Gary Ribble would not be able to read this story if not for people like you, according to a story at CNN.com.

Ribble, who has chronic lymphocytic leukemia in addition to severe diabetes and impaired hearing, needed new eyeglasses last spring but couldn’t afford them after losing a job he’d held for more than 40 years.

Then he found out about the Modest Needs Foundation. The grass-roots charity pools thousands of small donations to help people get through short-term financial crises. Donors direct their dollars to the requests they want to fund.

“I need these glasses very badly or I will have to stop doing a lot of what I do: reading, writing, and working with my computer; I just can’t see that well at all,” Ribble wrote in his request.

Eleven visitors to modestneeds.org pitched in, and within a week Ribble, who lives in a trailer in Nappanee, Indiana, received a $364 check that changed his life.

“When I found my message from Modest Needs today that help was on the way, I cried a few tears of happiness knowing that I would be able to see again,” he wrote in a thank you note.

Stories like that make Modest Needs Foundation founder and CEO Keith Taylor giddy.

“It is so much fun to read these testimonials,” Taylor said. “It’s like Christmas every day.”

People often don’t realize how powerful just 10 or 20 dollars can be, Taylor said. In many cases, a small amount can stop a crisis in its tracks.

Photo by US Treasury.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on December 23, 2009 in Giveaways.

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