I suppose this is one of those proverbial "If you stopped buying a coffee at Starbucks for a month, what could you do with the money you saved?"
screeds, but here in the west, for many of us, a hundred dollars isn't what it once was. I've spent $100 on gadgets for my kitchen, or a handful of
books, or a couple of shirts that I wear once a year, without even thinking about it. If I give a hundred to one of my nieces or nephews for their
birthday or Christmas, they can buy one video game, the guidebook for it, and that's about it.
A number of years ago, a woman at my church stood up to talk about a charitable organization that she was involved with. They are focused on children
in Latin America and Africa, running schools in areas of extreme poverty, where the government doesn't provide such. (As this is not a sales pitch
for that particular charity, I will not name them -- PM me if you really need to know.) By sponsoring one of the kids in the school, you support the
school directly, and the kid writes you letters a couple of times a year, and if you want, you can write back.
Well, this presentation at church was shortly after my wife died, so I had less expenses and was feeling the need to be connected to someone, so I
sponsored a kid in Bolivia. Turned out that I sponsored him right as he was graduating (the school taught him tailoring as a trade,) so when they sent
me a notice that he had graduated and did I want to sponsor another one, the monthly cost (about $50) wasn't missed, so I upped it to $90 and
sponsored two kids (both in Bolivia, and I made sure that they weren't too old this time, lol.)
In addition to the monthly fee, which goes to the school, you have the opportunity to send the kid's family money directly (it goes through the
charity -- for security and privacy reasons, you never have direct access to anyone,) so for the past couple of years, I've been sending them both
$100 for Christmas, Easter and their birthdays.
They must have used the first couple of gifts to buy a camera, because of late, they've been sending pictures of what they bought with the money, and
the first one literally brought tears to my eyes.
Look at all that food that they bought! When I saw that, I was almost ashamed of the way that I treat money -- I doubt that they bought all that stuff
as "bonus food", they had a real need for it. The kid also got a set of clothes and a pair of shoes.
Second picture, more food and clothes, and I think he said that he got one toy, as well.
Third picture, not much food, but a bed! I don't know what he was sleeping on before, but now he's got an honest-to-pete bed!
That's the second kid, he's just sent the one picture, and he got a bit of food also, but the family got a nice table "for dinners and for me to
study at." Nice.
So, what can you do with a hundred bucks?
If you're a poor kid in Bolivia, apparently a heck of a lot.