One person can make a difference and everyone should try.
JFK

Since Fall 2014, every semester I give each of my students $5
to use to do something good, to help someone, to make the world a little better.
Below are some of the things that they have done with their $5.

Spring 2020
  • I just wanted to let you know that I used the $5 you gave us to venmo a friend who just got accepted to his dream job. I sent the $5 with the memo to spend it on a coffee/drink to celebrate being accepted to Air Force Pilot training and that I was proud of him.
  • I bought my friend boba with $5.
  • For the $5 good deed, I bought frozen yogurt for the old couple behind me in line at Toppings.
  • For my $5 Good Deed, I donated money to the ASPCA. This organization is near and dear to my heart. I've volunteered there many times and loved this opportunity to feed hungry animals in need. A little goes a long way, and I was very happy to use the money you gave me as well as some of my own to support such a worthy cause...and show rescued animals some well deserved love.
  • I’m just emailing you to say what I did with my $5, I’m friends with (another student) who is in the 11 am section and she had been having a really hard week so I bought her dinner at Whole Foods (definitely went over the $5 since it’s Whole Foods). Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for the encouraging words on the last day of class because they really helped.
  • I treated my friend to coffee off campus as a way for us to say bye for the next few months... thank you so much for this, we got to try Blue Bottle and now it’s one of our favorites!!
  • I was driving home from taking my dad's car in for repairs when I saw kids lining up outside of the elementary school down the street from my house, waiting to enter in for a meal that they would ordinarily be able to receive during school hours but could not due to coronavirus shutdowns. I drove home and proceeded to grab the 5 dollar bill you had given me, put my dog on a leash and we went out the doore. As I walked to the school, kids were also walking out and down the street to go home. I saw a little girl up ahead. I stopped her, explained that I was given 5 dollars to do a good deed, handed her the money and told her that she should buy herself a treat with it. She gave a big smile, said thank you, and walked away.
  • For the $5 assignment, I used the money to buy my friend a Starbucks drink during the "festivities" of last week. I felt that he needed something to get him through the chaos. This gave us a chance to also take some time to talk before we would have to go quite a long time without seeing each other.
  • I hope this email finds you well. I am emailing you about my good deed that I did before we had to leave campus. On Wednesday the 9th of March, I bought two of my best friends their favorite candy and I brought it to our physics class. We had a big physics test on Friday and I knew they were stressed, so I bought them candy as a reminder that I was thinking of them.
  • Today I did my $5 good deed. To set you up on why this meant so much to my sister and why this would count as a good deed, I have to tell you about our current situation. I live in the bay area, and as you probably have heard, we are on a shelter in place order. If you have not heard, shelter in place means that we can not leave our house unless we are getting food or going to the doctor. Carolina, my sister, has four kids and has number five on the way. Because of this shelter in place order, all of the kiddos school is closed! For the next month, my sister has become a homeschool teacher. She has made lesson plans and preps meals and games far after the little ones have gone to sleep. On top of this, she has a job that she gets done between teaching lessons. My sister's husband is the worship pastor at our church. Obviously, we are not allowed to go to church in the ordinary sense, so everything has to be streamed on Sunday mornings. To make this plan work, they made their daughter's room into a recording studio so that he can film for the services. This displaced Lyanna, their daughter, into their bedroom! My good deed for these hard-working parents was to order them coffee. This was something little, but it brightened their day to get some fuel in a time that they are running on low energy.
  • For the $5, I bought the cookies from the Girl Scouts for a first time. I think they deserve it and that they should be encouraged in their endeavors. I also got the chocolate cookies with mint because I remembered you once said it was the best when I was in maths Colloquium with you!
  • Using the $5 you gave me, I made an order of 2 anklets for my roommate and I (with an addition of about $25 of my own money). We were very sad to leave each other and will most likely not be able to meet again for 10 months so I decided to order matching anklets with the coordinates of our freshman dorm room imprinted on it - the location we first met and last parted. I have mailed her anklet to her and just wanted to brighten her day up a little bit amidst all of this chaos.
  • For my $5 assignment I gave it to a homeless person on the side of the street. She was very sweet and had a little puppy with her.
  • For the $5, I met a person named Abraham at a conference and when we met to eat I paid for his food which was more than $5. :)
  • I added the $5 you gave me to my donation to the Humane Society of Australia. It will go towards helping the koalas that were greatly affected by the Australian wildfires.
  • I used my 5 dollars as part of a donation to a foundation that is helping to provide personal protective equipment to medical professionals working to treat people with coronavirus.
  • When we were back at school, my roommate was complaining how she was sick and tired of food at the school cafeteria. I suggested we go to Whole Foods or Taco Bell, but she showed me her bank account (it only had $6 left in it) and said she couldn’t afford it. I knew she was struggling paying rent and such, so I used the $5 (and some of my own money) to get our favorite Whole Foods meal (PIZZA!). She was so grateful that she cried! I felt really good that I could bring her a little bit of joy in a stressful time.
  • My step-dad runs a vacuum store and has started repurposing vacuum bags to serve as masks for local needs in the assisted living homes and other places that need them due to a higher risk or just the need for a safe environment. He started accepting money as donations to go toward getting more supplies so that's what I decided to put the $5 toward.
  • I donated my $5 to the Hare Krishna ISKON Temple in Culver City. I know they give out free meals every Sunday to the homeless and also a book that they have sponsored by one of their followers that is based on their teachings has began to bring me great peace and knowledge in my life, especially in terms of how I act and value money. This was a way of saying thank you to them, showing them that their teachings have taught me to value money through the benefit and happiness of others that NEED it for essential things, and supporting their good influence on and care for other people and the community.
  • I have also utilized the $5 during the week of the Covid-19 chaos at Pepperdine in order to try and bring some happiness to a friend. Thank you for this opportunity to allow us to remember the importance of kindness during such tumultuous times.
  • I decided to donate the $5 that you gave us to WHO for the COVID-19 solidarity response fund. I think it's really cool that you encourage your students to do good deeds. I hope that this becomes a trend, as I think we need to see more people doing nice things.
  • I gave this money to the University Church at Pepperdine. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this. It made me feel like I was doing something important.
  • Today, my brothers and I went to McDonalds and used the $5 to pay for a meal and gave it to a homeless man down the street. Homelessness is an issue where I live, and I can't even imagine how difficult it is to be dealing with that during this pandemic. I decided it was the best way to give back in my community, so that's what I did! In addition, I just wanted to thank you for inspiring positivity and giving back in your classes! It means so much that teachers like you show us students that you care about more than our grades or getting through the material. You care about us and the impact we're making on this world! I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and to let you know what positive impact your $5 is making in my community!
  • For the $5 good deed, I used the money as part of a donation to Feeding America. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!
  • I donated my $5 to a family friend who has been making masks for the healthcare workers in my town, so she could continue buying the supplies needed to make them.
  • I put my $5 plus more towards a donation to Feeding America to help out those in need during this time.
  • I gave the five dollars to my parents do to grocery shopping. I couldn’t do much since I am not allowed to go outside the house.
  • I used the $5 (well I used the local currency but thinking about those $5) with some of my own money to go grocery shopping and then giving food to people that lost their jobs due to this pandemic.
  • When I was getting coffee from a shop, on the way out my friend and I passed a man about our age who had a sign saying he was hungry. We both chipped in to get him a coffee, a donut, and I had the $5 you gave us in my wallet, so I tucked that into his napkin!
  • I completely forgot about the $5 bill that you gave us with the intention of doing a good act, until last week. I found it and was trying to figure out what good I could do with it now that I'm in quarantine, so I ended up giving it to my brother so he could go and buy himself a Little Caesars pizza when he went back to work up in L.A.
  • I wanted to tell you that I bought my friend some ice cream with the $5 because she was having a really rough few days because of classes.
  • I'd also like to let you know that I used the $5 you provided us with to pay for gas for my friend who drove me home from campus when we were supposed to leave. He was able to help me move out knowing that my parents were unable to pick me up so I paid for his gas and for helping me out so quickly.
  • With the $5 you gave me, I bought my mom some flowers.
  • For my good deed, I gave the five dollars to put towards the order of the person behind me in the drive through line at McDonalds. I just thought that might brighten someone’s day during these difficult times.
  • I used the $5 to help out with buying groceries for our local food bank based on what their needs are during quarantine.
  • Recently I've been feeling called to financially support the areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. With this in mind, I decided to donate your $5 to the Food Bank of the Rockies. I am located in Denver right now, and the Food Bank of the Rockies does great work in providing meals for people who are in need. Since you're a numbers guy, I thought I'd let you know that $1 = four meals. I'll let you figure out how many meals your $5 was capable of providing for people in the Denver area :)

Fall 2019
  • Last week I went to Koreantown, and I met this person asking for donations toward anti-human trafficking campaign. I didn't trust her enough because she couldn't explain the campaign well, so I didn't donate. However, she did bring my attention to this cause. I did some research to find a good and reliable anti-human trafficking organization and donated the $5. Thank you for this opportunity!
  • Last night, I treated my friend to dessert at his favorite ice cream shop after a really hard week of exams and applying to grad school. He was so happy, but I think I was happier seeing the way a small gesture can make a huge difference in somebody's day. I wanted to thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to do things like this as it can sometimes be easy to forget how important it is to give to others. You've shown us that kindness to others is one of the most valuable things. The world needs more people like you!
  • With the $5, I used it to buy an upperclassman lunch yesterday. This upperclassman has been a great source of guidance and encouragement through my first semester at Pepperdine. I decided to repay him with a little token of appreciation. Thanks!
  • My good deed with the $5 you gave me was giving the money to one of my close friends. This friend of mine has always been there for me in the past, and recently they've been struggling with some personal issues. So even though the $5 isn't a ton of money, he accepted it and he seemed very appreciative. Just wanted to thank you for creating such a thoughtful assignment, it felt good to just be intentional about the welfare of others for a minute on such a fast-paced environment like Pepperdine.
  • For my $5, I paid for one of my sorority sister's lunch. It was just in the cafe, but I enjoyed spending that time with her, and I felt good about paying for her food!
  • I spent the $5 to buy my roommate medicine because she was very sick with a sinus infection but did not want to buy medicine for herself.
  • I bought my sad roommate a Starbucks sandwich to cheer her up.
  • My roommate is in the upcoming musical production and she is often stuck on rehearsals each day from 5 to 11 or later. She often can't eat beforehand because of classes, so I bought her a box of energy bars for in her locker to help her stay on top of her performances!
  • For my $5 good deed, I decided to do something for my hometown of Chicago. Last winter was one of the coldest winters in Chicago history. With temperatures reaching as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the polar vortex. This upcoming winter appears to have the potential to be just as brutal as last year. There have already been temperatures below freezing and snow on the ground this fall. These harsh conditions pose a great threat to many in the homeless population of Chicago. Especially those who do not have adequate protection from the cold weather. I decided to match your $5 and donate it to the Chicago coat drive. Hopefully, this money will be used to help keep someone a little warmer and safer this winter. Thank you for this very cool project!
  • I just want to thank you for giving us an opportunity to do a random kindness! Last Saturday, I saw a homeless woman on the third street of Santa Monica, and she was holding a sign written "random kindness." I think this is a sign from God and I gave her that five dollar bill. I'm glad that I was able to help her, and this is because of you.
  • Also, I finally was able to find something nice to do with the $5 you gave all of us. My roommate and I went out to eat a few days ago, and he needed a few extra dollars to pay for his meal, so I remembered the $5 and gave him the $5 so he could enjoy his dinner.
  • I was at the Malibu Country Mart on November 23 walking around and then my friends and I decided to go to Sunlife Organics. On the way to Sunlife, I saw a homeless guy beside a dustbin eating some garbage. I decided to get him a nice Hawaiian bowl. It is around $11, so I added $6 more to the $5 you gave. When I gave the poor guy a whole bowl of fresh fruits, the smile on his face was worth thousands.
  • Thank you for giving your students the opportunity to help others. With my $5, I bought my friend lunch at Whole Foods. She had been stressed about money and was very grateful.
  • I hope your Thanksgiving was well, and I hope you enjoy the rest of you break. This month my team lead for Jump Start lost a family member and had to leave the state for the funeral. I felt awful and felt moved to do something nice for him in an attempt to comfort him. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to use the $5 that had been sitting on my desk at home. I texted the rest of the girls on my team and told them we should get together and do something for our team lead. We decided to go to Ralphs and buy a sweet card and sweets! We ended up baking him frosted snowman cookies and brownies! When he got back we brought them to him with the card, and told him how much he meant to us and that we're all there for him. He was very appreciative of the thought we put into wanting to be there for him. It felt good to be able to try to help a friend who was going through an exceptionally difficult time. It made us all feel better to see him smile.
  • With my $5 dollars I gave it to a friend for his lunch. College is no joke when it comes to its price tag and Pepperdine is increasingly expensive. I know how much a free meal can mean and felt that it was a small act that goes along way.
  • What happened was that I was walking out of the beach with a friend at night and I saw a homeless woman laying down on the sand, so she came and asked us if we had cigarettes or something she could smoke. Since that moment, I and my friend started talking for a long time with her, and she told us that she was walking to Whole Foods. In the beginning, we did not know she was homeless because she did not look like one, but as we started our conversation, she told us. After that, we kept walking together and we decided to go to the three of us together to the supermarket. She told us she only had 10 dollars, so we did not want her to run out of money, and we bought a lot of food and drinks for her. We honestly had a really interesting conversation. We also saw her a few days later at the beach and we talked for a long time again and gave her some food.
  • While I was in line at CVS in LA, there was a woman in front of me attempting to purchase children's cold medicine for her son (who was with her and obviously sick). When it was her turn to check out, she noticed that she was a few dollars short. She started counting out the change and began feeling embarrassed that she was holding up the line. When she realized she didn't have enough money, she told the cashier in broken English that she didn't have enough money with her and began to walk away. I stopped her and told her to wait. I decided to pay for the entire bottle of cold medicine so that she could save the money that she had for something more important. She gave me a huge hug and kept saying "thank you" to me a million times. This was almost too perfect of a way for me to use my $5, but I am so grateful that you gave me the opportunity to do something like this.
  • I bought my roommate a cup of milk tea on Thanksgiving and he is very happy and appreciative of it.
  • I spent the five dollars to get my sister a donut from a donut shop in Newport when she visited California this past November
  • I bought a pack of six coffee energy shot which I used the $5 dollar plus $3 more dollars of my own. I got the coffee shots for my suite mates and my roommate. I told them the coffee shots were for them to help them during finals week. Let them know they were on the fridge for them to take.
  • It was my friend’s birthday this past week and she asked for donations to help the country of Sierra Leone, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. I used the $5 to make a donation which she was very grateful for :). Thank you for this opportunity, your class has definitely inspired me to do more good for others.
  • My $5 was spent on another's parking at the arrival parking structures. While I am unaware of the social economic standing of whoever's parking I paid for, I know first hand how stressful LAX and LAX parking can truly be. My goal in doing this was to alleviate any stress I could in leaving the structure and paying for parking. When leaving the parking garage, I handed the man working the parking garage payments at the booth the $5 and told him to use it on the car behind me.
