investing

Street philanthropy

Wednesday, March 24
Posted: 11 a.m. EDT

Philanthropists come in all forms, and kindness from unexpected places. Consider Reed Sandridge, a 36-year-old unemployed manager of a health nonprofit.

During his period of unemployment, Sandridge has pledged to walk the streets where he lives and give away $10 per day to a person who could use it, no strings attached. He started in December, and plans to make it his mission every day for a year. He has been writing a blog about his experience.

According to an article in The Washington Post, giving comes naturally to Sandridge. His mother was the daughter of a coal miner who told him that when you're going through tough times, that's when you need to give back.

Sandridge says he doesn't care what people do with the money, and at first, he had trouble convincing recipients they didn't have to do anything for the cash. But he's come away with some inspirational stories of how people will use the money -- most tell him they will buy food, but many pledge to use it to help others who need it even more. Several of the recipients are looking for their next drink.

Handing out cash to people in need is the ultimate form of personal giving -- no reports from charitable organizations or tax breaks required -- and it's an experience Sandridge says he finds fulfilling. He acknowledges that he might be able to help one person more if he donated the entire year's pledge of $3,650, but his interactions with strangers in need every day are no doubt giving him a renewed perspective on life.

What are your thoughts on Sandridge's method of philanthropy?

Calculate your net worth.

Watch a video on how to check a charity before giving.

Questions? Comments? E-mail jmartel@bankrate.com

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