Philanthropist gives $5 daily to charity

June 30, 2011 3:31:06 PM PDT
You don't have to be rich in dollars to make a difference, only rich in spirit. That's the creed that one North Side man who uses the cost of a daily latte to show his spirit of giving daily.

"How hard would it be to give to charity everyday for a year?" asked Carlo Garcia.

A year ago, charity became a way of life for Garcia. The 29-year-old philanthropist decided to donate $5 to a different worthy cause every day.

"The biggest factor for most people is thinking they don't have enough money to give or their contribution won't make a difference. So I decided to challenge myself to see if I could do it," said Garcia.

He did it. And he chronicled it all on his blog.

"April 22 was day 365 and I donated over $4,100 through that 365 day period but it also inspired other people to donate as well, and those donations surpassed $15,000," said Garcia.

One organization he donated to inspired him in return. Last Christmas break, Garcia volunteered with Foundation Escalera to help build a school in a needy Mexican village.

"The people of the village are very warm and welcoming and they're allowing us to sleep in their homes without any questions asked, which is amazing to see the lives they have and the things we take for granted," said Garcia.

Garcia's projects, which he calls "Living Philanthropic", has received several honors. But he says his greatest reward comes from seeing others join his movement.

"It is a very personal thing and not everyone can be capable of giving $5 a day. For some people it might be a $1 a day or a quarter a day or spending an hour volunteering at a soup kitchen or at an after-school program helping kids stay out of trouble. That's a really big impact that you can have just from an hour or two hours a day," said Garcia.

This year, Garcia is choosing 12 charities and to receive his monthly donations. He says he wants to increase his impact and the charities' exposure on his blog,