  • I was driving home the other day and it was pouring rain. I was on the offramp from the freeway and I saw a homeless man asking for money. He was wearing short sleeves and getting absolutely soaked. I only had a $10 bill with me, so I gave him it.
  • The same day you gave us the envelopes with $5, I went to Santa Monica with my friends. We were walking down the street and a middle aged guy was playing the drums for money. He was fairly good and looked happy doing it, so I decided that would be the perfect opportunity to give him $5.
  • With the $5 you gave us, I bought my grandma a beautiful card and wrote her a long letter. My grandpa recently passed away and I know she's been a little lonely without him, so I just wanted to let her know that her grandchildren are still there for her.
  • I put the $5 to put towards goody bags for the gals in my suite to celebrate finals and the holidays!
  • I went to Target while I was home in Washington and waited until I saw someone who looked like they could benefit from the $5, I spent more than 5 but this project gave me the idea! I bought a woman's items and she was extremely grateful and appreciative. Thank you for encouraging us to do this!
  • Today I was in line at Starbucks and saw that someone that had ran out of meal points. So I offered to pay for their order.
  • For my $5 Good Deed, there was a man asking for some spare change outside of chipotle, so I decided to buy him a meal from Chipotle and give him some money.
  • There is an organization named Wounded Warrior Project which is an organization that help veterans who are injured both physically and mentally. As a veteran myself, I have seen the great things they do to help the veterans. So I have donated $20 dollars to the organization. I am planning to increase the amount to donate every year. I want to thank you for this opportunity to look back at my life and taking time to think about what I can do to help others.
  • I used the $5 towards buying Chipotle for a friend who was very stressed and busy with preparing for finals. I could tell he hadn’t been taking care of himself this past weekend and decided to surprise him with his favorite order from Chipotle. He was not expecting it at all and I hope that I relieved some of his stress as he pushed through for finals.
  • I gave my $5 to homelessness on my way to Sawtelle. When I left the freeway and waited for the traffic light, I saw a homelessness stayed at the intersection. I remembered the $5 and gave it to him.
  • With the five dollars you gave me, I was planning to just buy some snacks from the vending machine, but I ended up using the money to help spot an upperclassman from KCM with buying from Jamba Juice.
  • So I usually am not one to tip when ordering at a counter. I never feel super obligated to even though I know that the workers really appreciate it and from working a minimum wage job I know how much I appreciate it. So tonight I walked into a place to get food to-go and it was ver close to their closing time and no one was in there. I ordered my meal and I looked and saw that no one had tipped them for the day. I tipped them the $5 and I could see that the girl at the front was so shocked that anyone was using the tip jar. I hope that it made her day or that they are able to use it for something that they are in need. Thanks Dr. Strong for allowing us to do this, it was a really neat opportunity :)
  • With my $5 I bought my girlfriend coffee and hung out with her while we drank it. It was really awesome. Thanks for that :)
  • Thanks for your $5, I got my roommate a Starbucks drink. She responded with a warm hug and a big smile. I truly appreciate your effort in trying to make a positive difference in the world.
  • With the $5 you gave me, I bought my friend some food for his hamster. He was very pleased when I brought it to him. Thank you for teaching me this semester, and have a Merry Christmas!
  • Sorry this took me so long to get around saying, but I sent a card home to my brother and in it I placed the 5 dollars you gave us in class. I haven't talked to my brother in a while but I thought it would be nice to send him a letter especially since he and his family just moved into a new house.
  • With $5, I bought my roommate some Ricola and Gatorade from CVS as he was sick over the weekend. He was really appreciative as he is far from home and is in need of some support during difficult times. I hope to make people's life easier even if it's with five dollars. I hope you have a great winter break!
  • My sister lives with my parents, approximately 40 minutes of a drive from here. She absolutely loves chips (that our parents absolutely prohibit in our house). I decided to make her a little surprise, and bought her some chips and candy from the Pepperdine store, which was a very small thing, but it surely made her thrilled (our parents are obsessed with organic food)!
  • With my $5 that you gave us, I decided to buy someone their Starbucks coffee during the finals stress and rush.
  • I got myself oatmeal at 12 am while studying for the Calculus exam. Though I wished to buy a coffee for a friend, they had all refused my request, so I your $5 went to a hearty meal!
  • I went out and bought a friend and myself blue bottle coffee and avocado toast before finals week. I decided to treat us both to a nice little distraction from all the stress.
  • I had the opportunity to donate the $5 to Pepperdines airport shuttle driver today.
Spring 2019
  • I used your $5 to pay for my friends lunch. She was having a bad week so my good deed made her day. Thank you for motivating your students to do something good in this world.
  • Yesterday while I was at bj's getting my free pizookie, I used my $5 (and then some) to tip our hardworking waiter , and with cash bc taxation is theft! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to this for class.
  • This past weekend I went to Baylor to spend time with one of my friends from high school. When I got home, I wanted to do something to say thank you to her for letting me stay with her. I decided to spend the $5 you gave us to send her a thank you package. I'm really thankful you gave us this opportunity.
  • First of I would like to thank you for the $5 challenge, I really enjoyed being able to do a simple act of kindness for someone else :) With my $5, I decided to surprise my roommate with her favorite Sunlife smoothie when she came back from break. She was so excited and taken back and made her entire morning. I'm glad I was able to put a smile on her face.
  • There is always a man outside the Chipotle in Malibu Mart who asks for money for a meal when I go (about 1-2 times a week) and I can never help him out because I don't carry cash. Thankfully for your contribution, I was able to help him buy a meal tonight which I've been wanting to do for a while.
  • I matched your 5 dollars with 5 dollars of my own and bought a homeless man a warm meal from carl's junior. He was extremely happy and I was very happy that he had a warm meal. It was a good experience and I haven't done something like that in a long time and it was a nice change of pace.
  • I hope you had a fantastic and restful break. I wanted to email you to let you know what I decided to do with my $5. Which, by the way, I think is incredibly generous of you and one of the best ideas/way to change the world even by a little that I've heard so far at Pepperdine. I was driving home from the grocery store and I see this strawberry van selling berries and I always noticed it before but I never stopped. Instead I decided to stop and buy some strawberries from the woman selling them, and they are delicious, and as an extra tip I gave her the $5. She was shocked and smiled and give me a very appreciative 'Thank you' as a response. I think I made her day with that gift.
  • Over the spring break I went to Surfing the Nations with project serve for a week. There I did service for the homeless along with helping at risk children who do not have steady home lives. I used the $5 plus $10 of my own money to give to this woman named Nancy. I met Nancy at feeding the hungry which is a food distribution in Hawaii. I talked to her and she grew up in California and then proceeded to tell me that she gives most of her food away to others in need even though she doesn't have much for herself. She told me her favorite food was Mexican food so I gave her the money and told her to go by herself food at her favorite Mexican food restaurant because she didn't have the means to go on her own. Here is a picture of me and her.
  • I wanted to let you know that I spent your $5 (plus an additional $15) on Girl Scout Cookies for my suitemates. It felt good to do something nice for my friends to welcome them back from break and help them get through midterms, so thank you for including me in the $5 good deed.
  • For my $5 Good Deed, I decided to pay for my own laptop, with my own money. As an only child, I am usually financially dependent on my mother for almost everything. However, this spring break, I had a chance to prove that I can be financially independent. My old laptop broke, so I decided to save up some money for a new one. It felt really nice being able to pay for my own laptop without my mother worrying about the money.
  • I used my 5 dollars to add to the donation I am making to the the Alaina Housley Scholarship Fund in the GiveToPep fundraiser.
  • I gave my five bucks to a homeless woman outside of the Starbucks in the Country Mart this morning.
  • I included your $5, along with some of my own money, in a donation to send a kid to YoungLife summer camp who otherwise couldn't afford to go. I just want to say that I think this is such a cool thing and its refreshing to have professors actively pushing students to be better and do better!
  • So my friend hasn't had $8 on his debit card all semester to do laundry, so I'm spending a few hours tonight to pay for as many loads of laundry as he has. It'll be over $8 but he needs it because he probably won't do laundry again this semester.
  • I used the $5 you gave me to contribute to buying a box of chocolates for each of my roommates. They have been a huge blessing to me this year, so thanks for giving me this opportunity to show them how much I appreciate them.
  • My best friend from back home goes to UCLA and recently made her way up to Malibu on her spring break. We had both been needing to help each other out with some life advice and talk in person for once. She has been going through a hard time and I was glad I got to talk about some big things with her. So I took her out to lunch with the help of the 5$. I hope it made her day and it sure made me happy being able to see her.
  • I wanted to let you know that for the $5 deed, I spent some time thinking about the ethical complications of it all. I ultimately decided that, in order to remove myself from the equation, I will take a passive and random approach-leaving it up to chance/fate. Tomorrow morning, I will leave the bill on the floor of Stauffer chapel between two of the back left pews. Perhaps someone will stumble across it.
  • You may be familiar with the "Venmo" app, which allows people to send each other money, like when someone wants payment for gas, or someone forgot to bring their wallet to the restaurant. To expand my potential reach, I used this app to randomly select a person who I would encourage to "pay this kindness forward," inspired by the movie titled likewise. It just so happens that my finger fell upon Jordan's name, so I forwarded him $5, encouraging him to take this kindness and pay it forward in some way today.
  • I decided to give my roommate the $5 to buy a drink from Starbucks. He's been pretty stressed throughout finals and I think it's a solid deed considering the time.
  • Of course college procrastination at its finest..... Today my roommate was in a bad mood. I asked him what was going on and he said him and his girlfriend (attends LMU) were fighting. He said he was ignoring her until she cools down. I gave him my $5 and told him to surprise her with a couple of flowers from Ralph's. He drove to LMU and she was happy. He came back in a much better mood! It's feels good to make someone smile.
  • I used the $5 to but my mom a really nice appreciation card. The front of the card said "you make my day better." I just wanted to show her how much I am thankful that she is my mom. I call her everyday a lot complaining about life and school. She is the first person I turn to when my world seems like it is falling apart, so a card is the least I could do.
  • With my 5 dollars I chose to donate it to the City of Hope hospital in LA that helps ongoing cancer patients.
  • I filled out all of the blue sheets for the different good deeds, but I wanted to let you know via email what I did with the $5. I was at Target and there was a man who had a sign saying that he was a hungry veteran, so I bought him two cans of progresso soup and a spoon. It seemed to surprise him and make him happy, which felt good. Both of my grandfathers are veterans, so it always strikes a chord with me to see when vets are in need. Anyway, the $5 helped me help him, so thank you!
  • I decided to give the 5 dollars to my brother. He is currently a senior in high school and sadly, I have been missing out on being with him for a lot of his senior events. Therefore, I gave him the $5 (and some of my money too) to help him pay for his class ring, to show him I am always thinking about him, even if I am not physically present.
  • With Dr. Strong's $5, I made a donation to my local church and added some of my own money. I've been attending this church for awhile while at Pepperdine, but haven't given a donation until now. This $5, along with some of my own money, will hopefully make a difference to my church. In addition, it made a difference to me because it encouraged me to give.
  • For my $5, I gave a dollar to different street performers and musicians I watched while walking along the 3rd street Promenade in Santa Monica. These performers and musicians were working hard and sharing their passions, bringing a smile to people's faces. I knew that they would appreciate the gift very much.
  • First, I wanted to tell you what I used the five dollars for. I am the president of an a cappella group here on campus and we just had our spring concert last Friday night. We normally do it as a way to, of course, perform but also to get some revenue from ticket sales so that we can do more fun things the following year. This year we made the concert a fundraiser to raise money for the Chris Dudley Foundation, a nonprofit that helps kids with type one diabetes. As a diabetic myself this group hits close to home and so, along with my 5 dollars, we were able to raise around $350 dollars for the organization.
  • I used your $5 during my spring break at Grand Canyon. My friends and I were waiting at a hotel for a shuttle to take us to the train station. It was about 10:30pm. A lady who looks around her 60s came and pick us up. It was 45min ride and the lady shared her stories with us. It was really dark outside, so I really appreciate how she tried to not make us feel bored on the trip. At last I used the $5 and $3 that I have in my wallet as tips to appreciate her work.
  • For my good deed I surprised my boyfriend with a coffee because he was having a rough day because he had too many tests to take. It made me feel really happy toknow I could do one small thing just to make his day a little better. I feel motivated to do more small good deeds just to make someone's day a little better. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Fall 2018

  • I used your $5 to cheer up my roommate today. Yesterday, she got to class late in traffic (she goes to CSUN) and had to give a speech which she blanked on midway through and got points deducted. She had a test later that day on a computer and the computer messed up and the professor didn't do anything to fix it, so she got points off that well. She finally got home around 11pm after a long shift at her job as a waitress at PF Changs and then had to leave almost immediately afterward to go pick up her boyfriend from his job. She was not too thrilled with her day after all that and so today, me and her boyfriend bought her some new art supplies because she loves pen-drawings. She saw them today and loved them. Thanks!
  • I have donated your $5 to the Hill fire and Woolsey fire sudden and urgent need fund. I believe they need it more than anybody else right now.
  • I included the $5 in my $20 donation at church today. Thank you for this motivation to do good!
  • I want to start by saying thank you for this awesome opportunity to give I think it is a great initiative. Giving is very important in todays society and your blue sheets have helped me week after week to think about what I'm doing for others, along with being grateful for what others are doing for me. I think this $5 Good Deed is an interesting way to rally the troops in a giving mission. With that being said I donated your $5 plus a matching $5 of my own money (if you do the MATH that's $10) to the Pepperdine Strong Fund to help those impacted by the recent tragedies in the Pepperdine community. This is something that I have wanted to do and with your $5 Good Deed I was inspired to give.
  • I decided to give $5 to "Alaina's Voice" fundraiser. I wanted to give the $5 to this organization because I feel like during this tragic time, this small amount of $5 can mean something.
  • With the $5 I bought my co-RA and SLA Christmas ornaments because they have been incredible in these last few weeks.
  • Recently a classmate o high school was stabbed to death by her boyfriend which she had moved out of the state to be with. After this tragedy our class came together to raise funds to help her family with funeral costs. I used my $5 to go towards this along with my own money. Understandably her family is going through a devastating time so this contribution helped them to focus on healing and less on costs. This cause is close to my heart and I appreciate you for allowing me to be able to give back even more than I had planned.
  • To complete the "Spend Dr. Strong's $5" assignment, I donated $25 to the Pepperdine Strong fund.
  • Hello! To pay it forward I bought groceries for a woman named Gloria and her son Oscar who are living homeless in their car. They have been running from gang violence in El Salvador, and my friend met them through the Malibu Labor Exchange. My friend and I went to Ralph's and shopped for them, and this $5 contributed towards that. Thank you so much!
  • I spent your 5 dollars on some oranges for me and my roommate. Thank you for the vitamins!
  • Also, for the $5 challenge, on Tuesday I bought my friend lunch because she drove me to my doctor's appointment since I do not have a car. Her lunch was more than $5, but I contributed the $5 to the total.
