Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Give It Away

It all started when I read SEVEN by Jen Hatmaker a few summers ago.  I was telling NPayne about the book and how she gave up seven things/day for a month.  The part that really touched my heart was that she didn't donate her stuff, but she found people who could use it and was intentional in giving it away.  We had been feeling overpowered by our stuff for quite a while, and honestly still do; but we are working on it.  When I explained the concept in SEVEN,  my wonderful and serving husband suggested we have a free garage sale for some of our neighbors.  In other words, we would gather our had to be decent stuff....but instead of donating to goodwill or our local charity; we would be intentional about where it went.  We would give it to our neighbors, who we knew, could really benefit from it.  So in November of 2013, our Sunday School class hosted a free garage sale at our church.  We had about 16 long tables full of clothes, toys, Christmas decorations, household goods, etc.  There was plenty of baby stuff and a few large items.  Our neighbors came and shopped for free, and they took our stuff; and they were so grateful.  They intentionally shook our hands as they left and said "Thank You" with bright smiles on their faces.  So this year, we decided to make the free garage sale a little bit more grand.  We opened it up to all of the adult Sunday School classes at our church and invited 3 large neighborhoods to come and shop.  When we were setting it up on Friday, I was say the least.  I had been getting emails for the last month, so I knew there was going to be a lot; and there was A LOT!  That morning, I told NPayne that I was a little nervous about what we would do with the stuff if there was a lot left over.  In his kind and reassuring way, he said...."Don't worry about that.  Remember what you're doing this for, and it will work itself out."  And it did.  We hosted over 200 people in our Family Life Center this past Saturday, and they shopped and shopped and shopped.  It was a wonderful day, and the best part is....they took almost all of the stuff. We ended up with one truck load to donate.  Our church is full of good people, who are generous, helpful and true servants.  There were many who helped make this event successful, and it would not have been possible without them.  I am extremely thankful for all who donated and helped with the event, and it was wonderful to get to know some members I had not known before.   If you build it, they will come.  We built it, and they came.  Praise Be To God!!