Food pantries in Spanish Fork and Payson are to be recipients of proceeds from bright orange, sticker-dispensers scattered across southern Utah County.
It’s a simple concept: Buy a sticker – of your choice of a Disney or DC Comics character, sports team or similar illustration – for 50 cents, 75 cents or a dollar. The total price you pay will go directly to Tabitha’s Way or Agape Ministries, to help provide food to people in need.
“My initial goal is to raise about $2,500 a month,” said the venture’s founder, Chris Baird, who also is editor, publisher and founder of the Serve Daily newspaper covering southern Utah County. “Every penny will go toward helping people get the food they need.”
He started “Change By The Cent” on the heels of last year’s “Bubbles,” which were 3-inch stickers in the shape of Serve Daily’s distinctive “SD” bubble-shaped logo. Available last fall for a donation at Allens Super Save Markets in Springville and at Stokes Market in Salem, the effort drew in $1,600 to help feed people.
Change By The Cent expands that one-time, seasonal, event to better support the needs of people who find they have month left after their money runs out.
There is a cost to this community ministry, mainly the cost of the machines and the cost of the stickers themselves, which have a higher price than some because of the licensed images. But which young child doesn’t want a sticker of Frozen, Cars or Minions, or perhaps Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman?
Company sponsorships will offset the cost, Baird explained.
“We need to find 30-plus companies willing to donate a given amount of money to promote this, to purchase equipment and additional stickers, and to make prizes available,” Baird said. “They’ll get publicity in the newspaper, on the [sticker-dispensing] machine, on the digital display above the machine, and they’ll be known as companies that help their communities.
“It’s win-win-win,” the entrepreneur continued. “People will get the food they need; the company will get the satisfaction of helping make a difference in their community, and the company will get free advertising.”
As this issue of Serve Daily goes to press, the has become Change By The Cent’s first corporate sponsor. One of the bright orange sticker dispensers is located in its waiting area, and on the cardboard backing of some of the stickers is stamped “Winner!”
Prizes for those winners could be anything a corporate sponsor wants to donate, from – as in the case of Aria Salon, a haircut – to a donut to an oil change to a candy bar to a gift card or … In some instances, Baird said, the prizes will be dependent on the total number of stickers bought, or perhaps the “winner’s” name will be entered in a drawing.
“This is all about all of us working together for people in our community who need a helping hand,” Baird said. “Every time you buy a sticker, you help. The more stickers you buy – and what kid doesn’t like stickers? – the more you help. You can bring a smile to your child’s face, and a full tummy to a child – or a family – in need.”
In addition to corporate sponsors, Change By The Cent is looking for additional locations for the sticker-dispensers and the digital displays above them that will show what the sticker program is and what it does, in addition to promoting the corporate business sponsors. The units stand about five feet high and two feet square.
“The more we have out, the more help we can be,” Baird said. “I had some neighbors in Springville who needed help with food and realized from them how prevalent sometimes the need is. With Change By The Cent, we can help feed more people and alleviate more hunger, and that’s my ultimate concern.”