  • For my five dollar good deed, I decided that I wanted to spend it on something towards playing the trumpet. I was running low on valve oil so I decided to make a trip to the Nick Rail Music store off of Kanan. I ended up buying valve oil and now I have enough to last me through the end of next semester. It will be very productive towards me playing the trumpet at Pepperdine. Thank you so much for helping support my endeavors in playing the trumpet.
  • With the 5$ Dr.Strong gave me, I decided to do two things. Originally, I wanted to give it all to a homeless person, but I decided that that would be too easy. First, I bought a homeless person a Starbucks cookie. He was by the Ralph's on PCH and I asked him if he wanted a cookie, because that was all I could afford with my 5$, and he said yes. He was very grateful, and told me "God Bless You." It was great hearing that because I really don't hear that very often. Next, I used the remaining 3 dollars (roughly, with change) to buy my friend a small hot cocoa to cheer him up. He had just done poorly on a test and I wanted to cheer him up. I thought that would do the trick, but I still had roughly 12 cents. I thought about putting this in my piggy bank, but there was no point in that. I wanted to use all of the 5$. I realized that I could drop it in the Salvation Army donation box, so I did just that. I had finally donated all of the money, and felt good about myself. I guess Dr. Strong was right, to love another person is to see the face of God.
  • Also, I donated the 5$ that you gave to us in class! I gave it to an organization on campus called Chai for Change, which donates all of the money from their fundraisers to refugee programs.
  • For my $5 good deed, I bought a friend a phone cardholder. Her love language is gifts, which I struggle with, so even though this seems like a simple task, it was a challenge. Recently, I've found it hard to love her with my love language, quality time, because of tensions and challenges getting along, so I chose to give her something she needed because I haven't been reaching out to her.
  • I bought a card and a thank you note for my boss at work.
  • For the $5 challenge, I used my $5 to contribute to a fundraiser I conducted last week for a nonprofit called Tiyya. Tiyya provides community support and educational opportunities for families of refugees, immigrants, and displaced Americans. The club that I am a part of, No Lost Generation, conducted a "Chai for Change" fundraiser, selling chai lattes and cookies. We made about $400 for Tiyya, so thank you for being a part of that through your $5.
  • Also, what I did with my $5 is that I went to the gas station and asked them if they could break this $5 for me, into $1's and I gave each homeless person I saw a dollar.
  • For the $5 activity I decided to give the money to my brother to help him pay for his high school class ring. I know $5 isn't a lot but it is a contribution nonetheless.
  • I took your $5 (plus more, cuz why not, I mean we are Pepperdine kids) and donated it to the Salvation Army. This is something that, as a kid, any time my mom took me to the grocery store between Thanksgiving and New Years, there was always someone standing out in the cold, ringing a bell by the entrance, taking donations for the Salvation Army, and we'd give a dollar or so every time we went to the store (often multiple times a week because there is no such thing as enough shopping in that family). Anyway, since I'm not home to continue this "tradition", and don't plan on going grocery shopping after finals week anyway, I did it online.
  • I used the $5 to buy my suitemate Alex a meal at McDonald's for his birthday since that is his favorite place to get fast food at.
  • For the $5 challenge, I donated money to The American Red Cross of Alaska. My family recently moved to Anchorage and experienced their first major earthquake in the region and I decided that I wanted to donate some money to help rebuild their new place of residence.
  • I was walking around Santa Monica Pier one night and there was a family working hard to sell these light up roses. I could tell that they were in need of money, because it was almost 11pm and they were walking up to almost every person they saw offering them roses. I decided to buy 5 roses that night to do my best to help them out.
  • Today I used the five dollars you gave me to help my suite mate who got locked out of his room pay for the RA to let him back in. (The cost is five dollars to have the RA do this and it seemed like he was having a rough day.)
  • It was my friends birthday on Saturday and believe or not, he never had a birthday party in his life. So I texted and planned with all the people who were coming to dinner beforehand. I slipped out during dinner and went to go buy a cake. There were eight of us and the cake was around forty dollars so we each paid about five dollars. That's what I spent my five dollars on. Needless to say, we succeeded in surprising him.
  • For the $5 that you gave me, I matched it with a $5 of my own money, and then I bought a bunch of bottles of water. I'm going to keep them in my car, and I will hand these waters out anytime I see a homeless person on the side of road or siting with a sign. I've already handed a several out.
  • Yesterday, I used the five dollars to buy my friend coffee. He really needed it because he had three finals today. I knew he needed caffeine so I bought him a Venti cold foam cold brew in the morning. I hope he did well on his finals because he was stressing the entire day.
  • For my 5 dollar challenge, I decided to leave my 5 dollars on a desk in the library under a lamp, so that the next stressed out student would be pleasantly surprised when they sat down to study for their finals. I choose to do this because I felt like there was nothing better than randomly finding money somewhere, especially during a stressful time like finals.
  • I decided to use the $5 dollars to cook the best Indonesian ramen to a friend of mine as a way to say thank you for being a good friend. :)
  • For the $5 assignment, I used the money to take my little brother to get ice cream last week. My mom was out of town all week and my dad has to work late at nights, so he was home alone most of the week. So I picked him up and took him to get a treat and he chose ice cream. He's so sweet and loving and he was so gracious and happy that I went home to come see him.
  • Tonight after my accounting exam I went to Ralphs to get some fruits and things to keep me up while studying and there was a homeless man sitting over by CVS. I went into Ralphs and bought a bag of clementines and some other fruits with your $5 and brought them over to him. He was extremely grateful and in return he gave me some amazing stories and smiles in the midst of all this final stress! Thank you for reminding me how good it feels to help someone.
  • As I was studying in towers just a minute ago I spotted a guy in distress passing in the hallway. He was clearly not having a good day so, I grabbed my(your) $5 bill and gave it to him with a little side conversation. He received this well and made his day! Thank you for encouraging us to do this, makes a difference!
  • Today I saw someone really stressed out in the library and I had my $5 bill on me so I gave it to them. Before I gave it to them they seemed to be on the verge of a break down. After I gave them the $5, they seemed to be a little happier. I'm not sure if this is really what you had in mind, being that it was not extremely charitable and that I don't know exactly what she will be spending the money on. Having said that, I did successfully brighten her day and that made it feel worth it.
  • For the $5, I put it in a birthday card for my friend and gave it to her as a birthday gift.
  • I was in Hollywood the last weekend with some friends. We were just strolling looking at the stars on the street. We entered a CVS because we wanted some food. There was a young girl outside asking people for money. I asked what did she need. She explained she needed some hygienic products but had not planned on it, so she had to buy some on the spot but did not have enough to buy a whole Box. I remembered I was carrying the $5 you had given us in class. So I gave them to her. She thanked me, and told me she felt uncomfortable explaining this situation to strangers, so she was thankful her ordeal had ended. It get nice helping someone out who had a necessity. I continued with my evening with a smile and calm in my conscious.
  • I gave the $5 to my roommate because, in the past, I've had some really bad roommate experiences. But, this semester, me and my new roommate have gotten along really well making our lives a lot easier and less stressful. Even though $5 is not a lot, I hope I made it clear how much I value the mutual respect we have for one another and how grateful and fortunate I am to have him as my roommate. Thank you, Dr. Strong for being so generous and allowing me and my classmates to make a difference, a little bit at a time.
  • Good evening professor, I just got home for the night. I decided to give $5 to the first homeless person I saw throughout the day. I went to a Chevron to fill up gas and the man was sitting right outside the mini mart doors and I handed it to him. He looked very surprised and became ecstatic. I will further be donating to my church later this week.
  • So I bought some gifts to send it back home to people that they lost everything (I mean home, maybe someone dear to their heart). $5 covered some of the shipment fees for those gifts.
  • I used the $5 to help pay for a plane ticket to see my girlfriend.
  • I spent them on a card I mailed to my grandma in Chicago!
Spring 2018
  • First of all, I really like this idea and appreciate you doing this! I put the $5 toward funding a friend trying to start a coffee shop in Colorado. Her page is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/saporcoffee/sapor-coffee-and-concepts-i-denver-co if anyone feels like helping her complete her dream!
  • I was so happy to donate my $5 to my good friend who is raising money to travel around the world for 9 months next year and spread the Gospel. I have been meaning to donate to her, but receiving the $5 from you really motivated me to get it done and bless her in this way and show my support for her. Thank you so much for facilitating this!
  • I put my $5 towards buying my little brother dinner at Chipotle after his tennis match. It's his favorite place to get food and he won so it was like a reward that made him happy. Thank you for doing this! I loved reading all the previous ways people have used the $5 on your website.
  • For my kindness act I gave my $5 to a guitarist who was playing at the Malibu farmers market and who said that any bit counts since he is a struggling artist. I am beyond inspired by your kindness and willingness to give up your money for the goodness of other people.
  • Over the break, my friend came down with the flu so I used the $5 to buy her some chicken noodle soup!
  • With the $5, I used it to give a larger tip to a hair dresser that I went to while I was in Boston.
  • I was filling up gas at ARCO and after I paid the front lady with cash for gas, I tipped her with the $5 because she's been working there for two years at least for low pay. It wasn't much but it got her to smile and thank me.
  • I donated the $5 when I went to church this morning. They are rebuilding it so I thought it would be nice to contribute.
  • I used the 5 dollars to do my nutrition hunger challenge project that we have to live a life with 5 dollar budget per day, so I use my 5 dollars to buy the food I eat today in Walmart. I really appreciate your five dollars to help me finish my first-day hunger challenge.
  • This spring break, I went to the Bronx in New York for Project Serve. There, I witnessed many people begging for money either on the streets or on the subway. With the $5 that you gave us, I decided to give it to a man on the subway who performed poetry about how his mother and father left him homeless from a young age and how he hasnt found a home ever since.
  • I would just like to let you know how I spent my $5 that you gave us. I did Project Serve at L'Arche this past week, in which we stay at homes with the elderly who have disabilities. It's a program, in which we get to do everyday, normal things with them that can be as simple as watching TV shows, gardening, bowling, etc. With the $5, I bought flowers for the people who live at the house I stayed at as a thank-you gift for having us!
  • I used your $5 yesterday to buy the person in front of me there Starbucks drink! Thanks for this opportunity, it was a very fun idea!
  • I took my mom out for coffee and left the rest as a tip for our server.
  • After going to the Giving Back to Pepperdine convo and hearing about where the money goes to and how it really helps students here at Pepperdine with basic needs I felt that it was only right to donate the money back to our school and students.
  • I gave my 5 dollars to my sister for her birthday and she was low-key mad I only gave her 5 dollars. :)
  • Earlier this evening, I was going out to Chipotle and, as I pulled up the the restaurant, I noticed a homeless man standing by the door. As I walked over, he asked if I could spare a few dollars for something to eat. I told him to come into the restaurant with me, and then told him he could order whatever he wanted, no matter how big or expensive, and I would pay for it. He ordered his food, thanked me, and then left the restaurant. The woman behind the register made a note of how kind that was, and I put your $5 in the tip jar for her, as well as paying for the man I walked in with. I think this is a really good example of how there isn't necessarily a limit on how much we can give to people.
  • I hope you weekend is going well! I just want to let you know about my $5 good deed. For my deed, I gave my five dollars to my local church back home as they are receiving funding to help develop a water well in Africa to provide clean water for the people there. Thanks for this opportunity.
  • I used my (your) 5$ to buy vegan donuts for my friend who was stressing about post-grad life! Thanks for this opportunity!
  • I took your $5, added some of my own money, went to Vegas, made $600 using the power of probability and statistics.
  • Some friends and I saw a guy at the gas station counting his coins to hopefully pay for some gas, so we pitched in to help him buy the gas he needed.
  • I gave my 5$ to my friend going on a mission trip to Africa. This is really cool how you do this!
  • Over spring break, I gave the $5 to an impoverished street performer who was extremely talented in playing the trumpet.
  • I gave my 5$ to a homeless guy outside the Malibu McDonalds who asked for spare money so he could buy a hamburger.
  • For the $5 good deed, I bought a bouquet of flowers. I walked around the store and gave them to random people coming in the store and wished them a good and beautiful day.
  • I used the 5 dollars to buy some tape to cover the holes on the fly net, which always let insects come in, in the bathroom of our suite.
  • It's quite extraordinary what $5 can do to a person. My fraternity exercises in teaching the youth about education beyond the high school level; that is, career training and college. In a classroom at the Alliance Leadership Middle Academy, I put together a kid-friendly powerpoint presentation that discussed many of those qualities that students need to prepare for academic success -- focus, dedication, drive, tenacity, more importantly, enjoyment. Having kids pay attention is as difficult as it sounds. To keep them alert, I proposed that the person who shares with the classroom the most things they learned will be rewarded with $5, as they would be in any other scenario involving education. Once our presentation was done, the children around the room gave us the various things they learned. But one particular kid reminded me the true idea of education. When called upon about what he learned, he had this to say, "I learned, I guess, how to learn." The shy young man would awaken a part of me that day. The kids laughed but little did they know that those qualities that I mentioned above were synthesized in a sentence no longer than an inch or two. Your $5 now belongs to the young man who has learned how to learn. Who knows, would he had been alert with or without the money? Only an assumption can be made, but what does matter, is that your money is in the hands of the individual who has been taught how to maintain focus, dedication, drive, tenacity, and more noteworthy, enjoyment inside and outside the classroom environment.
  • I was at third street promenade in Santa Monica today and I gave your $5 to an older women singing on the street.
  • I used the $5 you gave me to buy my roommate some of her favorite Kombutcha :). Thank you for the opportunity to perform a good deed, I love doing that whenever I can for people.
  • I bought a card to say thank you to a mentor of mine for helping me get to where I am today.
  • The day you gave us the $5, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it and used it within 10 minutes of you letting us out of class that day. About a month and a half ago, a good friend of mine lost her mother to a long battle with cancer and she was affected tremendously from it. A few of our friends were collecting money for her to help her take care of her during these circumstances. I did not have any cash with me at that point, and your $5 gave me exactly what I needed. I decided to give the money to her with the note that you wrote to us in it. The next day she thanked me and wanted to thank you as well. It wasn't as much about the amount, rather the thought, which was nice for her in such a hard time.
  • For my $5 good deed, I have combined the $5 from Math 316 and Math 250 to make $10 and have donated it to the organization I worked with over spring break, Friends of Refugees. They are based in Clarkston, Georgia and seek to empower refugees through many different programs. The $10 you gave me will go specifically to their summer camp program to help fund a refugee camper's meals and programs throughout the day this summer. Thank you for allowing me to support them with your donation.
  • I used the $5 to buy a friend lunch at the farmer's market when she was hungry and didn't have cash!
  • This year our extended family had our first down syndrome baby. As a result, his strong mother started a research fundraiser based from her home in Oregon. She is partnered with the lab that will be working with her new (and first) baby. At first it was hard for our family to overcome the initial shock but Arthur is the sweetest baby and is a blessing to us all. I donated to the fundraiser for the research.
  • I spent the $5 you gave me by donating at the church I go to.
  • Today after much thought I decided to donate my $5 to the Best Friends animal sanctuary I will be visiting this summer by my family's property in Utah. I have always been passionate about saving animals lives, and it only seem fit that the money go to a place close to my second home. Thank you for creating more opportunities to make the world a better place!
