By Ashley Posimato
With the financial crisis that the country is currently facing, the idea of a completely enclosed booth with a fan bottom, carelessly blowing $2,000 at full speed, while an overzealous contestant tries to hold on to as much as he or she can, may not seem like the best plan for progression.
Or it may be just the right remedy to turn the economy around.
In response to both overwhelming number of Americans in financial trouble, and President Obama’s recent stimulus plan, Ellen DeGeneres has recently implemented her own version of a “stimulus package” on her daytime television show. The plan is executed by first locating the person in need of specific help, then surprising them with the miracle they have been waiting for — a $5,000 gift card, a year supply of gas, a brand new car, or the Gold Digger booth (the air tight money blower).
Although the offerings that Ellen provides are capable of changing lives, the extravagance of the gifts is not nearly as significant as the intention behind it; which is proven by the consistent conclusion of the daily segment where Ellen asks us to also give whenever we can. And people are responding.
Marissa Sparagano, junior at St. John’s University, believes that giving to those in need should be an integral part of our lives.
“Doing community service and giving to charities is the best form of gratification,” Sparagano said. “This year I’m doing the MS walk with some of my friends to support the victims of Multiple Sclerosis.”
Charity walks are a very popular and effective fundraiser, which makes them easy to locate and participate in.
“I have been doing Relay for Life every year since I was a freshman,” said Christine Younkin, currently a senior at Marist College. “It’s always great to see how many tents are set up and how many people devote their entire weekend to the event.”
Relay for Life takes place every spring on the Marist’s campus’s main lawn. Participants register for a fee, raise as much money as they can, and stay up all night in teams, supporting one another to keep walking to fight cancer.
“It gets really emotional as the night goes on,” Younkin said, “but just remembering what the cause is for makes it easier to get through.”
Although charities are both important and impacting, they are not the only way to contribute to society. Simple acts of kindness, on a daily basis can be just as effective.
Kasey Nagle, student-athlete at Marist College just recently realized how important it is to recognize every opportunity, no matter how minimal, to help out.
“I used to try to haggle with the cab drivers to try and get the best deal,” Nagle said, “until one guy told me all about his life in the time it took to get to the train station[…] how could I bargain after that?”
Nagle learned that everybody has a story and there comes a time (many times for some people) where we could all use a little help. This lesson is the same one Ellen DeGeneres reminds us to acknowledge everyday.
“As I listened to him talk about his daughter I began to feel bad for trying to talk down my past cab drivers,” Nagle said. “When we got to the station he said ‘six dollars please.’
“I gave him 20.”