Is it still early enough in January to be dishing about New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s an idea that’s pretty unique.

Not to mention generous: giving away 100 bucks a day. Every day. For a year.

You don’t need to do the math: $36,500. Pay it forward!

Full disclosure: The auteur/donor of this year long project is my boss’s wife. But spreading the word about this is more about spreading the wealth than sucking up.

As Betty Londergan (photo at right) likes to say, “I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”

The money was left to her by her dad. Her mouth speaks for itself:

“As of yesterday,” she told friends on January 2, “I started a 365-day blog with the intention of giving away $100 a day to a person, cause or organization that I believe is making the world a better place. It’s actually quite thrilling to give away money (who knew???)… and I hope you’ll help me! First: you can find my blog at: http://whatgives365.wordpress.com.”

Londergan came to Atlanta with her husband, Larry Schall, when he became the 16th president of Oglethorpe University in 2005.

A clever marketing guru and author – she’s written two books: I’m Too Sexy for my Volvo and The Agony and the Agony – Betty did what any good Southerner would do in a new town: She found a church and immersed herself in it. “Every Sunday – all year long,” she wrote, “I’m going to be giving $100 to Our Lady of Lourdes, my amazing, adorable church in the heart of the Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district in Atlanta… I love OLOL so much, it’s ridiculous. It’s small, it’s mighty, it has awesome music (thanks to our Minister of Music and chair of Spelman College’s Department of Music, Dr. Kevin Johnson), and it’s got Father John Adamski – our tall, rail-thin, challenging, intellectual, lovely priest.”

Already, Londergan has given $100 to Sole for Souls, her favorite Starbucks barista, Trees Atlanta and Give Light. Find out more about them and her upcoming beneficiaries on the blog. And, here’s a cool part of her plan: “If you know somebody or some entity that you believe in,” she wrote invitingly, “use my ‘Vicarious Giving’ option: write me a short page about the cause, and if I like it, I’ll use your blog for the day and send the $100 to your cause. How easy is that?”

She’s serious about that. After I gave Larry and Betty a small bottle of honey to go with a donation in their name to pollinator.org – devoted to research to save bees – she invited me to write about the group to go with her $100 check to them.

Not only generous, I say, but creative, engaging and noteworthy. Check it out.

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Susan Soper

Susan Soper

Susan Soper is a longtime journalist: as a writer for Newsday where she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for The Heroin Trail, writer at CNN, Features Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Executive Editor at Atlanta INtown. Recently, she created and published a workbook, ObitKit (www.obitkit.com). She is currently working on a number of writing and editing projects, including obituaries and life stories. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Bo Holland. Her interests include hiking, reading, the arts, people (dead and alive) and, in a better economy, travel. Staying close to home these days, she takes and documents “Urban Hikes” and is interested in sharing sites of interest with readers of Like the Dew.

6 Comments
  1. Keith Graham

    Susan: “Not only generous … but creative, engaging and noteworthy.” I agree. I’m very impressed by what Ms. Londergan is doing. Your story is great, and I’ve just been reading her blog and think it’s wonderful, too. Thanks for letting us know about this.

  2. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a philanthropist? Despite our meager incomes, giving has long been important for my wife and myself. Many years ago we took on the tithing concept, not to one church, but to our community (including the church). We would give a percentage of our income to where it could benefit our community.

    Some years back when we had a $50,000 windfall profit on the sale of our property, our first notion was to give away 10% of it. We decided to give $500 checks to community groups for which $500 would be a large donation. The thrill of being able to give it was wonderful.

    We received far greater return on our investment in community through gifts, than we ever could have from investing it for our own good.

  3. Melinda Ennis

    Wow, I’m with Keith, this is amazing and so is Betty Londergan! I too just read through her blog and not only is this an ingeniously generous, idea, she is a very funny lady.
    I am already working on a proposal for her “vicarious giving” option.

  4. Awesome! What a kind, generous, thoughtful and caring person. For $ 100.00 a day she can give hope to any organization, group, person or cause to sustain themself/themselves, to endure, re-group, see the light at the end of the tunnel or get the nudge to continue and succeed.
    For the $100.00, I would imagine, she feels like a million bucks!
    Wouldn’t it be great to sit at Betty’s dinner table on any given night and see how her day went?

  5. Terri Evans

    This really is such a splendid idea. Thank you, Susie for exposing all of us to Betty Londergan and her unique idea.

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