A number of things attracted me to Common Change. I love that it puts relationships at the heart of generosity. I love the fact that it provokes conversations about generosity. I love that it makes you think creatively about generosity.
The early followers of Jesus used to pool their resources in order to meet the needs around them. Common Change seemed like a great platform to experiment with this idea in the 21st century. I joined Common Change a few years ago. I initially joined a pre-existing group in order to learn how the model works. Later I formed another group.
In our group each person gives whatever they wish. There are no obligations and no one knows how much anyone else is giving. Everyone gets an equal say in how the money is used. The donations, or gifts, can be anonymous. This means you can help an individual out without worrying about creating a lopsided relationship. You can also get the satisfaction of having a confused friend telling you about a gift they’ve received that they don’t know where it came from!
So far our group has bought some camping equipment for a homeless man; helped someone to keep the electricity going in their house; helped parents provide for their new baby while they were out of work; helped a lady who lost her home in the Grenfell Tower fire; helped cover course tuition fees; paid for a man in Uganda to have food while he was too sick to work; and helped many other individuals.
When our group began we were all based in Cardiff. I’m now in Cyprus and the group has spread across the UK and the world. Through Common Change we’ve been able to stay connected and can continue to meet needs together in all our respective communities.
Aled is from Wales but resides in Cyprus where he is helping to form a church community, eating ice cream, and playing guitar. He is working as a teacher and editor.