By Angela Craig

walletWhen I read the statistic in USA Today that 41 BILLION dollars in gift cards were unused between the years of 2005-2011 – translating to an average of $300 per American household, I decided to add up how much money I personally had laying around in unused gift cards.

Visa and Master Card: $59.60

Starbucks: $47.50

Home Depot: $32.50

Grand total: $139.60

This total doesn’t even include my husband or kids.

According to the USA Today new report, many cards expire without being used. In New York City alone, 9.6 MILLION dollars in unused gift card money was returned to retailers after the gift cards expired. That is great news if you are a retailer.

But what if you are the consumer? What could you do with that 9.6 million dollars OR that 41 billion dollars that is sitting in people’s wallets?

You have a choice. I have a choice.

Last week I decided to donate the money that I had left on the Visa and Master Cards to one of my favorite charities. It isn’t huge. But what if everyone who read this blog did the same?generosity

I am praying for God to give me the opportunity to bless someone with the Home Depot card. And I can always find a reason to treat someone in line at Starbucks to a coffee or treat.

What about you? What’s in your wallet? Who can you bless today? Maybe it is you that needs to be spoiled. Go for it – spend those gift cards!

Need help spending your gift card cash? Here are a few of my favorite charities:
Touch the World Fund – Calcutta Mercy Ministries
Mission Forward