  • With the $5 you gave us, I used the $5 (in addition to some of my own money) to buy my friend a meal from Chipotle because it's her first birthday without her twin with her and she was a bit down.
  • With your five dollars I purchased envelopes and three stamps. I borrowed art supplies from a friend and decorated three envelopes to send to people I haven't spoken to in a while to keep in contact. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to make a small but positive change!
  • I used the first $5 dollars to buy my mom some delicious tacos for her birthday from some taco truck in downtown LA. We got a total of 10 tacos with $5 because the special was 2 for 1. The other $5 dollars were given to my church in the offering for the Resurrection Sunday service.
  • I just wanted to let you know that I found a way to do some charity work with the money you gave us. I don't exactly know how you use this information so I'll give a brief summary, and let me know if you would like more information. I work as a physical therapist at the Malibu Outrigger and there's a homeless man who is always sitting across the street. One day after work I went and talked to him and he told me that his name was Brian and that he actually built the Malibu Outrigger and its sister structure in Hawaii. I was skeptical at first because I know that I lot of homeless suffer from mental illnesses, but upon returning home I did some research and since the building was built in 1963, it could very well be a legitimate story if Brian built it when he was 20 and is now in his mid 70's. He was a little bit passive aggressive in our conversation regarding the government and taxes, but he wasn't hostile so overall I would say it was a good interaction. I gave him $10 and wished him the best, and maybe we can develop somewhat of a relationship as I continue to work at the Outrigger.
  • With your $5, and some of my own money, I bought one of my Professors food when I ran into him in the caf. He was very appreciative and it was a nice opportunity for me to show my gratitude to him.
  • I used your $5 as a part of a bigger purchase of sending flowers to my mom back home hoping it would make her day better.
  • With my $5, I pitched in to buy my SLA a bible to thank her for holding a wonderful small group every week and for being a great person.
  • I used your $5 to buy someone a coffee because they had pulled an all-nighter and they weren't doing so well. The coffee helped to brighten their day.
  • With my $5, I donated to a non-profit organization called Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. This organization deals with homelessness in Seattle and has programs such as soup kitchens, transitional housing and rehab education. During my spring break, I went with Project Serve to Seattle and volunteered there for a week so I thought this was a perfect way to give back to this organization.
  • On Friday night, I bought my friend candy and popcorn at the movies as my pay it forward.
  • I finally gave the five dollars you gave to us pretty early in the semester. It contributed to getting my team captain a gift for all the wonderful things she sacrificed for us this semester.
  • I bought someone's coffee at Cafe de La Plage, and it was really awesome and they were really grateful! Thank you so much for having us do that!

Fall 2017
  • I donated to Freelunch in China which helps to provide meals for poor kids in the rural areas in China. Freelunch also has programs that helps the kids in Africa and other areas all around the world. So just in case anyone is interested: Facebook: freelunch; instagram: freelunchchina.
  • For my good deed, I helped my roommate out. As you probably know, bronchitis is going around, and my roommate has been feeling very sick lately. Today she was laying in bed not feeling well, so I used the $5 to buy her a medicine ball (a drink at Starbucks for when you are sick) and brought it to her in the room. She was very appreciative.
  • I decided to donate my $5 to a fund supporting Devin Walls, a single mother who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma cancer. Treatment is expensive and I hope my small contribution will help her and her 9 month old get through this hard time.
  • Just sending an update on how you helped me make the world a better place. One of my friends had a birthday last week and another one of our friends decided to throw her a small birthday party in their dorm. I could see how much time and effort was put into preparing for this party and, even though it wasn't a lot of money, some was spent in order for things to be great. I gave my five dollars to the friend who planned and bought all the supplies to help her with covering the costs of it all. I hope your kindness continues to be passed along.
  • It took me a while to figure out what to do with my $5, but I finally used it yesterday. My mom was out of the country for cancer treatment for about a month, just getting back a few days ago, and my dad was gone with her for much of that time. My siblings, the youngest of whom is 6, were still at home under the care of my 22-year-old brother. My parents were both gone during Halloween, so the kids ended up staying home for the day (no trick-or-treating or hanging out with friends). So, I decided to wait for the Halloween candy to go on clearance after the holiday and see how much $5 could buy. You would be surprised how far $5 will go on Halloween candy after the holiday... It's sitting in my dorm now, but I will be going home soon to visit and will be bringing it with me for the kids. They usually do not eat sweets, so it will be unexpected for them, and a nice surprise after the stressful last month they have had. Thank you again for the kind gesture. It is always encouraging to meet people who try to spread kindness in the world.
  • I used my $5 to buy my friend her favorite chocolate to cheer her up. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, so she was feeling a gloomy today. Hopefully, my little surprise made my friend's day a little brighter!!
  • I used the $5 good deed for a church offering in a church in Hollywood.
  • About a week ago I was at chipotle and saw the same homeless man I always see walking around the Country Mart. I used my $5 to buy him a burrito from chipotle. He seemed to grateful that someone noticed him and gave to him. Although he is always there I never paid much attention but this 5$ project made me do so!
  • I finally used your five dollars! Yesterday, I was at this little bakery and bought my roommate a couple french macarons. I wrote a note on the outside that you need a little back story for first: one time, her and I were walking somewhere and I was hiccuping, and I said "I hate the hiccups." My roommate thought I had said "I hate your guts," so that's been a running joke between us ever since. So, on the outside of the bag that the macarons were in, I wrote "Because I don't really hate your guts! Happy Thanksgiving!" and gave it to her as she was about to head home for break. She looked very happy when I gave it to her -- thank you for initiating this project, and Happy Thanksgiving!
  • I paid for someone's drink behind me at Starbucks with the 5 dollars.
  • I have taken some time to think about what I wanted to do with the $5 you gave us in class. I decided to donate that and some of my own money to the Movember Foundation. My friend raises money each year, and I donated it to his cause. The Movember Foundation raises money for men's health addressing issues like prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. Men die an average of 6 years earlier than women; this foundation works to improve that statistic. I decided to donate to this cause because of the very important men in my life. Thanks for doing this. It is a really great thing that you do.
  • I gave my $5 to one of the groundscrewmen that works down at the baseball field everyday.
  • I gave away my 5 dollars to a friend of mine because he does not have any money on his bank account to go eat Chipotle tonight. He currently has 9 dollars and with the 5 dollars I gave him he was able to go get Chipotle with his group of friends.
  • Every day I go to my friends' suite and eat some of their candy. I used my money to replenish their candy supply. Thank you for funding this!
  • I took longer than most people to do what you told us to, for a good reason. I waited to go home to do my good deed. Home for me is Mexico, more specifically Cabo. I wanted to do my good deed there because $5 in Mexico can buy more things to do good than in the US. What here can buy a couple of candy bars, at home can feed a family for a couple of days. So, I went home and used the $5 or the 180 Pesos to buy cheese, tortillas, beans and rice. I took the food out the supermarket and drove close by, where I found a woman waiting for a bus. She seemed tired and annoyed. I parked my car and approached her. I said hi and said that I wanted to give her the food that I had in the bag. Her face gestures changed almost instantly. She looked at me and thanked me. As I walked away, she thanked me again. I want to thank you Dr. Strong. This exercise is heart-warming and empowering. Most of us do not realize that we can all change the world one bit at a time. But with out mentalities not always realize that, as we want to do BIG things or change the world overnight. Since that cannot be done, we often times retract into out own bubbles. This exercises helps those who feel powerless and opens their eyes.
  • I put it towards a project I'm currently working on to bring sustainable female hygiene products to a community that I love dearly in Argentina named El Negrito. In Fiji, these products had a remarkable impact on the communities and were especially important to help mitigate domestic violence. These will be delivered in the summer and I am excited to see the impact they will have there.
  • I was deciding to donate the 5 dollars to whatever organizations while I receiving it in the first time. And then I changed my mind, because I thought that I can use 5 dollars to do some more meaningful things except donation. I bought a Starbucks for the cleaner who cleans my dorm every week in order to express my thankful for her. The Starbucks costs 4.75 dollars. There was 0.25 dollars left. And last week, I was going to my cousin's house, I saw a girl crying in front of the door. I never see her before. I walked to her and asked her what happened and why she did not go home and stay here. She said she felt hopeless. Because she was new here and she was afraid to talk with anyone so she didn't have any friends. I knew her feeling, because when I first came to America. I had the same feeling. I said to her" It's okay, every one has a tough period to go through. And you will become stronger later." And I gave some advises that I used in order to help her to get through hard times. At last, I bought some candies for her and gave my phone number to her. I told her that "I am your friend now,and if you have any problems you can texts me anytime." I forgot how much I spent on candies, but I knew it might helped her feel better. I will continue to doing those good deeds and also teach my brother to the same thing as me.
  • Yesterday I decided to give back the $5 you gave me as a donation to our University for the purposes in which they want to use the $5.
  • As for the $5 dollar that you gave me, I gave it to a beggar on wilshire boulevard when I was on my way home. I said to her that's from my teacher, and she replied "Thank you very much, God bless you".
  • When I was at the gas station there was a young man who didn't have enough money for gas. He was willing to give me his paycheck in exchange for some cash for gas, so I gave him money for gas including the 5$ you handed out. I did not take his paycheck.
  • I used that $5 to buy a cup of starbucks coffee to my friend because he was pretty upset when he didn't get into the International program that he really wants to go. In order to cheer him up a bit, I bought his favorite drink, caramel macchiato, from Starbucks the next day he got declined. Thank you for giving us an opportunity for doing something good for others. It's certainly a thing that is worth to do.
  • A few weeks ago, I gave my $5 to a woman outside of Target. My friends and I were shopping at Target for Christmas decorations and there was a woman outside with two small children asking for donations. She was extremely grateful for the $5. Thank you for doing this project. It has made me more aware of the suffering around me and made me realize how lucky I am.
  • For my $5, I gave it to a homeless man at Venice beach and watched him go buy food with it.
  • I wanted to let you know that I spent the $5 today by donating it to Harvest Home through my church in Santa Monica. Harvest Home is an organization that supports homeless pregnant women by providing them with shelter and resources to help them support themselves and their children. It's a really great organization- thanks so much for the opportunity to make this donation!
  • In the busy-ness of finals weekend I was able to spend my $5 on someone who really needed it. My roommate has had a very difficult and long week of studying and preparing for finals. The stress was getting to him so Saturday evening I decided to go out and buy him his favorite Chipotle meal and bring it to him while he was studying. He was extremely grateful and even though he was stressing way too much, something as simple as a Chipotle burrito made him happy. To be completely honest if it weren't for you providing me with idea of giving to someone I most likely wouldn't have, so I am thankful for that and how it has opened my eyes to be a little more thoughtful and generous to others moving forward.
  • First off, I think this was an amazing idea, and I am glad you did this. I put my $5 in the collection basket at Mass.
  • I had finished $5 "good deed" by sending a thank you notes with a $15 gift card to one worker who work at 10:00pm to 4:00am to clean Pepperdine floors. He has been so nice to you when I stayed up late to study in the this semester. I also added some my own money into this action. Thank you for providing this opportunity.
  • Every morning on before I make my commute to Pepperdine, I always stop at the same Starbucks and order a coffee for the drive. Almost every day on the corner of Santa Monica and Wilshire in Beverly Hills, I always see a lady with a sign and she is holding her dog. Usually I don't have time to ever stop and I usually do not have cash on me to help her out. I decided to grab an extra blanket from my apartment and tucked the five dollars in an envelope for her. I made sure to give her both on my way out of Starbucks one morning. She was extremely grateful and said thank you many times. It was a great experience and I was glad to be able to give her something as well.
  • I really appreciated your challenge of finding a way to use $5 to spread joy and kindness in the world. I used my $5 to buy a toy to give to the toy drive this Christmas.
  • For the doing the $5 "good deed" I donated the money to my project serve group. We are going to Costa Rica and your five dollars is helping us reach our fundraising goal.
  • As for the 5 dollar good deed, my mother flew in from Mexico to help me move in to my apartment, and with the 5 dollars I bought her a flower when I picked her up from the airport. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so, she was very happy.
  • For the $5 activity, I bought a cup of coffee for my "big" in my fraternity, which is Alpha Kappa Psi. It was really nice of you to give every single student $5 to experience or do whatever they want. Thank you so much!
  • Hey professor, just wanted to let you know that I just spent your $5. I was at chipotle today and a man was outside asking for some money for a meal and he was able to use the $5 towards getting some food for his dinner tonight. I think it's really a great thing that you do that and get people to think about helping out others.
  • First off I would like to say thank you very much for the opportunity to make a positive impact in this world. Teachers like you are few and far between and I truly appreciate it. The Five Dollars that you gave me went straight into my savings. Now I know this sounds weird, but I save all of the ones and fives I ever come in contact with. Instead, I took out a twenty dollar bill and bought food for a homeless man while I was visiting my hometown. This man always gives thanks and I always feel as if he is thankful. I bought him bread and some lunch meat and gave him the change. Thank you again for letting me have this opportunity and have a great night!
  • Last weekend i gave your $5 to a homeless man in Santa Monica. Thank you for the opportunity to give back to the community! That's a really cool thing that you do, I'm very grateful.
  • With 5$ I bought someone who works in the caf a coffee and got to know them a little yesterday. Thank you!
  • I wanted to let you know last week I donated the $5 you gave out to the wildfire relief fund for the outbreak of fires in Southern California.
Spring 2017
  • My roommate and I were in a major car accident about a month ago, and while thankfully none of us were seriously injured, her car was totaled and she's facing a host of legal issues. About an hour before we were given this challenge, she was informed that she was legally completely at fault for the accident and that she would potentially have to pay whatever damages the insurance company couldn't cover. When I was handed the money, she was the first person I thought of, and I knew that while $5 can't pay for a new car or even put a dent in the damages she might be paying, it might just ease up any anxiety she might be having about money. Sometimes you don't even have to leave your own dorm room to make a huge difference in someone's day. :)
  • Hello, I made a donation to the Harmony Project which is a non-profit youth orchestra program in Los Angeles. This program has gifted many inner-city youth,such as myself, with music lessons 4 times a week on a free classical instrument. They also provide scholarships for students who have been in the program for more than 2 years. I graduated from the program after playing the flute and piccolo for 10 years. In that time I had the opportunity to play at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall with Gustavo Dudamel numerous times, as well as Stevie Wonder and Gwen Stafani. This program protected me in the most sensitive years of my life and kept me away from a lot of the dangers that Los Angeles youth are exposed to. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to donate to this program. I hope that you are able to check out the program and listen to some of their beautiful performances.
  • Today I used the $5 you gave me to buy cheesecakes from Cheesecake Factory for 2 homeless men. Thank you!
  • With the $5 you gave me, I drove through the canyon to get my roommate her favorite drink from her favorite coffee shop. She was very stressed out because she had a huge research paper due soon and she knew that she would have to stay up all night to finish it on time, so I thought this might make her evening a bit more bearable.
  • This morning, my friend received news that someone from her hometown had died. I used the $5 to bring her a coffee to try to cheer her up and make her day a little bit better.
