The CFP and owner of Davis Wealth Services was going to use them as a giveaway and teaching tool of what "hyperinflation" looks like when Zimbabwe experienced a several-trillion percent inflation before the currency was eventually abandoned.
"I did not know how I was going to incorporate them," Davis explains. "But I have had one hanging on the wall of my office for years and it has always been of interest to people that see it and a great conversation opener about inflation."
Davis had the idea to ask for donations to a local cause in return for one of the notes. While trying to decide among all of the worthy causes in Dyer County, he scanned a chain email.
"I normally don't read that kind of thing, but I noticed this one was sent from people that I know," said Davis. "When I finally got to the message itself, it touched me greatly and I immediately knew that if it checked out, this was my cause."
The message described Jeremy Maze, a former Dyersburg Trojan football player who later went on to Austin Peay University on a full football scholarship. During Maze's sophomore year, he was diagnosed with cancer. After going through treatments, the cancer went into remission only to come back. Maze recently began treatments again at Vanderbilt and the chain email Davis had received was a request for help not from Maze, but from local supporters.
At the end of the October event, Davis asked the crowd for their help. He introduced Holden and stated that on a voluntary basis, he would give anyone who made a donation to help Maze one of the Zimbabwe notes that he had described in his presentation.
"I didn't care if it was a dollar or $1,000," said Davis. "I honestly thought we might raise a couple hundred dollars just because it was so spontaneous and brief."
Davis was amazed to learn that the 78 people that were in attendance gave a total of $2,120. Local chiropractor Dr. Barry Cole was so moved that he gave a sizable donation.
"I have known the family for years and want to help in any way I can," Cole said. "We are all so blessed with the health that we have, and I pray that Jeremy's health will improve soon."
The funds will go to incidentals such as transportation, prescriptions, etc. that health insurance will not cover during Maze's treatment.
Davis adds that he still has a few of the Zimbabwe notes left and that the offer still stands: "Anyone who gives to this fund and lets Amy know they want a note, can stop by and pick one up until they run out."
To donate to the fund, please contact Amy Holden Aholden@k12tn.net for an address. Checks should be made to the "Jeremy Maze fund C/O Amy Holden".