When COVID-19 was spreading rapidly in 2020, I wanted to do something to help our community. I decided to offer to deliver groceries and other small items for elderly people or others who were vulnerable to the effects of COVID. I sent an email to everyone in our neighborhood housing association and immediately received many positive replies! Soon, I was making weekly deliveries to a number of people on our street.
My services were free. Surprisingly though, most people gave me tips. Over the summer I made more than $200 in tips from thankful neighbors. We became friendly with many of our neighbors, which was important because we had just moved to that neighborhood a few months before the pandemic.
In addition, I received a Hometown Hero award from New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich. The local doctor who nominated me said that I probably saved lives. I was even interviewed by KRQE News 13 and was on TV for an evening news segment. It was very exciting and unexpected.
Afterward, I learned that cash was not a very convenient form of money. I spend most of my money on video games, which requires a credit card to purchase online. However, my mom helped me get an SLFCU checking account with a debit card. It works just like a credit card, except you can only spend the money that you have in the account so you can’t go into debt. Now, I can track my spending easily, and I have some financial independence.
From this experience, I learned that you can help people and make money at the same time. However, I found that assisting others in need was most rewarding. I intend to continue to help the community while looking for ways to make money. For example, I would like to volunteer to help care for animals at the Humane Society, and maybe that will result in a part-time job or a dog-walking service. I think there are a lot of opportunities out there if you make a little effort and have support from your family.
Teens Can Get $100
SLFCU members age 13-17 are invited to submit an article on a financial topic to be considered for publication in our Dollars & Sense newsletter and on our website. Teens are awarded $100 for published articles. Visit slfcu.org/TeenArticles for details, topic suggestions, and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.
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