Finding money in the strangest places

August 5, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Kevyn O&#039;Neill for Mercy Corps  </span>
    My Harley-Davidson wallet and two nice surprises. Photo: Kevyn O'Neill for Mercy Corps

Finding money in the strangest places -- that's a message I've heard a number of times from donor friends of Mercy Corps. I was reminded of this when, a few weeks ago, I was rummaging through my old motorcycle leathers preparing for a benefit ride for Mercy Corps (stay tuned for an upcoming blog). I found my long lost Harley Davidson wallet. I dusted it off and unzipped it...surprise! Two long forgotten, crisp $20 bills! A sweet little windfall. So, that goes into the Mercy Corps fund.

Some fascinating stories over years: A donor wrote and told me how he was settling his late father's estate when he came upon an old safe in the garage. Once opened, it yielded long-held stock and bond certificates, jewelry and cash. He sent a percentage to Mercy Corps, a very significant sum.

A young woman called me some years ago saying she had received land in her grandmother's will. She put it up for sale and later sent a very substantial gift for Mercy Corps' war refugees programs.

A graduating college student in Portland, Oregon wanted to support Mercy Corps but lacked the cash to make a donation. So he sold his four-wheel-drive Toyota pickup and donated the cash before traveling overseas as a church volunteer.

Where there's a will to help, there's always a way! And sometimes there are providential little (and large) surprises in the process. Turn your "radar" on and be open — you may be in for a pleasant surprise.