Ten people offer ways they would make a difference in a person’s life with $100

Sarah L. Voisin THE WASHINGTON POST Jesse Silverberg , 10, left, of Silver Spring, serves a bowl of stone soup, … Continued

Sarah L. Voisin


Jesse Silverberg , 10, left, of Silver Spring, serves a bowl of stone soup, with his mother Lisa Silverberg. Jesse was one of the recipients of the money. The Washington Ethical Society handed out $100 to 10 members to make a change for the better in someone’s life. The results were shared at the annual “Stone Soup Day,” at the church.

On Monday, an article in the Metro section described an experiment in Thanksgiving generosity recently conducted by the Washington Ethical Society on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. The group surprised 10 randomly selected congregants at a Sunday service in October with new $100 bills. They asked each “winner” to go out and give the money away and “make a difference in a person’s life.” The only small mar on a warm tale of pay-it-forward charity was that one of the 10 had never reported back, a visitor who had not left contact information.

“She was very excited when she left, very eager to do something meaningful” with the money, Mary Herman, one of the Society’s senior leaders had said. “And I believe she will. We’ll hear from her eventually.”

And on Tuesday they did. It turns out that her email describing how she gave the money away was stuck in a spam email filter. Here, then, is how Christine Baer, a student at the Washington Community Scholars’ Center, made a difference with her $100:

Anyone wishing to contribute can mail contributions to the Wesseler Fund at the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012

Steve Hendrix is a features writer for The Washington Post.

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  • n_mcguire

    Thanks for providing the missing piece! I’m a WES member and I was there for the Stone Soup celebration. This 10th act of kindness was like the cherry on top of the sundae — a wonderful wrap-up to a wonderful experiment. I hope we continue to do this in the future.

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