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Why Rounding Up at the Register Makes a Difference

By Communities In Schools | June 28, 2023

Every day, millions of retail, restaurant, and online shoppers are given the choice to add a donation to their purchase. Most often, it involves rounding up to the nearest dollar—which could be anywhere from a few pennies to ninety-nine cents.  

In many ways, the choice to give at the register is a lot like voting for elected officials. In the back of our minds, we may think, “Will my fifteen cents really make that much of a difference?” Taken alone, probably not. A better question to ask ourselves is, “Will this donation help bring about the kind of change in the world that I want to see?”  

In every case—regardless of the donation amount—if you were to ask someone at a nonprofit, the answer would be a resounding YES. And that’s because the world is always a better place when we concern ourselves with the well-being of others as much as (if not more than) we are concerned with our own self-interest.  

At Communities In Schools® (CIS®), we are working tirelessly to create a world in which every student has what they need to succeed in school and in life. From basic needs—like food, clothing, and shelter—to helping students navigate the complexities of emotional trauma or college and career counseling. With more than 12 million students (about twice the population of Maryland) in the United States living below the poverty threshold, the need is vast. While our national network is uniquely equipped and proven to improve outcomes for these students, corporate partners are vital in enabling us to do this work at a scale required to match the need. Even more vital are corporate partners who commit to supporting our mission for the long run.  

Since 2008, Hudson has leveraged their extensive presence in airports and transportation hubs to raise more than $5 million dollars on behalf of CIS. It’s an impressive feat considering where this partnership started—collecting loose change in clear plastic bins at store registers. As our longest-standing corporate partner, all of those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters have helped us grow from serving 1.3 million students annually in 2008 to nearly 1.8 million today. Moreover, every customer who’s chosen to round up their purchase and every Hudson team member who’s asked for a donation on our behalf is part of our community—an invisible army joined together in the belief that educational equity is a right and not a privilege.  

As we celebrate the outgoing class of 2023, we also tip our hats to our community of supporters, donors, and all who’ve played a role in empowering graduates to make it across the stage. For many, the journey was not easy. But we’re thankful for every donation that’s helped ensure our students don’t have to navigate the journey alone. And we’re especially thankful for partners like Hudson who share our commitment to creating a world where all kids have the opportunity to succeed.


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