September 19, 2017

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Small Gift, Big Impact: How A Little Cash Changed Our Readers' Lives

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THIS SITE Click Here To Read Entire Article

Enlarge this image Hanna Barczyk for NPR

We asked … and you answered.

In a recent series we explored a different way of giving aid to people in poor countries. Instead of handing out seeds or a cow or job training, what if you just gave people cash and let them decide how to use it.

Then we put the call out to you, our audience: Was there ever a time when you got a little cash with no strings attached and it made a huge difference? Or when you wished for a tiny windfall to tackle a problem?

Thanks to the 198 readers who shared their stories. Here is a sampling, lightly edited for length and clarity.

How Will I Pay That Childbirth Bill?

Twenty-eight years ago I was pregnant and thought my health insurance covered pregnancy. I had a healthy daughter but learned my husband and I had to pay the $3,000 hospital bill.

We didn’t have the money and were already struggling to pay college debt and start a business. We were making payments but the hospital was harassing us for more. Then my grandfather died and left each grandchild

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