  • I spent my $5 today!! I donated it to an Alzheimer's group on campus. They were in the cafeteria accepting them. I asked one of the girls working the table why the issue was important to her, and she gave me a very touching story about her grandma. I was more than happy to be able to contribute to her cause. I this this was such an amazing thing of you to do with your students. I've never seen a teacher do anything of this sort and I have to say how admirable and inspirational it was. You're absolutely making this world a better place.
  • I wanted to let you know that I completed the $5 Good Deed. I decided to donate $20 to Help Mito Kids. The Help Mito Kids organization spreads awareness about Mitochondrial Disease and helps families impacted by the huge financial burdens often associated with unreimbursed medical-related costs. This is a fantastic organization and I know the founders personally. Thank you for aiding us in our efforts to spread kindness throughout the world!
  • I used $5 you gave me to send my friend in Italy a letter. I haven't seen my friend for a long time and I want to write about my life in Pepperdine.
  • I forgot to let you know what I did with my $5 when I did it on the same day. I bought Chipotle for a homeless person with it.
  • I donated the $5 to a charity that helps provide clean drinking water in third world countries.
  • I debated on what I wanted to do with the $5 for a long time, but I always went back to thinking of how I wanted to teach someone else to give so that they can learn as well. I nanny 2 children 3 days a week and I decided to tell them about the $5 good deed and said that giving was important and that I wanted to teach them so that they could teach others. I gave them the $5 and told them that when they agreed on someone they wanted to give it to then we would give it away. On the way to take them to gymnastics there was a homeless man on the road with a sign saying that he was hungry. They decided to give it to this man because he "looked nice" and so that "maybe he can buy a Big Mac". Thanks for the experience and for all the good you do as a teacher!
  • I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I have completed the good deed that you gave us the $5 for today. An opportunity presented itself in which my suite mate wasn't feeling well so I used the $5 to go to Vintage Grocers and buy her some soup and a couple of wellness shots. It was cool to know I was able to help someone and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you doing this activity. It really puts things into perspective and is a good reminder to keep my eyes open to see how I can help those around me.
  • Hi Dr. Strong! Today I finally did the $5 good deed. I donated the money to a Pepperdine team (consisting of both students and faculty) who is going to Kenya this summer to work with Made in the Streets. This team is raising money to provide meals for the Kenyan children while on their trip. The $5 contributes to approximately 5 meals for the kids in Kenya! For many kids, the meals provided by Made In the Streets are the only meals they receive, so 5 meals will make a huge impact. Helping this Pepperdine group support the kids in Kenya and learning more about their goal over the summer inspired me, and I will likely make another donation in the near future. After all, a small dent in my wallet can make a huge impact on these kids' health... but without this good deed challenge, I likely wouldn't have sought out more imformation and never would've had the chance to contribute!
  • With the $5 you gave us I added a little more money and I bought some clothes to donate to kids who can use it in Mexico. (I am going in the summer and then they will get them.)
  • I wanted to share with you how I decided to spend the $5 dollars you gave us. I was at Ralph's over the weekend and there were several homeless people begging for money. I decided to buy them coffee at the local Starbucks and match ed your $5 to be able to buy all four of them something to drink.
  • I donated your $5 to Autism Speaks. My original plan had been to pay for a coffee or sandwich for someone in need, but the opportunity, oddly, never presented itself. Today I even drove to different coffee shops looking for one with a homeless person outside, and couldn't find one. I had a friend with me who has a brother with down's syndrome and knows that my younger brother has autism. She suggested donating to the Autism Speaks foundation, and I realized that it would be a good way to complete this task in a way that I could connect to.
  • Hi Dr Strong, I donated the $5 to KCM STSM. STSM stands for short term summer missions and I decided to donate the $5 to my friends in KCM who are going oversees during the summer for missionary work. Thank you!
  • For my $5 Good Deed, I donated my money to the Our Lady of Malibu collection during Sunday Mass. I always want to donate whenever the ushers pass around the baskets, but I never have money on me. This time, however, I was able to donate the $5.
  • I have donated the $5 as part of my donation to the Salvation Army Charity.
  • Tonight while going to dinner with a friend, I saw a homeless man sitting outside. Thus I remembered your $5 (I accidentally spent a while ago) and I bought him one as well as I left. Thanks for encouraging me to do this, I have never been a part of something like this at a school (especially a math professor, no offense), and this was unique experience that I always said I would do, but never went through with.
  • With my $5 I bought a homeless man a meal at McDonalds. It is so easy to get caught up in our daily lives and forget how blessed we are. It was a great feeling to put a smile on this mans face. He thanked me numerous times. Thank you for this opportunity.
  • I'm on the debate team, and our coach recently planned a campus event where she could speak to/with students about feminism (positive aspects, alienating aspects, etc.). She expressed concerns regarding her lack of time/technical skills to create posters and promote the event around campus. Unfortunately, nobody else on the team (myself included) had the design skills required to help. I was able to find an inexpensive graphic designer overseas. I sent her $5, and sent the resulting poster to our coach (who loved the result, and had them posted all around campus). Thanks again for the $5--very original and generous assignment.
  • I used the $5 to cheer up my suite mate who was having a rough week and was stressed for a big presentation. I bought her a chai latte and a cookie to help her get through her day.
  • I used the five dollars you provided along with some of my own money to pay for the person in front of me in line at Ralph's who seemed to be struggling to gather their change to pay for their items.
  • I gave my $5 to someone outside of Ralph's the other day! :)
  • So I was walking around Malibu Country Mart looking for a place to take a picture with my friends since it was a very bright and sunny day. We came up to a white wall right beside Wells Fargo and I saw a man on his knees facing the other direction. As I went to the side I realized that he was reading a book that has been badly damaged and put together with strings. I could not resist but approached him with curiosity and asked him what he was reading; he said that he was reading a bible. I was so amazed that the bible he was holding had a lot of notes and how bad the condition it was in. He mentioned that he reads the bible everyday and had never missed a day. I suddenly remembered that I had a bible in my bag so I grabbed it and gave it to him. The joy on his face when I gave the bible to him was an unforgettable experience and this made me want to give more to people and be a more caring person. I then use the $5 to buy a replacement bible for myself and since that day I started writing notes on my bible whenever I read.
  • Thank you so much for what you have done for this world. I was extremely touched and almost burst into tears when I received this $5 bill. None of people in my life has ever done this sort of kindness before. I have totally no idea what should I do with this $5, since I want to do something really meaningful. I read that somebody has already realized that it was not about one task for some extra credits, but an opportunity to set up doing something good in our daily life. Finally, I also decided to keep this $5 in my hand. Because I don't want to just buy a cup of coffee for someone who is in need, and then forget it. I hope this $5 in my hand can always remind me to do little good things and make the world a better place. There should be more cups of coffee in the future. Finally, I used my own $5 bought a piece of cheesecake for one of my friend, who was really upset these days. Cheesecake is her favorite, and she is so surprised and touched that I noticed that she is having a hard time and tried to make her day. I really hope more and more people can realize that only $5 is enough to change the world.
  • I donated the $5 you gave me along with $15 of my own money to my local youth baseball program back home. I was involved with various teams playing and coaching for more than a decade, so to be able to give back to a program that gave so much to me and hopefully help more kids gain all that I gained was pretty neat. Thank you for doing this assignment - it's pretty awesome.
  • I wanted to let you know that I completed the $5 project this week. I bought some water bottles and gave them to construction workers. They were very surprised and grateful. It felt good to help out those who are working to improve our campus.
  • This past week I was on my way to play soccer, but I had to stop while on the way to gas up my car. At the gas station, there were these two homeless men sitting by the entrance of the convenience store, being ignored by everyone who passed by. As I began to gas up my car, I noticed people walk by and not even acknowledge the two human beings sitting on the sidewalk next to the convenience store. After much contemplation, I decided to go up to them and ask them how their day was going. Both said they were doing well but were hungry so I asked them if they wanted anything from the store. They did of course so I went into the convenience store and bought them each a bag of chips and a soda, which they had both requested, making them both really happy. I had to leave shortly afterward to catch my game, but this small act of kindness made me wonder how much more of a difference I could make and how many more lives I could touch if I took time to listen to and help others. Thank you for this opportunity to make a difference in the world, Dr. Strong. I really took heart to it and it showed me how much of a difference one person can make in someone's life.
  • This semester, I've been dealing with some tough things in my life, and one of my best friends has been so helpful in helping me through it. I decided to spend the 5$ on her at Starbucks yesterday, I thought it would be a nice way to show how grateful I am for her always being there for me!
  • I just wanted to let you know that I used the good deed $5 to pay for someone's meal. I also payed an extra three dollars of my own. Thank you for the opportunity to spread some kindness.
  • I know this is late, but last week, I was in Downtown and saw a man picking through trash. Whatever food he found, he shoved it straight into his mouth. So I took out the $5, and gave him an extra $5 and told him to buy a nice meal. The feeling of being able to help someone with as little as $10 was satisfying, and I wish to do more of such acts in the future.
  • I wish I could say I took the 5 dollars bought a scratcher won 25,000 dollars then reinvested that money into the NCAA tournament where I calculated the strongest possible odds to the first person ever to win the Billion Dollars. Then take 100 Million and invest it in the Math program at Pepperdine, get a building named after me and retire after graduation, BUT... I can't say that. I did however use the 5 dollars at Ralphs groceries to pay for someones lunch. They looked hungry and homeless so I picked them up some chicken tenders, a bag of chips and a diet coke.
  • Today I gave the $5 to a homeless man who was on the side of the street. His sign said "Hungry, Anything is Welcomed, God Bless". Once again thank you so much for this assignment. I really enjoy giving back to the community I currently reside in!
  • This Sunday was my birthday and my family took me out to dinner in Malibu and then we went to Santa Monica for some dessert. I gave the $5 to a little 9 year old street performer who was dancing because I just really enjoyed his dancing and the courage he had to do that at such a young age!
  • I used your $5 to buy my small group leader boba. She has really been there for me this year, and helped me grow in my relationship with God. She is such a great role model and I just wanted to give her something small in token of my appreciation. So, I wrote her a little note and bought her boba and some gummies. It was actually really funny because the boba place I went to only accepted cash!
  • For the $5 good deed assignment, I added my own money and decided to treat my close friend to her favorite restaurant during the weekend after mid-terms because she was stressed out.
  • Hello, I wanted to inform you on my $5 good deed, this week during finals week I got my friend who was struggling with her final some starbucks coffee (Unicorn Frappe).
  • I used the $5 to help pay for a visiting student who was on campus but couldn't afford a water. He pulled out insufficient funds for it so i let him keep the money and i payed for it.
  • I kept the $5 until I thought of something I really wanted to do with it. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a creative way to use it, so today when I was in line at 7-Eleven, I paid for a couple bags of chips for the little kids in front of me. It wasn't a super tremendous act of kindness, but it was one of the only things I could really think of without spending it on McDonalds.
  • I just remembered I have to actually tell you what I did with the $5. I donated it to Children's Scholarship Fund, which is an organization that gives scholarships to academically-successful students with financial need, from primary school to college, giving more kids a chance to get a good education and break the cycle.
  • I used the money to buy burgers from McDonalds in Santa Monica and gave them to homeless people that I came across on the street.
  • For the assignment, I decided that I will use a thumbtac to tag the $5 on the wall in my freshman dorm room with a note. The note will basically be welcoming him to Pepperdine and telling him how the first few days are rough for everyone (I know it was for me). I know how important a good start can be, and something like this starting them off with a smile and a positive experience can go a long way. It might just end up being $5 to some stranger, but I like to think that it could be the right start a new student needs, that sets up his whole college experience. I really respect how you give so much of your own money for this assignment and letting kids go out and try to make a difference. I hope you liked my deed!
  • When we got this yellow piece of paper weeks back, I already had an idea about the task at hand; I heard about it from my friend who took the class before. My mind raced towards all these big ideas of what I could do with $5, how far I could make the money to go. Then, time slipped away, and suddenly it was dead week. The envelope still sat on my desk untouched. I shoved it in my backpack and hoped the grand opportunity of giving would come my way. Yet, as I stood inside the office of the elementary school I work at a few days a week, I realized the best use of this money was right in front of me the entire semester: a simple donation box for the school. I put the $5 in quickly, knowing that it would go towards helping keep a smile on the children's faces I care so much about. Sometimes, the best thing to do is right in front of you the entire time.
  • When you gave us the $5, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. The weekend before you gave it to us, I had been in Northern California (where I'm from) volunteering at a camp called Comfort Zone Camp. CZC is a camp for children ages 7-17 who have lost a parent/guardian or sibling. I have been involved with this camp for seven years now, after attending as a camper after my father passed away in 2009. I have been volunteering for three years now, and this camp was my first time as a big buddy, meaning that I was a one-on-one mentor with a camper. The camp has been struggling lately, as funding has been tight. Last year they had to cancel all their California camps after July. This year, they've only had one camp, in Northern California, none in Southern California, which is where they're normally based (the campsite is actually in Malibu too which is a huge factor as to why I chose Pepperdine). Anyways, there have been a lot of cuts to staff in California, and now my friend who is now the lead coordinator of the California camps has taken on so many roles. I decided to send the $5 to him, because he truly deserves it. He spent the 50 hours we were at camp running back and forth from cabin to cabin, assisting volunteers and campers, setting up events, and never taking a minute to take a rest. He also spent the weeks leading up to camp rigorously preparing, and just spent the past month rigorously preparing and then flying out to Florida to attend and head a camp out there. I have known this friend for many years, and he's see me transform so much as a person, and I've seen him take on so much responsibility over the past couple of years. Over the past year I've made it my personal goal to help raise funds for the camp, because I know what it's like to be a child in grief and to think of the thousands of children who need camp but can't go because of lack of program funding terrifies me because I would not be the person I am today without camp. So I'm also planning on donating some money to camp next week, as an extra thing on personally giving my friend the $5. Thank you for doing this activity, it really means a lot to me and to many other students. I'm so grateful that you took it out of your heart to give the money to us and allow us to do whatever we saw fit, I think what occurs is we really see people's characters and my soul has warmed reading what everyone else did.

Fall 2016
  • I used the five dollars you gave me over the weekend to buy a homeless woman in Malibu a sandwich from Subway! I found the experience to be very rewarding!
  • First I just wanted to say that I love the concept of giving your students $5 to encourage us to make a difference in the world, however small. I chose to donate the money to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. The brothers of Psi U are organizing the fundraising, and their goal is to raise $100,000 in order to endow a permanent scholarship in Cam's memory. Although I only met him a few times before he went abroad, I have a number of friends who knew Cam well, and his loss is still felt throughout the Pepperdine community.
  • I use the the $5 that you gave me to buy some anti-ants things. I know it's bad for the ants, but my roommates and I were suffering from ants. So I decided that to buy some pesticides to make our room better :)
  • Today I donated the $5 to The Emily Shane Foundation. There was a fundraiser today at bluff park across the street from school and I happily donated the money towards this foundation. This foundation sponsors tutors to help children who are struggling in middle school and can't afford private tutors. Thank you for doing this good deed!
