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2019–a surprising new project

Posted on January 10, 2019 | Comments

My New Year greetings begin with a story about a gift card, a conversation and a dream come true.

Not knowing the amount on a gift card, I was thrilled that twenty five dollars remained after my purchase. In casual conversation with the cashier, she commented how she’d love a gift card from that store. The moment to hand it to her passed before I took action. 

If something is meant to be, another opportunity will present itself. Driving to my next errand, I pondered the idea of creating happy surprises for others and a simple plan took shape. After a couple of stops to get supplies (note cards, printing labels and tiny envelopes) I went to work on my new project called Just for YOU, Just Because.

On the inside of colorful note cards, I glued small envelopes each containing a ten dollar bill. A printed label was affixed to the card’s front side with the following:  “This gift is for you—just because. Its intention is to share the joy of receiving a delightful surprise. Use it as you wish and may each dollar you spend abundantly return to you at least ten times in blessings and good fortune. If this made your day, please share the idea with others.” Each was sealed with a heart sticker and a label on the envelope that said, “Just for You, Just Because.”

Christmas day I drove to Santa Ana in the afternoon with ten envelopes. When I saw an open gas station, market, or fast food place, I stopped, went inside and handed the cashier an envelope. No names, no photos, no nothing. My heart is forever imprinted with the huge smile greeting Marquez gave me not even knowing I had something for her. Same with the young girl at a donut shop, the clerk at a busy grocery store, the tired-looking man at a mini-mart or the barista taking care of several coffee-to-go customers at a kiosk inside a drug store. My last recipient was an elderly lady sitting at a bus stop trying to keep warm. Quickly I made a U-turn just ahead of her bus, hopped out of my car and handed her the envelope just in time. Simply the best feeling ever!

It has always been my dream to be a philanthropist when I grew up. Over the years I’ve realized that it’s not how much we give rather the spirit in which we give it. My intention is to expand this project throughout 2019–would you like to join me?

Originally published in OC Register, January 10, 2019

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  1. i love doing things like this. I give homemade chocolate cookies and give them to people who have been around and in my life for that year. Its great to say thanks for being there. I made over 200 cookies .

    have a great time in 2019.

    Love nancy

  2. Wonderful Cheryl. So proud of you. May the New Year bring abundance: contentment, peace, prosperity and good health.

    Sending love from our visit to Naples Florida.

    Rhona and Norman

  3. Wonderful Cheryl.

    So proud of you. May the New Year bring abundance: contentment, peace, prosperity and good health.

    Sending love from our visit to Naples Florida.

    Rhona and Norman

  4. LOVE IT, Cheryl!!! Are you going to make those little cards for us to buy and do the same?
    When Kevin was in Cub Scouts, we had the idea to make “Care Bags”, we would keep in the car for the homeless on the streets. Inside was a gift certificate to McDonald’s, water bottle, snack, toothbrush or comb and a scripture of God’s love for them.

    • Hi Carla,
      I recall you mentioning the Cub Scouts project a long time ago…it all adds up to reaching out in love. The idea of making packets of 10 cards has definitely crossed my mind. I’ve been asked to speak at a church Feb 3 and lead the congregation in the project. Very exciting. Would you like a packet of ten cards? I have a few made up and can certainly make more 🙂

  5. Love this idea! Preparing a special envelope for the gift is so much better and more meaningful than simply handing someone a ten dollar bill.i will definitely do this and also create some magical moments in the lives of strangers. Thank you.

    • Glad you like the idea MaryAnn. Eager to hear your Just For You, Just Because stories!

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