Rockford Student creates new business

Chump Change for charity to donate


CUTLINE: Max Brieden is pictured in front of the website he and his brother created, He believes the balance left on gift cards can add up to some real good in the real world.

Sixteen year old Maxwell Brieden, Rockford High School student, saw a statistic about the amount of unclaimed money on gift cards—according to his source, a shocking $16 billion annually. He decided those dollars would be better donated to a worthy charity than be wasted or forgotten about. Chump Change for Charity is the result of his efforts with the help of his brother Camden.

“A few months ago my brother and I were talking about how we have these pre-paid gift cards with only a few dollars left on them and how we seem to never spend the full amount on each card. We soon discovered that $41 billion dollars of gift cards have gone unclaimed over the past several years in the US,” said Max. “As anyone can attest, it’s awfully hard to spend exactly $15 or $25 on items that cost 99 cents or have sales tax added. Often times its not enough incentive to drive out to the mall and buy that $35 sweater with a gift card that only has $1.23 remaining. So what happens to all those unused remaining balances? They end up accumulating in our drawers.

“That is why we created Chump Change for Charity. We take those last few dollars, donate it to charity, and then enter you to win more cash in our monthly drawing (like $100 through the month of October).”

Max and his brother said they spent many hours building their website business and researching charities. The two were inspired, in part, by Tom’s Shoes, a charity that, for every pair of shoes purchased, donates a pair of shoes to a country where the footwear is greatly needed.

The newly-unveiled website makes it easy for the public to donate with a gift card that has little left on it or which won’t be used. In addition, each person donating has the chance to win a monthly drawing. In October the drawing amount is $100.”

Max said with the cost of making transactions and those associated with the website and the drawing lead them to believe 60 to 79 percent of the donation will go monthly to the charity of their choice. He said the company is a business because it is very expensive to set up a not for profit charity, but his goal is to help others, not make money for himself or his brother.

“Our goal is to help others in need. This has been our goal in everything we do and have done since we were little. I am very young compared to many other entrepreneurs. Although I do not have a lot of experience on my side, I have a dream and strong integrity to work as hard as I can to accomplish my goal and get this business to grow and prosper.”

To find out more about Max’s website and charitable donations, visit

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