Using Reward Points for a Better Good

For my career as a mobile broadcast engineer, I travel. A lot. And I work for a big company that offers things like health reward incentives. Like many career work travelers, I have learned how to use the rewards system. Aside from free airline travel & hotel stays, I have often used many points for things I wouldn’t buy on my own, but want to have. Three of my GoPros–reward points. As is the Apple TV, Jawbone Speaker, etc. Yes, I am a “Points Guy.” It’s great. But recently, I found a much, much better use for what is basically free money for me. It was when I was recently “rewarded” $100 for completing some corporate health challenges that it hit me: with my emphasis on helping homelessness in my own community, and those I encounter in my many travels–what I call “Reward Points For Good.” I was also inspired by the local homeless group I support, that often provides gift cards to local restaurants to our guests. Most reward point sites let you redeem gift cards to many places–Starbucks, Taco Bell, Chilis, Panera Bread, Dunkin. You see where I’m going? Every urban area has all of these locations aplenty. And every urban area has homelessness. I have come to learn from being involved in my local code blue shelter, that, although it feels compassionate to do so, it is NOT good to give homeless people cash. Many are homeless because of substance abuse problems, which they will use the cash to satisfy their need–even in lieu of basic food or survival needs. They can’t help it. It’s an addiction. But a gift certificate to a local restaurant or store–now they have a meal. So….my many reward points to the rescue. Between the two images on this post are about $200 to help those in need–without myself even spending a dollar. When I’m asked for change–here’s $10 at the Strarbucks down the street. More useful than a quarter or dollar they’re used to receiving from people. A “win-win” as I see it. Using things I don’t need myself, to help those that DO need it. My hope with this post is not to induce praise….it’s to inspire those many road warriors like myself with the same unused reward points–you know you have them! Inspire them to give a hand to someone to whom that $10-20 gift certificate means their next meal. Remember “Reward Points For a Better Good!” Thank you!

“Digital Rewards” printed out and laminated to protect ink from being unprotected in a pocket.