  • I donated your $5, along with $5 of my own, to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Schholarship (a scholarship at Pepperdine in honor of a student who passed away this past January). Thank you so much for this great idea and for facilitating it financially!
  • I spent the $5 donating to the Cam Johnson Memorial Scholarship to help it become endowed by the university.
  • I have sent your $5 to hospital in my home region in Hungary, since they are really poor and they want to purchase a new ambulance to be more effective in helping people in need. Thank you for helping people oveseas.
  • First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity. I donated my $5 to Wikimedia foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia. Wikipedia offers free knowledge accessible online and makes our life easier. $5 is not a big amount to Wikipedia but it at least raises the possibility for Wikipedia to be here and always make our lives easier.
  • Outside of Shafer Residence Hall there are workers making a brick floor for cars to park on. On Monday I used the $5 to buy them all cold water bottles. They all thanked me and I'm pretty sure they had no idea what had just happened.
  • I decided to use the $5 you gave me to donate to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. I thought this was a really cool idea, and thanks for making the effort to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
  • I used your $5 to help fill an operation Christmas child shoe box :)
  • With the $5 you gave me, I went to the country mart and bought a homeless man I hot cocoa from Starbucks.
  • I hope you are having a fantastic week! When you gave us the $5 last week in class, I spent a while thinking about what I could possibly do with it. While I was at my House Group meeting, we mentioned that we wanted to participate in Operation Christmas Child, an event where people pack shoe boxes each year to bless children in need around the world. We are choosing to pack two shoe boxes, one for a boy and one for a girl. I thought this was a great way for me to use the $5 as a donation towards buying these children a gift this year!
  • I wanted to let you know that I have used the $5 you have given me and donated it to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is currently on its way to reach its goal of $100,000 and, although the donation was small, I believe that was a beneficial contribution towards an amazing cause.
  • I donated the $5, along with $20 of my own money, to the "10 Days" pledge by Living Water International, to help build wells that will provide clean drinking water for people in Rwanda. To me, this is a particularly important issue because it helps make the lives of people in other countries who are struggling to find food and clean water easier, and allows them to potentially focus on other tasks to improve their quality of life.
  • Today I was able to use the $5 you gave me to buy some Christmas cookies for a special shoe box that me and a couple of other students put together for Operation Christmas Joy, which ships the shoe boxes to kids that are less fortunate during Christmas.
  • I did not receive the $5 but I took the time to use my own $5 to buy another student at Pepperdine food while we off campus for a school project. She didn't know that we would be eating off campus and only brought her Pepperdine ID with us so I offered to buy her lunch. It feels good to do something nice for others once in a while.
  • I wanted to let you know that I used the $5 that you gave to us. I gave your $5 to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was created by the fraternity Psi Upsilon, to honor a student who passed away last year, Cam Johnson. It just so happens that Cam was one of my best friends. This scholarship means so very much to those of us who are close to him. If it gets endowed that means that his legacy will live on at Pepperdine forever, something that we all pray will happen. $100,000 needs to be donated, and we are well over halfway in just four days! I really appreciate your donation to this cause, as this means so very much to me, Cam's friends, and his family. I love that you do this! Thank you.
  • Last weekend I spent my $5. I bought smoothie drinks from Starbucks for a homeless couple on a hot day. I was able to wait in line with the wife as we were preparing to order and got to hear a little bit of their story. She was very thankful. I also wanted to let you know that I was very inspired by this project that you do. I think it is very meaningful to know that you are going out of your way to connect with your students and include us in this.
  • I used the $5 to buy the $5 Subway Sandwich of the Day today and gave it to a homeless man near my work in Woodland Hills. I hope he enjoyed his Italian BMT!
  • I decided the spend the $5 to help fundraise for the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. I only knew Cameron as a passing acquaintance, but from what I heard he was a very swell guy. I had Great Books II with him Freshman year. My key memory of him was when he decided to write a paper analysing President Obama's decorum in a pop-culture interview through the perspective of Castiglione's "The Book of the Courtier." I found that very fascinating. I hope that this Scholarship will bring further attention to his life and legacy.
  • I spent your $5 on the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. I also wanted to thank you for doing this assignment. I thought it was really neat, and it really helps provide perspective on issues that outreach I can have an impact on as a student.
  • I donated the $5 to the Cameron Johnson Scholarship Fund that is being started by my friend's fraternity here on campus.
  • I'm emailing you to remind you that I spent the $5 on Starbucks for my friend who picked me up at 5am to go to an event. She was really happy about it, and I think it made her day because it was so unexpected. Thank you for providing us such a great opportunity to help someone smile.
  • I am emailing you regarding the five dollar good deed. I gave the five dollars to my friend to help them buy lunch!
  • My friend and I were in Long Beach at a gas station to fill up my tank and we saw a lady that looked homeless walking with all her things. My friend said she felt lead (by God) to give money to her. So we both pulled out our $5s and gave it to her saying God Bless you. She was so grateful and said she really needed the money and prayed for a miracle earlier. She stopped us and prayed for us and also prophesied to us!
  • My friend and I were driving home and decided to get some gas. I saw a woman by the crossing light who seemed to need some help and I felt led (by the Spirit) to give the money. My friend and I were trying to gather the money but the traffic light had already turned green. We thought we would never see the woman again. When we arrived at the gas station, Ikechukwu went to pay for gas and saw the same woman. Together, we gave the woman our $5. She blessed us and prayed for us. She said she was asking God for a financial miracle that night and it came to pass.
  • First, I want to thank you for doing this project and allowing us to spread just a simple act of kindness. Just reading your letter alone inspired me to reach out and do something good. So, thank you for that. On Thanksgiving day, my mom had asked me to run an errand for her because she forgot to buy a couple of things for Thanksgiving dinner. I went to Ralph's and on my way into the store I noticed a homeless man and his dog sitting outside. After I had grabbed everything I needed to bring home with me, I decided to buy the man a turkey sandwich, a bag of chips, and a bottle of water. He didn't have the words to thank me. He had the biggest smile on his face. I wished him a Happy Thanksgiving and went on my way. Seeing his reaction sent chills up my spine.
  • Thanks for your $5. I made it a letter and sent it to a friend of mine in England.
  • When I went grocery shopping on Thanksgiving day for more food, I saw a homeless person outside begging for money to buy food. Once I was inside, I bought him a fairly sized pumpkin pie that was about that amount. I gave it to him on my way out and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving. I felt really honored to have done a good deed by making him smile and I think we both left happy that day. Thank you giving me the opportunity to make someone else's day brighter. I never thought I could personally gain from it.
  • First of all, I wanted to say that I love your idea of distributing money to your students to give back in some way. While I was in the Glendale area, I donated your five dollars to a church that was fundraising to provide a warm thanksgiving meal to those in need.
  • This Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I went to In-N-Out for dinner. I was waiting for an opportunity to give your $5, and that night, we passed by a homeless man. I bought him a cheeseburger and some fries and wished him Happy Holidays. That moment was very humbling and rewarding. I am so inspired by the way God is working through you.
  • Your five dollars were not wasted. I've been looking for a good opportunity to use them according to the guidelines you have given, and during this break I came across one. I met this guy at the skate park and he told me his story. He moved to NY from LA looking for a better life but could not find anything better than public housing and a minimum wage job. He was trying to move back to LA where his loved ones were but he could not afford it. He looked clean, sober and was very respectful. Thinking about his situation, I decided to help him and gave him mine 45 dollars plus your five. He did not wanna take them at first but I insisted. He could not stop thanking me. We ended up exchanging phones. Today I got a text from him that he bought a ticket back. He now has two more people to thank on Thanksgiving.
  • I work at a high school in Long Beach for a research program. The high school is not presentable. Let's just say that it is very different than what I used to think about high school. This Monday I decided to buy some candies for the class. It was the day after Thanksgiving, which usually is the day I (or many people) cannot be productive. I hope sugar can stimulate their level of learning, and make them happy.
  • I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the money when I got it and I was thinking about it on my way to the Caf. On my way there I ran into my friend who is in one of the fraternities on campus. His fraternity was in the process of their philanthropy for the City of Hope (cancer research). I felt it was meant to be, so I donated the $5 to their cause. I am confident that even the small amount I donated will make a difference.
  • Yesterday my roommate asked me to print out an essay she wrote for class so that she could turn it in, since her laptop doesn't allow her to do so. I said I would but then I completely forgot to do it! I ended up giving her homework to her professor but I felt so bad about it I used your 5 dollars to buy her her favorite candy and lemonade to make up for it.
  • I used your five dollars to buy my roommate chocolate milk, which he was severely craving. He was ecstatic.
  • I am so grateful to you for doing this and encouraging us not only as students but as human beings with a responsibility to the people around us to make their lives better. I used my $5 to donate to the Cam Johnson Memorial Scholarship. As a peer of Cam's, I am honored to be given an opportunity to help those who never had the privilege of meeting him to still feel the impact he left on all of us.
  • For my $5 I decided to keep it in my pocket until I found a right time and place to use it. A couple of days ago I was walking through Santa Monica on my way to dinner with a couple of friends. As we were walking I noticed a homeless man around 20-30 years old asking for a dollar, initially I passed him without second guessing myself but then I took a second to think and I decided to go talk to him. My friends had no idea what I was doing but I went over to ask him if he was hungry and he said yes then I asked him what he would like to eat and he said he would eat anything. I walked 100 feet into the McDonalds down the street and bought a big Mac with the money and walked right out and handed it to him. He was extremely grateful and then I continued to walk to dinner. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. It was a great experience.
  • With the $5, I bought my sick cousin in the hospital two Hot Wheels cars, as they are one of his favorite toys. When I walked in with the toy cars, a huge smile came across his face and I knew that I had made his day just a little more enjoyable.
  • I took the opportunity to fill an operation Christmas child shoebox to be sent to a young boy in Nicaragua.
  • Last weekend, I gave the $5 I received to a homeless man in my area (Winnetka Ave exit on the 101) that I've seen around for a few months. The signs he's held always carried a positive message regarding faith and happiness. We didn't have much time to talk since we were at a freeway exit, but I gave him the $5 dollars and we discussed our views on faith in the 30 seconds that we had. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have such an enlightening experience!
  • I bought food to a homeless man in Santa Monica with the money you gave me.
  • with the $5 i bought my friend a cupcake from sprinkles. She had stayed up all night studying for a chemistry exam, and did not do very well on it. She was disappointed because she had worked so hard, so I tried to cheer her up!
  • For the $5 good deed, I decided to use my money to contribute to the Cameron Johnson Memorial Scholarship. Cam Johnson was a former student at Pepperdine who died last January while studying abroad in Buenos Aires. Psi Upsilon is currently trying to raise $100,000 so that Cam can be remembered through a scholarship for incoming Pepperdine students. Not only does a contribution to this scholarship help to honor and remember Cam, but it also provides funds for prospective students who may need help in order to be able to attend Pepperdine University.
  • For my $5 Deed I donated to The Salvation Army.
  • I donated the $5 to a foundation that funds sports for children in the inner city. On Black Friday, a man at Sports Authority explained to me the impact that sports can have on the lives of these kids and how much of a difference athletics can make in their lives. I though this was a great cause and would make a difference in the lives of these kids.
  • I put the $5 you gave us towards buying my roommate her favourite dinner and dessert from Vintage Grocers. She was taken to hospital via ambulance earlier this week for a kidney stone and needed some cheering up.
  • I wanted to let you know that I put your "Good Deed" money towards buying a Christmas/ thank-you gift for my first-year seminar professor. I really like the message and concept behind this "assignment" and want to thank you for putting your time, effort, and personal money toward teaching us this valuable lesson.
  • So it's been awhile since you gave us the $5 in order to help someone or do some sort of good deed but I hadn't really had a chance to give it to anyone. Today though, I was at Chipotle getting lunch and there was this lady out front looking for money in order to buy herself some food so I remembered I had your $5 and I also chipped in $5 of my own in order to buy her some food. I felt pretty good about doing something like that.
  • I just wanted to let you know that I used my $5 to chip in with some other people to buy a Cubs Sweater for our first-year seminar teacher.
  • Regarding the $5... Thank you for giving us the opportunity to spread kindness in the world. I gave a homeless man a doughnut and coffee outside of Ralphs with the $5 that you gave me.
  • I used the $5 you gave me to help pay for the person behind me in the drive thru at In-N-Out. I've worked at In-N-Out (in Texas!) since I turned 16 and one of my favorite things to see while I was working was when people would do this. I remember one time someone started this and it continued TEN cars back. Thank you for sharing this with us and always spreading positivity. It's appreciated much more than you know.
  • I'm using the $5 you gave me plus some of my own money to donate $35 to a charity that holds a fun run every New Year's Eve benefitting an organization called Marathon Kids.
  • I gave the 5 dollars to my church, the gathering in hopes they can use the money in their ministries and spread the love of jesus around the world.
  • With the 5 dollars you gave me I put in 5 dollars of my own money and bought a toy for a toy drive that I'm going to go to tomorrow.
  • I was absent when we got the money but still wanted to help someone in need so I used my own money, but it was Thanksgiving time and I should do it anyway, but we all should help someone or a cause now and then all the time, that's what makes us human. I donated my $5 to the Cameron Johnson scholarship foundation, but I didn't just do it because it was an easy option, I did it because I just recently lost a friend at 18 years to cancer, and I know exactly what it feels like to lose someone, especially so young. Even though I didn't know him I feel like I am still connected to him, I hope that the donation goes well and they reach their goal.
  • I used the $5 given to me in class to help pay for a friend's lunch earlier this week.
  • I wanted to let you know, that I did my good deed. I bought a Lego set for the foster kids in Indianapolis. I know it is not very creative, but as I usually around this time of the year do something for the foster kids, so it means a lot to do this also this year!
  • I wanted to let you know that I used the 5 dollars you gave us as well as 5 dollars of my own to buy a gift card from McDonalds and gave it to the homeless man outside.
  • I just wanted to let you know what I did with my 5 dollars. I bought a homeless man coffee at Starbucks when I saw him outside looking pretty cold late one night. I appreciate this challenge you give to your students as one good deed can consequently make the world a better place.

Spring 2016
  • Last semester, there was a girl that came to Pepperdine from St. Jude's that talked about her incident with cancer and how she was not suppose to make it past the removal of her tumor during surgery. However, she managed to defeat the odds of the surgeons and physicians. Since then, I have been amazed at the work that St. Jude's has done and decided that donating this money to them was definitely worth it! Continue to make a difference in the lives of children!
  • First of all, I'd like to say that I admire you so much for doing this, and I think that it is incredible. My mom's aunt is like a grandmother to me, and she has took a horrible fall last week. She is in a very poor condition and is now most likely going to pass in the coming weeks. My mom is taking care of her in all of her free time that she doesn't have. I used the money along with some of mine to send my mom and my "grandmother" encouraging cards. My sister and I also sent our mom flowers to work. She said she it was so sweet that it made her cry. We came up with the idea to do all of this because of your $5 good deed challenge.
