Donating

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You may remember that the other day I went to the consignment store to pick up bags of clothes I had donated. Well, I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I had to pick those clothes up for a reason. While I fully intended to sell those somewhere else, I saw a Facebook post in my newsfeed from a woman who lives in the next town over.

She was asking for help. Last week, her home burned down and her husband, pets, and belongings were still inside. There’s so much loss in the world, and it broke my heart. While I can’t even wrap my head around how horrific it would be for one day to come home to your life completely taken away, I noticed she had included a specific request for maternity clothes. This poor woman is dealing with this unthinkable tragedy – pregnant.

We hear about tragedies every day lately. Some weeks it seems like there isn’t just one, but one dozen completely shocking events in the news. I don’t stop the way I should to truly process them anymore. I’m essentially desensitized.

In some ways, it would be paralyzing to really listen and feel the pain of people around us who are victims of tragedy, abuse, bullying, and other horrors that we hear about every day on social media and in the news. Occasionally, there isn’t much you can do and in that case thoughts and prayers make sense. When you have the power to do more though – you MUST do more. So many people offer their best wishes, or condolences, when they have real power to roll up their sleeves and get some damn work done. In this unique situation, I was that person – and I rolled up my sleeves.

I tore through my attic to get maternity clothes gathered up for this poor woman. Luckily, we wear the same size and I my daughter was a spring baby, so I had a bunch of winter sweaters and pants that could be worn right now. I drove them over to a location that was posted and her friend sent me a message later that she dropped them off that night. I wasn’t alone – there were nearly a hundred messages from women looking to see where they could donate items for her and the baby girl she’s carrying.

Honestly, as happy as I am that I was able to help in some small way, I’m still floored by her situation. I respect her for being brave enough to ask for help. Often help is out there and there is nothing that will force you to get out of bed and move forward like a child needing you.

Helping other people feels good – and as I work my way through the year trying to declutter and spend less on things, I hope to benefit others in the process. The suits I don’t fit in or wear can be donated so that a woman getting back on her feet and needs a suit for a job interview can walk into the room with confidence.

The baby toys and high chairs in my garage could go to a family in need, or make a child happy that doesn’t have something to play with. Everything that is sitting around collecting dust made me happy at one point – and it’s time to get that happiness back out in circulation.

What do you do with your things? Have you got a pile of old toys or clothes that have been ready to let go of for some time? What are your favorite places to donate or volunteer?

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