Wouldn’t you like to say you went to college on a “Hot Dog Scholarship?”

“The Chronicle of Higher Education” reported this story in its September 17, 2004 issue. Six students each year benefit from the generosity of two small business owners. Ernie and George, competing hot dog vendors in the city of Toronto, each donate a day’s earnings toward scholarship funds at Ryerson University.

It all started back in 1982 when Ernie decided he could use his hot dog stand not only to feed students, but help them with tuition too. He set aside one day in which all the earnings went toward a scholarship. Eventually an endowment was established, and it now gives four $400 scholarships each year.

Then when George set up a hot dog stand just down the street, he decided to join his competitor in doing good too.

What I love about this story is that it shows that commitments of even small amounts of money or time can make a huge impact. Out of 365 days a year that the little stands are open just one day is devoted to this charitable cause. And yet this commitment has made a big difference in the lives of struggling college students. With the power of compound interest the endowments are destined to continue giving long after the men have retired from the hot dog business.

So today I’ll leave you with this thought…

What small action can you take today that can make a big difference?

Posted on 30 September 2004

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