  • Thank you so much for giving us the $5 to make our life more significant. I purchased a Starbucks $10 gift card with the $5 you gave us and my $5. I sent this card to Sarin who is my RA tonight during dinner. Since she went to Shanghai in her sophomore year, she knows a lot about Chinese cultures and lifestyles. So, she helped me a lot to fit into the life at Pepperdine or in America. She took me to the Chinese market and restaurant so that I would not feel very homesick. That's my story about the $5.
  • Today I gave $5 to the cashier at a shop to hold onto and use to pay for the next person who came in to buy a coffee or something. It felt good to know I blessed someone's day even if it was just in a little way. Thank u for the reminder to serve others like Christ.
  • I used my 5$ as part of a donation to one of Pepperdine's Relay for Life teams. Thank you for doing this, I think it is a really wonderful way to inspire people to give back. I hope you had a happy Easter!
  • I just wanted to let you know that I have donated the $5 for Good to Relay for Life. I know a lot of people who have recently found out that they have cancer or that their previous cancer has returned. Maybe $5 isn't such a big deal in the grand scheme of funding cancer research, but maybe $5 is a big deal when it is combined with the other $5, $10, $20 that people around the country donate.
  • I used the $5 you gave us along with some of my extra money to donate to the Relay for Life that will be taking place at Pepperdine in April. Glad that these proceeds will be one step closer towards fighting cancer. Thanks so much for helping us make a difference in so many lives.
  • I carried the $5 bill around in my backpack for the last week or so trying to decide what to do with it. The other night I was at a starbucks in Calabasas studying for a couple hours. Throughout the time I was there I noticed how nice and upbeat the baristas were despite encountering a lot of rude customers that didn't appreciate their hard work. As someone who is a barista at a different coffeeshop, I know how much it means to me when someone simply says thank you or gives a small tip. It probably wasn't the most creative of ways to use the $5, but I gave it as a tip to the baristas because I appreciated them.
  • I donated $5 more to a ministry called Living on the Edge (lead by pastor/teacher Chip Ingram) that I regularly give back to. I have been ministered to by the teachings of this ministry for nearly 10 years and I often feel very compelled to give back to them. Being able to give back to this ministry is so meaningful to me. The teachings of this pastor has been an incredible influence in my walk with Christ. Their ministry has been one of the most important resources to me as a growing Christian. Thank you, Dr. Strong for enabling me to give back more to this organization that I greatly owe much to.
  • There is a worker at the Hawc, David, who is kinda quite but really kind and makes an effort to remember peoples names. I really like talking to him when I go in there and I decided to get him a gift card and a Jim Edmonds baseball card since we both like the Cardinals. He was pretty stoked. Thanks so much for this awesome idea I told my family about it and we are all going to try it this summer too!
  • Thank you for your generosity. I used the $5 to buy In-N-Out fries for a man experiencing homelessness as well as buying granola bars to make sure I always have food on me to give out to those who need it.
  • A couple weeks ago I went with a couple friends to The Pie Hole located in the Art District in Los Angeles. While we were enjoying our pies, a homeless women came up to us and asked us for money for food. I grabbed the $5 from my wallet and gave it to her. Once I gave it to her, she said to me "well I guess that is enough" and went to ask someone else for money. I know that isn't the best story, but my friends thought it was pretty funny.
  • I know this isn't much but my roommate is going on a mission this summer to Cambodia and I supported her with the $5 that you gave me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to send my roommate on a mission. Every little bit counts. She was really happy and I was the first person to donate so that was somewhat special.
  • I used the $5 dollars you gave me to feed the homeless. A student on campus was asking students from Pepperdine to donate their meal points to his fundraiser to relieve hunger for homeless people. I do not have a meal plan for the waves cafeteria, but I can add money into my Pepperdine account to use for meal points. I used your $5 to put into my Pepperdine account so I could donate to the student's fundraiser to relieve hunger in homeless communities. Thank you so much for motivating us to do good deeds.
  • Here's what I did. So the day after you gave me $5, I happened to find a second $5 bill on the floor. So I bought a $10 blanket on Amazon and gave it to a homeless lady in Buenos Aires.
  • The other day I was going to Ralphs, and as I got out of my car, I was soon approached by a woman. She explained how she has bills to pay and a child to care for but she is financially struggling at the moment. She then proceeded to ask me for either some money for supplies for her baby. So I went into the store and using the $5 and then plus some, bought a big thing of diapers for her child.
  • I donated my $5 to an addiction recovery program in my hometown in Kansas.
  • I wanted to do something extraordinarily good with this money. So, I decided to hold on to my five-dollar bill until this perfect opportunity presented itself to me. I later realized how ignorant I must be to have thought that this sort of perfect, ideal opportunity for a good deed existed and that I could even plan out my involvement in such an act of kindness. I set aside my five-dollar bill and continued my life as a student. In fact, I almost forgot that I even had my five-dollar bill and the task that my professor had given us, until one early morning when I was studying at a coffee shop. As I was working on homework and eating my breakfast, a homeless man at the table next to me was starving. Once I had finished my work, I got up to leave and the man asked me if I could spare some change to buy him a sandwich. This man, who was in need of help, had been seated right across from me all morning, and I had been completely unaware. Why had I set aside my five dollars to do something great? Why did I think that I could even distinguish between good and great acts of kindness? I was so focused on doing something great, that I was blind to the countless opportunities surrounding me daily to fulfill this five-dollar bill mission of service. I went back to my car and found the five-dollar bill exactly where I had left it, and used this money to buy the homeless man a sandwich. I thought that after spending this money towards something good, that I would in return feel good, but that was not the case. My experience in spending the five-dollar bill was heavy as it forced me to rethink my perspective on kind acts. I realize how easy it had been to ignore the homeless and others in poverty, and the difficulty in acknowledging that there are individuals who are experiencing true hardships. I am now trying to find a balance in acknowledging this need and the extent to which I can provide help and fulfill a mission of service.
  • I used the $5 to help pay for flowers that I surprised my mom with on a not-very-exceptional day when I came home. She loved them and I'm happy to say that it brightened her day!
  • Thank you very much for your kindness in presenting us with this unique opportunity. For you to do this with all of your students is very revealing of your character. This summer I had the fortunate opportunity of spending a month working with fellow Pepperdine students in Fiji at the medical mission of Natuvu Creek. Recently Fiji was devastated by Cyclone Winston, and I felt extremely helpless as I thought about all those who must be suffering as a result of this terrible storm. I do not have much money but in addition to the money you provided me, I decided to donate $10 to the mission. Thanks again for spurring such a great cause.
  • I used the 5 dollars to get coffee with a friend from freshman year, and we were able to have a great conversation about our future plans. Also that we are going to stay in touch and see about visiting each other in the near future.
  • I couple weeks ago I went to Starbucks with some friends before heading to celebration chapel. There was a man sitting in front of the Starbucks with a cardboard sign that read: "hungry, please help." I actually walked past him multiple times before I worked up the courage to go talk to him. After introducing myself to him and giving him the five dollars, I was surprised to learn that his voice was completely gone. So with a big smile and visible relief, he accepted the money and went in to buy food.
  • Also, I spent my $5! With this $5 I helped a homeless man. As I left for my hospital shift yesterday morning I stopped at Starbucks. It was 5:30 am and there was a homeless man outside of the Starbucks. I decided to buy him a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich to help fuel him for the day and warm him up from the morning cool temperatures.
  • I normally don't keep any money in my car so I figured I'd keep the money in my glove compartment in case I need it. Sure enough, someone asked me if I had any money to give them so that they could put gas in their car. Although I do not know what that individual was going through, it instilled within me a good feeling knowing that I may helped that individual a lot.
  • I contributed your $5 as well as some of my own so that we could leave a gift card and a nice note for our cleaning lady. Thank you for encouraging your students to give back!
  • I went to Ralph's and saw a homeless man outside and decided to buy him apples and granola bars. He was very thankful.
  • I wanted to tell you for thinking of, and participating in this great service. I think it is very thoughtful for you to give us all five dollars to help out people in our own unique way. I also really enjoy reading about some of the ideas other people thought of, and how our classmates decided to help someone out. There is a man that lives at the beach near there and he surfs all the time. He has helped my family and I move some equipment before. My mom has know him for years. I decided to go to Ralph's and buy cereal and apples for this man. Whenever he helps out we give him food, but this time I wanted to actively go and help him out. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this.
  • I ended up deciding to use the $5 to tip the barista at Starbucks. They were really busy and I could tell the girl behind the register was stressed out. I remembered what it was like to work a register like that and how important my tips were since I was making minimum wage and I thought that this hard working barista would put the money to good use. It felt good to be able to be generous with my tips and know that I was brightening someone else's day.
  • I am going on the Fiji Medical Mission this year with the Pepperdine program. This past weekend I took a break from studying and went to Target to buy some supplies that are group will need in order to assemble medical kits to give out while we are there. I used the $5 along with some of my own money to buy soap which are a component to the kits we make.
  • After our class a girl in line ran out of meal points so I bought her coffee!
  • I gave the $5 to Anam Cara, a hospice starting in Topanga. It's being developed in the memory of Gabe Gelbrat who passed away two years ago. He co-conceived the concept of Anam Cara as an end-of-life home where those with life-limiting illness can experience the healing beauty of nature.


Fall 2015
  • First of all, thank you for the opportunity. Secondly, I used my money on our cleaning people in my dorm because our whole dorm is donating 5$ to buy them massages for Thanksgiving :).
  • So this morning I was out getting breakfast at Point Dume, there was an older woman who looked pretty rough sleeping on the ground and I immediately thought that there was no better way to brighten her day than put forth the $5 you gave me towards a delicious Lilly's breakfast burrito and a bottle of water. Her name was Loretta, she said she was just down on her luck and was very thankful as she started to tear up.
  • On Thursday night, I went out with my friends in a town next to Santa Monica to grab some dinner. While walking along the sidewalk, I saw a homeless man bundled up shivering at a bus stop. I decide to use the five dollars to buy him a hot dinner and drink so I went to the closest store, which was Starbucks, and bought him a turkey sandwich and a hot chocolate. By the time I came back out to hand him the food, another man had stopped to talk to him, so I just handed him the food and walked away. But before I got too far, he said, "Thank you sweetie" and that was when I knew I did something helpful and felt good about my actions.
  • I wasn't sure what should i do for my $5, but then I realized that my apartment is having a charity event for this Thanksgiving. They encourage all of the residents to give new, unwrapped toys as donation for children who are in need. Although I bought toys like barbie, nerf gun, play-dough and others which value more than $5, but because the idea of your "giving away $5" for someone in need really inspire me to do much more! In fact because of me doing this, my roommates followed me in giving toys donations as well. I have to say, being kind really has a ripple effect.
  • I hope you had a good Thanksgiving! I donated the $5 you gave me to The Pepperdine Fund #givingtuesday. It is to help raise money for Pepperdine athletics.
  • On Wednesday, at the Stater Bros near my house, I gave a couple (that was probably in their early 30s) behind me in line at the cash register $5 for their groceries. They were caught off guard, asked if I was sure, and then accepted thankfully! :)
  • Just wanted to let you know what I decided to do with the $5 you gave us. I was at a Starbucks near my house early on Thanksgiving morning and heard a couple of the baristas talking about how they had to change around family plans due to having to work during the holiday. I put the money in their tip jar because I know that if I had to work on a holiday something like that would make it slightly more bearable :)
  • On Saturday I went to Panera, and gave my $5 to the cashier and asked her to put the money towards the old man's meal behind me.
  • For my $5, I gave it to my girlfriend's little sister to spend for a dog toy to give to my dog. Growing up, she has always wanted a dog but her parents wouldn't allow her to. She is a great kid with a great personality and I know that it would make her happy to be able to buy my dog a toy for a Christmas gift. Even though this may be different from giving the money to the less fortunate, I believe that this is something that is creative and meaningful to me, and I know that she and I were happy from this transaction.
  • Over Thanksgiving break, I was home in Seattle. One morning I visited Starbucks, as I have done for several years, and I saw a guy that is always there. I always say hi, he always asks for change, and I had never given any to him before. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I went with the intention of buying him a cup of coffee. I bought him the cup and a muffin, with your money. I suggested we sit down together and have our coffee together. We did, and we chatted for a good 20 minutes. I asked how he was doing, and if he was looking for employment. He told me his life story, and that he is a disabled veteran. He was very curious about Pepperdine, so I told him all about it. Thanks for giving us all that extra push to be compassionate and charitable, it really makes a difference in the lives of people in need.
  • I finally found a good gave reason to use the $5 you gave me. As I was walking to The Caf, my friend Richard past me by and asked if I could buy him a meal as he had just worked out and needed protein to save the gains that he had made. I then felt as if this could be my opportunity for kindness, my moment for compassion and then I asked myself what would Dr. Strong do. I then knew that I could not turn my broke, famished companion away and I said "Let's go." Once we got to The Caf, he order a Double Chicken Sandwich in hopes that if consumed, he would have twice the chance to keep all of his gains from today. He place his ticket in the basket and we waited… and waited… and waited… and then walked around patiently waiting, sneakily glancing at the grille to see if his food was being cooked …went to talk the people at the register.., debated the meaning of life with a 8 year old, and then after 7 minutes and 43 seconds, it was placed on the countertop. Richard's mind drew a blank as he could only think of the grams upon grams of protein he would soon consume. We then brought it to Marina the Cashier, and she worked her computer magic and it came out to $Six, Eighty-Six. We were stunned, this entire time we had not considered that we would actually have to buy the food at the end of this journey. I suddenly recalled what the point of this experience was- not to spend all of my calculus professor's money, but to give from the heart. I then instinctively pulled out two of my own dollars and covered the rest even though Richard offered to. My reason for doing this was for the sake of generosity- and in doing so it was actually more worth it for me in the end!
  • I used the $5 as a part of the donation that has been made out to the housekeepers of my dorm as their thanksgiving gift as an appreciation for their hard work.
  • I took my $5 that you gave me to Lubbock, Texas over Thanksgiving to my Grandparents house and I gave it to my Grandma as an appreciation for how much effort she puts into every meal she prepares for us and how much time she spends cleaning her house and making my family all feel welcome!
  • I would like to let you know that I donated my $5 to the Pepperdine Fund right after the Deck The Halls House Cup event.
  • I choose to use the $5 to thank my Resident Adviser for all the hard work she does. We went to the Topanga Mall recently because one of the girls in our house did not have a vehicle and had to exchange a broken school bag, our RA was gracious enough to drive us 30 min away just to fix her bag. While we were there we stopped to get a snack and I used the $5 to buy her ice-cream and took care of her tasty treat because of how much she takes care of us.
  • I used my $5 to pay for the woman behind me in line at Starbucks. As I waited for my own coffee order, I saw the woman smile as the barista told her that I had already paid for her. She smiled and thanked me after she ordered. I thought it was a simple but nice way to pay it forward during the holiday season.
  • I've spent my $5 by getting a bag of gingerbread cookies for the cleaning crew of my dorm. It certainly made their day & it warmed my heart to be able to put a smile on their faces despite only giving them cookies. But it's the festive season and any gift counts.
  • Hello Professor Strong! This thanksgiving I got to visit my great grandparents that I only see once a year and with the $5 you gave me I used it to buy my great grandfather one of the $15 sweatshirts from the bookstore and he absolutely loved it! Thank you very much for helping me get him something that made him happy!
