Please know that this is in no way a post to ‘pat myself on the back’ so to say. Nor do I want praise for anything that I am doing. Rather, this is a post in order to get you thinking about what you can do. What can you do in your community? What can you do to ‘love thy neighbor’ more? Who is in need around you? How can you help?
In a few weeks I will be telling you about how to save a ton of money couponing, at average stores such as Rite Aid, CVS, even Target. You may have already picked up that I am a bit of an extreme couponer. I’ve built a pretty intense stock pile in our basement. And that’s even with giving away to friends and family. I keep ‘lists’ in my coupon binder for families I know that are in need and what they typically like to use on a daily basis.
But, even with giving away part of my stock routinely, I STILL was running out of room on our basement shelves! Yes, I am THAT extreme.
After a lot of thought I decided I wanted to donate to something or someone more local. Didn’t necessarily have to be something near and dear to my heart (I’m not sure the humane league could have made much use of tampons and smelly hairspray…), but I wanted to be able to make even a tiny bit of an impact for someone.
I decided to donate to a local women’s shelter. And in respect of keeping the women safe, I’m choosing not to disclose the name or the location. That also means I didn’t get to take any pictures either. Although the next time we visit, I’d like to make a point to at least get a picture with the house ‘mom’!
I don’t have any history of being in an abusive relationship, nor do I know anyone who has. In fact, I honestly don’t know that I ever would have been interested in this place at all. It was just something that was laid on my heart when I prayed about it. This particular shelter helps not only women (and their children) who have been in abusive relationships, but it’s also a home for those with substance abuse. They don’t just help them ‘get back on their feet’ but also provide career training and help them to not only live a better life for themselves, but also to set an example for others in their community on how to live better. They teach life skills, such as job training, parenting skills and how to budget. They help women who find themselves job less and homeless. People who ‘slip through the cracks’.
I was honored to be able to meet one of the women staying there. And although we didn’t talk long, you could tell she was a genuine person, who was so grateful to have been taken in at the home. We also met some of the staff and learned a bit more about their program. They were SO thankful for the amount of items we brought in. Items that I had gotten free, or darn near free from my couponing habits. The donation would be used not only for the families in the home as of now, but also for those that are fresh out of the program and getting back on their feet.
Obviously A was with, since she is my little side kick! And she’s so young yet that I think it was just another errand for her. But I can’t wait to instill this value in her. And help her feel the sense of humbleness that comes from helping others. I don’t think you can ever start too early in teaching your children about generosity and life lessons. And I am so grateful for this opportunity that has been put in front of me.
As a Christian, I am told to ‘help thy neighbor’. This is a PERFECT situation and learning opportunity, not only for A, but also for myself. It’s a great way to hands on practice the Word. And I felt so humbled by what these people are doing to help the women and children there. And also what the women and children there are doing for themselves AND others. In their darkest moments, even THEY are helping each other.
Even if you can’t extreme coupon, like myself, I still encourage you to get involved in your community. Although I respect what some of the larger organizations are doing, I feel more driven to help the more local people. The ones who literally are my neighbors. The ones who, you can see your efforts having an impact on their lives.
I can’t wait to continue this journey. It makes me want to keep couponing even more. I am so ready for next weeks circulars! Despite the fact that I get a lot of products for free, it’s still a LOT of hard work. And it is so great to see that handwork pay off in a big way. As a SAHM, and C’s job as our only income, we don’t have a whole lot to spare. But something like this, the blood sweat and tears that goes into getting the free stuff? That can help change someone’s life. And for right now, this is what we can do to help. It definitely gives me the fuel to keep going!
If you are interested in helping out at this particular home, please email me directly at email@example.com for more information.