.  Check it out.  Maybe there is some small thing you can do to make someone else's life better.

"Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’" Matthew 25:40 (The Message)

It's just a little thing to us, but who knows what God can make out of it? That's one pack of gum that left a real sweet taste in my mouth.

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