  • I gave my $5 dollars to my waitress at Melting Pot in San Diego. We got to talking and Savvy and I were having a spontaneous trip to San Diego and we decided to have dinner there. Our Waitress went to San Diego State and she was a very hard worker. She gave us free dessert and wrote Pepperdine- San Diego on it. She went out of her way to provide us with extra customer service. She was great. At the end of the dinner I wanted to thank her for her time and how good of a waitress she was. I gave her a 25% tip including your $5 bill. I knew that could help her in anyway while at college and I believe that it is very important to tip well the people that help us everyday. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to express gratitude to hard working people.
  • So, my friends and I were going out to dinner in Korea Town. We had korean bbq and on a left turn to Western Ave. There is always this guy who is eager to clean car windows. So, usually I would purposefully slow down my car when the light is red and would speed up when it is already green, so I don't have to give him money. So this time, I stopped on the red light and this time, this guys isn't cleaning windows. And he stands near my window, so I opened my window and give him your letter. He was like "Hey wassup man?, where are you from?" then we bumped our fists and he asked him "Are you from the Philippine" I said "No, I'm from Indonesia" then he asked me "Muslim?" I said No, I'm a christian and I told him about how my math teacher gave 5 dollars to help people. And then the lights turn green, he said "God bless you and your teacher". Yea thats about it.
  • I have a very close friend of mine who has had an extremely rough year. Since quitting his job because he was unhappy, he has struggled to find a another job in his field and has been forced to take on two jobs, one at a restaurant full-time and a part-time job at a company he used to work for. This friend is a huge Disney fan and, surprisingly enough, he has never been to Disney World in Florida. Earlier in the semester another friend of mine came to me with the idea to start fundraising a trip to Disney World for our friend who was struggling. He reached out to a lot of people and was able to reach the overall goal of $1,400, which would pay for 2 Disney World tickets, airfare, and a hotel room for the weekend so that he could take a friend with him at no cost. All that being said, I took the $5 you gave me and used it along with $45 dollars of my own money to donate and help send my friend on this trip.
  • I gave my $5 to the person who stands in front of Ralphs entrance, asking raise money for helping poor children and family in Africa. $5 can support a family for 1 or 2 weeks.
  • My grandmother just passed away over Thanksgiving. She and my late grandfather used to run a charity hospital in their hometown in India. Our family, as a tribute to my grandmother, donated a sum of money to the hospital in her name. I donated a large sum of my own money as well, and the five dollars you gave me went towards that. I think this idea of giving students five dollars to have them spread good will is brilliant. I wish more teachers did these kinds of things.
  • I have been carrying around the $5 since the day we got it and I had no idea what I would do with it. I just told myself that I would let the opportunity come to me and that I would know when the time comes. But of course this did not happen as fast as I wanted. So forgetting about it I went about my life past Thanksgiving and through the days leading up to dead week. Yesterday, I went to Ralph's to get some sustenance for finals because my brain did not want to look at books anymore and low and behold the opportunity came for me to pay forward the $5. This literally was so unreal and the time was so very much God. I ran into a homeless man that I have been ministering to and just befriending over the past year. He was carrying cans and other sorts of grocery and it came to me that it would be a great time to reach out to him. I ended up buying him groceries. Of course it took more than the $5 but that meant nothing because those $5 gave me the push to really do something for someone other than myself. It was nice to get out of my head during this stressful time and lend a few bucks and some love to someone who really needed it. Thank you Dr. Strong for giving me this opportunity to not only learn math but to also learn the love of God through simple acts such as these. Have an amazing holiday season with your family!
  • For the five dollars that you gave me, I used it to pay for the car that was behind me at a McDonald drive though!
  • I gave it to a homeless women in Hollywood!
  • I used the $5 to buy the coffee of the person behind me in line at a coffee shop this weekend, hopefully starting one of those "pay it forward" chain reactions. I've always wanted to do that and this was the perfect opportunity! I think this is such an awesome, selfless thing of you to do, by the way.
  • I've always loved animals and have always wanted to do something to help non-profit shelters. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to use the $5 for good cause! I donated the money to Best Friends Animal Society as they will match the amount anyone donates!
  • Thank you for this opportunity, it's not every professor offers their students this chance! For my $5, I decided to help buy my friend a drink over Thanksgiving Break. My friend didn't have any cash on him, and was the only one without a drink on that day, so I felt sorry for him, so I decided to buy him one with the $5! Told him he didn't have to pay me back (of course), and we had a great day afterwards.
  • A couple weeks back I encountered a homeless woman , so I walked up to the women and asked if she would rather have the physical money, or if she would like me to buy her food or water. I ended up giving her the actual money as she could probably find cheaper where she could get more for her money. I saw her a couple days later and ended giving her some water and snacks, because I didn't have any cash on me.
  • A couple days ago I went down to Malibu Frozen yogurt and used the $5 to pay for an elderly lady's yogurt. She was very grateful and at first did not allow me to pay for it! At the end of the day I won the battle and payed for her yogurt. We talked for a little while and I really think I made her night. Felt good to make someone else happy!
  • I use $5 for valet. One for $2 and one for $3.
  • I just want to let you know that i used the $5 to buy a homeless man food. I found him around a week ago while he was searching for leftover food and drinks in the trash. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
  • I used my $5 when I was at Chipotle and I bought this young kid's meal who was behind me and I sat and had lunch with him.
  • On Thanksgiving Day I used this money to buy the gate lady (back home in Miami) a box of chocolates. She used to open the for me every day when I use to live in Miami. It was nice to see her again and do something good.
  • Hi, so I contributed my 5 dollars to a dozen yellow flowers to give to my friend because she was having a bad weekend.
  • I used the 5$ to buy a doughnut for the homeless. I met this guy in Santa Monica, where I just had dinner in a vegan resturant, I went back and bought a doughnut for him. The feeling of giving is great.
  • I used 5 dollar to buy the cute card before the thanksgiving and wrote the thank you letter to my parents and sent it back to Japan.
  • I used your $5 to build on something I saw on Facebook that suggested that women take their old purses and fill them with certain necessities and "goodies" and give it to a homeless women. So I took my old purse and went to the store and got some women products, granola bars, hand warmers, trail mix, and I found online an info guide for homeless shelters in Santa Monica and printed it out. I gave it to a women near the promenade on 3rd street who was asking for money to get a meal and she was so happy. It was a small gesture that I hope brightened her day. Thanks for challenging us, it really made me think and become more aware of others around me and what I could do to most effectively spend your money.
  • I was at a pub about a week and a half ago watching a soccer game when a homeless man approached me asking for some spare change. I made his day when I pulled out your $5 and handed it to him. Told him God bless and he smiled and said thank you. The great thing about this is I felt I should do this more often. As I saw various signs people held up driving throughout Los Angeles, I felt that they're asking for help and so I should help. So, I would give a man $5 one day and another man a nice handful of quarters I kept in my car. Feels good to help.


Spring 2015
  • Want to let you know I gave the $5 to a woman on the cleaning staff in my dorm. She looked like she needed it. I am very shocked at your generosity. Goes to show sometimes it's not all about money.
  • With the five dollars that you gave me in class, I bought dinner for a homeless woman. She was sitting on the side of the road with a sign that said she was hungry, so I stopped and bought her a burrito. Thank you for this opportunity to learn to give back to people who are less fortunate than us.
  • I used my $5 to buy my friend a ticket to our Spring philanthropy "TriHop" where we are fundraising for children's cancer research. Tridelt is partnered with St Jude and our current goal is the raise $60 million in 10 years. We are currently on track to our goal, as it started last year and we raised over $6.1 million. Thank you for supporting the little guys at St Jude!!
  • I also wanted to let you know that about a week ago, I was in the cafeteria and a woman and her two young sons were in line trying to buy their food and they appeared to be visitors to the school. She was speaking with the cashier over how much it cost because she did not have the money to buy all of them their meals so I used your $5.00 (and part of my own to cover the difference) to buy their meals. She thanked me, said "God Bless" and took her kids out to the patio to have dinner.
  • I gave the 5 dollars to a homeless person who was searching for food in a bin in Santa Monica.
  • I had a friend visit from home, and after a long week of showing her Southern California, I was running low on money. We were in Venice eating pizza, and I realized that I was $3 short for paying for my half of the pizza. I remembered the $5, and a little disappointed in myself that I hadn't used it for something more noble, paid for my half. We ate as much pizza as we could, but there was still about 5 pieces left as it was pretty large. We decided to take it home in a box, and on the way home, we were stopped by a red light. I saw a man digging through a trash can about 10 feet away, looking for food that had been thrown away. We pulled over and handed the man the remaining pizza. He was so thankful, and told us that, "[his] father once told him that God sends people to you in life when you need them the most. And those people are God's angels." I am in no way an "angel" but thanks to your $5, I got to make the world a little better.
  • So i never spent that 5 dollars you gave me because i couldn't think of anything to do with it....until today. Some guy was down on his luck and asking for money with his sign just as i was grocery shopping. I asked him if he was hungry and asked for a bag of chips. So i went inside and got him the biggest sandwich i could find. I picked up a bottle smart water, and a naked juice(gotta get your veggies) and also picked up a few cans of food for his dog. He said i was the nicest kid he met.
  • There is a girl in my suite who is the absolute sweetest. She does anything for everyone without hesitation. She drops whatever she is doing just to help someone out or to make someone happy. For what she does for others, she is incredibly under-appreciated. The day you gave out those $5 bills to us, Chloe (name changed to protect the innocent), the girl, had been running her roommate and her roommate's friend from back home all over Los Angeles. Chloe 's roommate does not have a car and asked Chloe to drive her and her friend to different talkshows and sights, which was unfair because Chloe had a midterm to study for that she was panicking about. On top of that, Chloe works for the Graphic, one other job, and interns for Paramount. At the Graphic, two people that had been working on a project with Chloe did not do their work so she pulled three all-nighters to finish the job. When she turned in the project, the editor of the Graphic called Chloe in and lectured her along with other supervisors because they believed that she was the one who did not do her work. Chloe had come into the suite crying because she was just yelled at, tired, stressed about her midterm, and was expected to drive her roommate around again that very night. To top all of this off, her dad had called her telling her he had skin cancer. This all came crashing down in one day. I said that I would drive her to Coffee Bean and buy her whatever drink she wanted in whatever size. In my mind, this did not seem like a fix in comparison to her horrible day, but she was extremely thankful that I had taken the time to think of her and for recognizing how stressed she had been. She was just glad to have someone to talk to over that small cup of coffee.
  • I gave a server a large tip at a restaurant who looked like she was having a bad day. I thought that the tip would cheer them up. Whenever the struggle of school wears on me, I always think of how lucky I am to be in school. I could be a middle-aged woman bussing tables at night, wishing I was somewhere else. Instead, I am in your class, and a few others, at a great school with great opportunities. So, when I put that into perspective, the struggle really isn't all that bad. And that is why I gave her my $10.00 -- helping the less fortunate of us is our responsibility, because we just might be there as well someday.
  • I decided to get a car wash during the break. It was a Wednesday so there were only a few customers and one old man was working extra hard and long on my car to make it look nice. I decided to give the $5 to the old man and he was extremely grateful because I guess they usually only get $1.
  • I spent the $5 you gave us by buying a bag of dog treats and dropping them off at the animal shelter.

Fall 2014
  • There was a guy on the street near a burger and sandwich shop. He wanted to wash my car windows for a little money. I had just had my car washed, so didn't want to mess with the windows, so I offered to give him a granola bar. He wasn't interested. I thought maybe he just wanted money for drugs or alchohol. But driving away he seemed genuinely disappointed that try as he might he wasn't getting anywhere in life. I happened to return to this place a few hours later, and this fellow was still there. He was still trying to wash cars for a little money. This time I offered to buy him a sandwich, which he accepted. After I brought it to him, I thought I would talk to him for a bit. I ended up talking with him for nearly an hour. I learned that his name is Chris, that he often gets part time work, most recently as an usher at USC sporting events, but that this work was very unpredictable. He lives with his elderly mom, who needs a lot of help (including having to change her diapers--she is pretty incapacitated), which he loyally provides. He told me he used to be quite addicted to drugs, etc. but has been clean for nearly fifteen years. He invited me to his fifteen year sobriety celebration a few months from that day. When I finally had leave, Chris told me that he appreciated the food, but much more than that he appreciated that I would talk to him for a few minutes--he said that most people ignore him, a few offer food or money, but almost no one talks to him or treats him like a normal person.
  • I put the $5 towards my buddy's golf round.
  • I used my $5 as well as some of my own funds to buy a mother and her daughter's dinner. The mother was in some kind of security guard uniform, so I thought it'd be nice to repay her for helping out the community.
  • With my pay it forward money, I have purchased notecards to write thank you notes to professors and friends who have helped me and made difference in my life this semester. Thank you for your generosity and for reminding me how much I love Pepperdine.
  • I was sitting impatiently at a red light, and to my left on the curb there was a (apparently) homeless person who said he is a Vietnam veteran (written on a piece of cardboard). So I motioned him over and gave him the $5.
  • I gave my $5 to the tip jar at Starbucks on Thanksgiving day. The baristas were working super hard and were so appreciative of the tip.
  • I used the $5 you gave us to buy breakfast for a homeless woman a few weeks ago. It gave me the opportunity to talk with her, and I had a very interesting and impactful conversation with her. Thank you for challenging us with that activity; I am very grateful for professors like you who care about making us better outside the classroom, too!
  • At the Gathering, the church I attend here in Malibu, they were making collections for $16 sleeping bags. I donated your $5 and supplemented with some of my own to come up with the total. The sleeping bags are going to the homeless in the area for now when it is getting colder.
  • I was waiting in line getting groceries and the women in front of me was $10.37 short, so I used the $5 plus a little of my own money to cover it.
  • I put my $5 the day I got it in someone's window seal in the parking lot walking home. That way when they walk to their car it can bring them joy. And maybe they are having a rough day and need something to brighten it! I'm sure there is a reason God led me to the car I chose because He had a plan in mind!
  • I was at my local hair salon waiting for a hair cut when I saw these children begging their mom to get them something to drink. Their mom was saying they could wait till after their haircuts. I went next door bought waters and juice with the $5 you gave me. They were surprised and grateful. Might not be much, but I think the mother really appreciated it!
  • Many of us know who Charlie is. He is the homeless man that hangs out around the Starbucks by CVS/Ralphs. I have had the opportunity to have multiple conversations with him about various things on different occasions. He loves talking to people and will talk with anyone who gives him a chance. I have been able to have some pretty cool discussions about God with him and let me tell you, he is extremely smart and knows his stuff. One day while I was in line at Starbucks, I saw someone order tea for Charlie and I have done that ever since. Whenever I see him hanging out around there, I always make sure he has his favorite (Hot Earl Grey Tea) and I try to talk to him for at least a few minutes if I can. Your $5 was put to good use, as I know Charlie really loves his tea!

And a few short video clips to encourage us all to do some good:


Make the world better because you were in it today.