“Excuse me, do you have any spare change?” How many times have we all gotten that question? Some of us ignore the person and mutter: “Get a job.” Others wonder if the money will just be used to buy booze or drugs.

Some bridle at the very concept of the word “spare” describing money. Others reach into their pockets and give something. I think at some level, all of us feel bad that one of our fellow humans – for whatever the reason – is reduced to beggary on the street.

So here is a modest suggestion to morph “spare change” into a regular giving opportunity.

 First: Collect your spare change every night. I have often paid for things with paper money even though I have the right change – just to increase my spare change supply.

 Second: Have everyone in the family do this. Put it in one container in the kitchen or family room so everyone can participate.

 Third: Get free coin wrappers at a bank. Once a month, have everyone sit at a table to sort the coins and to wrap them. It’s easy to do with small plastic tubes sized for each coin available at stores for just a few dollars. No other overhead required. Count the spare change, and you will be surprised how much is there.

 Fourth: Decide together what needy person or charity will receive that month’s spare change and donate it personally.

Be assured your spare change will make a difference to the recipient and for you.

James Broder

Cumberland Foreside