Embracing the Spirit of Giving Today and Every Day
December 23, 2019
My children insist on growing no matter how many time I ask them to stop. I blink my eyes and suddenly find myself with piles and piles of clothes no one can wear. It pains me for clothes that are in good shape to go to waste, so I make a habit of passing clothes on to friends and family or drop them off in the donation bins next to the elementary school down the street. With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to try something new.
With Christmas on its way, the thought of a little extra spending money was appealing. So I sorted and folded, photographed, and posted it all to Facebook Marketplace. I love FB Marketplace for this type of selling. I put things together in lots and place reasonable prices on the lot as a whole. The intention is not to make top dollar. I just want to pass along useable items to a new owner and make a little extra cash. I am a huge fan of porch pick up. What could be better than leaving bags on your porch and coming home to money in your mailbox? It is a wonderful system.
Along Comes a Message
After my 13 posts went live, I started fielding messages of interest. I quickly sold three bags of girl’s clothes to a family at school on the very first day my posts went live. As I am responding to all the inquiries that are flooding in, I come across a message asking if I am willing to donate to a family in need. I immediately said sure. After all, I am not trying to get rich, just want the clothes to have a good home. When the mom comes to pick up the items, she messages me again asking if I happen to have anything else I am willing to part with?
We are blessed to have the means to give our children everything they need and most of what they want. I cannot imagine not being able to clothe my babies. I quickly grabbed a few bags of clothes that no one had yet claimed and took them outside. She hugged me and thanked me repeatedly. I told her she was very welcome and to take care of her sweet babies.
A Few Days Later
Over the next few days, the mom in need of clothes kept popping into my head. I picked up my phone and sent her a new message, “Do you need anything else? Any other sizes?” She replied that she still needed 4T boys clothes and also needed size 10 girls clothes. I went through all my organized clothes and took down all my listings in size 4T and 10. A quick review of the closets and dressers found a few more size 10 girls clothes we could part with as well. All together I filled four Kroger bags with clothes for this family who needed them. She thanked me repeatedly. In reply, I simply said you are very welcome and Merry Christmas.
The Spirit of Giving
My mom and dad instilled a spirit of giving in me from a young age. We chose toys to donate at Christmas for Toys for Tots, donated clothes and food at church for local families, and made donations to local charities that helped families in need. We were always taught that you share what you have with others. As I grew older, my mom and I talked often about the need to give because we were able. Being mothers, our greatest desire to give stemmed from children’s charities. The idea of sweet young children without warm coats, clothes, food, school supplies, etc. brought us both to tears. We may not be able to reach every child, but we will do what we can.
Over the years I donated many items to clothing and food drives. Our church is very active in the realm of Christian Service and I watch the paper for what I can do as part of my regular routine. None of those experiences brought me the same joy as connecting with this mom in need. She is just a woman, spending her days caring for her children the best she can. Just like me, she loves her children and wants them to have what they need. I cannot imagine the courage it took to reach out to a complete stranger on Facebook for help. Would I be able to do the same?
Embrace the Full Spirit of Giving
To embrace the spirit of giving, one first has to open his heart. The heart needs to be open to see the needs of others. It is necessary to believe that everyone is doing the absolute best they can with the circumstances they have been handed. Sometimes the path is smooth and other times there are bumps in the road. To fully embrace the spirit of giving, one also must look at their own life and see the blessings sitting before them. It is easy to become wrapped up in what we “need” and not see the many ways we are already blessed. Take a moment to count your blessings and share when you are able. Fully embracing the spirit of giving will not only bless others, your own heart will be filled with peace and joy as you serve those in need.