Pass It On: Dollar Difference

A woman shares an innovative approach her husband came up with for helping those who find themslves short at checkout.

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Posted in , Mar 24, 2015

An artist's rendering of a grocery cart filled with a food and a giant gift card

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and come up a little short on cash at checkout? As a financially challenged graduate student (and Guideposts intern), I have! Sometimes being just a dollar short means having to put back something I need.

Our reader Rebecca Campbell, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, shared a charitable solution her husband, Steve, came up with.

One day an elderly woman in front of him in the grocery checkout line had to put back several items. When he asked the cashier if it happened often, she nodded and said she would sometimes pay the difference out of her own pocket.

Steve bought a 20-dollar gift card and told the cashier to keep it on hand to use if customers came up short. He checks in on the card’s balance; when the funds run out, he buys a new one. It’s a quiet but effective way to help our neighbors meet a basic need—and something I hope I can do after graduation!

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