Sunday, November 18, 2012

Change the World ~ Freecycle

I've been working hard to find ways to involve my kids in helping others. It seems like we spend a lot of time in the car, racing here and there, school, activities, coming and going. Our free time is rushed to get homework done, finish laundry, get everybody showered and in bed.

Rush, rush, rush.

I want them to understand how lucky we are.

Admittedly, we aren't in the best of places, but there are people even more worse off than us.

And we have so much STUFF. People are kind and wonderful and we have been blessed by gifts from so many. I want my kids to be able to pass on to others.

So then there is freecycle. You've heard of it, right? Where you pass on your belongings to others?

There's no guarantee that you are passing on to somebody less fortunate, and that's not really the point. It's passing on and fulfilling a need. And sometimes you really get a chance to connect.

I know a lot of people who sell their belongings, and that's wonderful! It just isn't what's in my heart right now.

So we freecycle. Today we passed on some boys clothing to a single mom who was struggling to get winter clothes for her little boy. We also passed on some girls clothing to a family of little girls who are growing like weeds.

A few weeks a go, I cleaned out Bam's room and he helped me pick out some toys he no longer plays with. I put them on freecycle, and got a response from a very sweet woman. Her daughter had called her in a panic earlier that day because she was having trouble getting the money together for her son's third birthday that weekend. Her email spoke to me. It wasn't that long a go when we found ourselves in a similar position and I had felt like the worst mother in the world.

I told Bam how his toys were going to go to a little boy who wasn't getting much for his birthday, and my sweet little boy's heart was broken for this other child. He ran off to his room and collected a few more toys and a brand new coloring book for this other boy.

I knew in that moment that I am doing something right!

So we put the large bag of goodies on the porch. A few hours later, I hear a knock on the door. It was the grandma picking up the toys. She wanted to show me a picture of her sweet grandson and thank me personally. She was very sweet, and even volunteered to help us in the yard in the spring if we needed help. I love meeting kind hearted people!

A few weeks prior to that, I read a post from a woman in search of baby items. Her daughter's friend had given birth, and subsequently been kicked out of her home. This poor girl was in a desperate situation, and this kind woman had opened her doors and taken the two of them in. They had nothing for a baby, and she was asking solely for the basics, some clothes, diapers, anything at all. I searched my heart and knew I was ready to pass on some of our bigger baby items.

So I responded and collected for her a swing, a bouncer, and all the little boy clothes I could find.

A very sweet teenage girl showed up to pick it up and gave me the biggest hug and thanked me for helping her friend. I told her what an amazing person she was and her family was for helping this girl and her brand new baby.

I don't always make these types of connections on freecycle, but sometimes I do.

It's simple. One small act of kindness. Giving of something to somebody who needs it. That's it. I didn't spend any money, I didn't go out of my way, my schedule for the day did not have to be rearranged. Just one little bag on my front porch could change the day for one other person.

One small act can change the world. Maybe not the entire world, but one person's world. And that's enough.

Check out the website!

I love their tagline... changing the world one gift at a time.

THAT, my friends, is my point. One small thing. You can do it!