The Power of One

Article Published: Dec. 9, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

One dollar buys more than you think, and we're not talking about chewing gum.

According to a group of Watauga High School students, all those single bills can add up to a double dose of holiday spirit where the area's homeless are concerned.

The 18 kids involved in the Junior Achievement of Social Services (JASS) Club at Watauga High School are counting on community generosity through their "Power of One" campaign.

"Donating one dollar or one hour of your time can change the world," project director Sandy Byrum said.

She helped the students create the group in 2009 and is leading the "Power of One" effort.

"It really started three years ago when I found out the homeless shelter is really forgotten at Christmas," she said.

What started as a group of girlfriends getting together to spread holiday cheer has snowballed into a community effort, one Byrum and the students hope the community will get behind this week.

"We have jars out, and we're asking area residents to donate a dollar," she said.

The money will go toward needed items and gifts to men, women and children staying at Hospitality House. The goal? For 1,000 people to donate $1. "It adds up," Byrum said.

Twenty-four jars are scattered throughout the High Country, at places like Kilwin's and Troy's 105 Diner. It's the second year of the program, and it doesn't just benefit the homeless. It's also good for the students, Byrum said.

"They need to learn to pay it forward," she said. "It's been many generations of takers, and we're hoping this generation will be givers. They need to know that it doesn't take a lot to make a difference."

Can't find a jar? No problem. Hospitality House officials gave us another way to send in your dollar. Donations can also be mailed to Hospitality House, ATTN: JASS Club, P.O. Box 309, Boone, N.C. 28607.

The Hospitality House is the only homeless shelter in a seven-county area, including Ashe, Avery, Allegheny, Mitchell, Wilkes, Watauga and Yancey counties. For more information, check out

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