On Tuesday, patrons of High Street Market may have spotted a little treasure chest at the store's front register. Atop the chest lies a sign asking for customers to donate any amount of money they'd like.
Within two days, that chest has filled with more than $100 cash.
The money has come from donors aiming to help the Westwood Community Chest's new "Fill the Chest" campaign it began this week with High Street Market.
Throughout the month of November, any customer of the store can donate any dollar amount to the chest. They can then sign a paper badge logo for the WCC with their name; the badge is then placed on the front door at the grocery market.
"If you walk into a grocery store," said WCC Board Member Mary Beth Persons, "they have the diabetes association and cancer benefits, they have little logos, and you can give a dollar at the cash register and you write your name and they put it up in the window. We're doing a similar thing."
Persons said she went to High Street Market owner Liz Adams with the idea of raising money for the WCC.
"Times have just been so tough that we get more and more applications for need," Persons said. "Families are finding longer unemployment stints and people are out on disability and it's getting harder and harder."
While Adams was eager to help, she said running a small business in an unstable economy made it somewhat difficult for her to offer funds directly. But she did, however, want to help in some way, and suggested they think creatively for a new idea.
"I wanted to help out, but figure out how to help," Adams said. "I never realized how big the need was."
What's different about this compaign, when compared to similar fundraising efforts at larger grocery chains that typically charge $1, is that there is no dollar amount required.
"People can put in a dollar, 50 cents, whatever you have," Adams said. "People are loving it."
And having Westwood's long-time neighborhood grocery store help out also fulfills the main goal of the Westwood Community chest.
"Our slogan is neighbors helping neighbors," Persons said. "What we decided, we'd say, help us fill the chest. A grant to the WCC is $500, and that goes a long way in paying a fuel bill. We figure, little by little, people dropping change at the register, it can add up quite quickly."