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Pastor 'plants' seed money to promote change

  • Rev. Jackson Crum asked that cash be used to help the city
  • Says he loves Chicago but it needs some help
Rev. Jackson Crum handed out $12,000 last Sunday instead of passing around collection plates.

How would you help your city if you had an extra $2 in your pocket? Could it even make a difference?

Rev. Jackson Crum believes so and he gave his church members a chance to decide for themselves when he handed out $12,000 last Sunday instead of passing around collection plates.

During his sermon, Crum put up a map showing recent homicides in the church’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois.

“I love living here but folks, it’s a hard city,” he told them. “There are all kinds of issues that need to be corrected.” He challenged people to put their newfound cash to work in the community.

The envelopes were filled with different denominations – some $2, some $12, some $102 -- but each one contained at least a $2 bill. It seems like an odd choice because, honestly, when was the last time you saw one of those?

But Crum says that’s just the way he intended it. He thought the bills would remind people, when they saw them in their wallets, that they had promised to do a little good in their community. He also figured the bills might spark up a conversation as people were doing their good deeds.

Church members who spoke with the Chicago Tribune were already brainstorming ideas for how to use their cash: buying supplies for an after-school program or donating to a food pantry. One woman is going to try to multiply her cash before helping a homeless man she sees on her way to work.

So we’ll extend the challenge to you: What would YOU do if you had some extra cash to spend on helping your city?

Watch Evening Express weeknights from 5 to 7 p.m. ET on HLN.

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