January 11, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

While sifting through the marbles rolling around in my head, I had a thought or maybe a revelation. We have an ABUNDANCE of stuff! We have been blessed.

We have stuff to keep, stuff to gift, stuff to sell and as a light bulb went on, stuff to giveaway.
So, the thought is how do I be a blessing to someone else who may need "stuff" but can't afford it.

Certainly there are people/families that need hats, gloves, clothes, toys or maybe some decorating item to brighten their day.

This thought may seen simple, but is actually more complex then you would imagine.
One has to consider scams, fraud, shipping and a host of things not thought of.

So, I am hoping "you" the readers might have some ideas on how to realize such an activity,
considering the concerns mentioned above.

That is my "thinking out loud" thought for today!

I look forward to your insight and ideas.


  1. we have sometimes listed things on our local freecycle group - their might be something similar in your area? Also local, trusted or established charities like the salvos or red cross, depending on what items you are thinking of giving away.

  2. It is so difficult (impossible, even) to sift the wheat from the chaff, especially online. At first thought, I would say that the best way to be a blessing to those in need is to give stuff locally to reputable organizations.

    A list of what's available with a potential exchange of some kind (you have A, which I need/want; and I have B, which you need/want) is a possibility (I guess a kind of crafters Craig's List), but that wouldn't really address the needy and their more important concerns.

    It will be interesting to see others' thoughts.

  3. Call your local elementary school nurse. She usually always needs clothing items, or will know what families are in need. I was recently told my our nurse that we have several homeless families at my son's school. This shocked me. We live in the suburbs! These poor babies. I had recently dropped off 4 coats I purchased from Walmart for $7 each.....she was ecstatic. She said she knew exactly who to give these too and they were much needed.

  4. I never give through an online charity or to a blogger's website. I donate to Goodwill all year through, but a sure way to donate and know that it is truly going to those in need is to select a local charity, in my case, the RAM House. I can drive my donations to them and place it in their hands... and they have a list of the items they need on their website.

    Most decent size cities have homeless charities. I recently gave hats and gloves I had purchased because our temperatures have been so cold and the RAM house only provides daytime meals and a place to stay warm. Then the homeless walk across town to the over-nite stays location, so I knew the walk there would chill them to the bone. RAM House also listed food items their kitchen needs.

    Another place to give is to check for a local shelter for abused women. Call them and find out how many mothers and children are there and EXACTLY what they are in need of.... then go shop for it .

    Goodwill is great, but many women shop there who are not in need really... they just want cheap clothes. That's okay, but I just prefer putting my donations directly into the hand of those that truly need it.

    Thanks for contacting me!
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  5. I also take things to Goodwill on a pretty regular basis. I know some have had good luck using online sites like Freecycle but I think I've only had one person actually show up after saying they'd be here to pick up stuff. There are centers for abused women and children as well as homeless shelters. I have donated good art supplies/magazines to a public school art class and they were thrilled. There's not enough money in their budgets so I think they'd always appreciate those things. Good luck in finding new homes for your things.

  6. perhaps visiting a local mission...or a "road home" place for families to stay that are temporarily down on their luck.
    every year my sister takes her children there in the evening as families are lining up hoping to be lucky enough to get in before the mission is filled for the night. after the line dies down (and the unlucky late comers are turned away)...they go into the mission and drop off their donations. It makes for a very emotional event...so be prepared.



  7. I would have to echo much of what has been said. Freecycle etc.
    I tend to give everything to Salvation Army and pray they get it to the ones who need it. I know there is much room there for error too, but I just have to pray and give it.
    My hubby is one that can not handle pack-rattedness, which I'm not either....but he will insist to give it away while I will try to figure out WHO should get it...we must know someone...but in the truck it goes and off to SA!

    Love ya!

  8. Hi Queenie!
    love this post, you got a lot of people thinking.

    I wonder if you want to join Debrina's Barter Circle and send off some bits in trade to NZ and Australia?
    I was also chatting on line with a blog buddy and she said when she wants to give things away, she posts them on her blog and it is all gone by the end of the week! a weekly giveaway would be charming!! xo cat

  9. That's a dilema I struggle with as well. My local freecycle I utilize frequently = perhaps the recipients aren't "in need" as we typically envision but at least the items are going to good use. I'll second (and third) the suggestions to contacting local shelters and I also donate to Goodwill frequently. Let us know what you come up with!

  10. Hi~
    In my area there are schools looking for donations of coats and other winter items for the underprivledged.
    There are programs who take womens clothing for moms and women who are entering or re-entering the workforce and are in need of business clothes. There is an actual name for this, but I can't remember it right off the top of my head. Perhaps you can google it or search the chamber of commerce in your area?
    You can list items for free on Craigslist and offer them at low prices or even free. And
    Toys could get donated to church daycares, your local Headstart program, and preschools in urban areas.
    Or when the weather is nice, you could have a yardsale and have a buy-one-get-one?
    Check out the local children's hospitals, etc. to see if they take donations to see how they keep their playrooms stocked.
    There are a ton of organizations out there....I'm sure you'll find a good orgainzation to donate to. And this way, you'll know it's going to someone who you know needs it.
    If I think of anythig else, I'll let you know.

  11. Yes, we truly are blessed. I have an idea...
    Terry Grahl is the founder of Enchanted Makeovers. A service that transforms and decorates shelters for women and children, here's the link:
    I have called Terry and talked to her before about helping in any way that I could...
    Would you be interested in brainstorming??
    Email me, if so! :)
    What an amazing thought for the day! Thank you!

  12. Hope you are so special, God will guide you if He hasn't already:) There are so many needy people, Bless your heart dear one for caring and giving.... God will Bless you:)

  13. Our MOPS chapter has a swap table. We bring clothes or toys that our kids have outgrown or don't use and anyone who needs these things can take them free.

    We also have a Women's Domestic Abuse shelter here in town. They can use everything! They are happy to receive anything that kids, babies, or women use. Since many of them often leave quickly in the middle of the night, they often arrive with nothing and are in need of the very basics.

  14. There are lots of ways you could do this. You could set the items on the curb with a bif free sign on it. You could let friends and family know what you have and then get together for a free swap. Or you coulddo what some of us in our church did (with the church's support). We startd a clohes bank, which issimilar to a food bank. All the items are free to whom ever. Here is the link to the blog we recently started.


  15. The first thing that comes to mind is a women's shelter or homeless shelter if your goal is to truly find people in need. You can give to Goodwill or Salvation Army although your buyers may or may not be needy. However, the proceeds would go to help those in need. As others have said, schools and hospitals may be good venues as well. Or, you could even ask around if anyone knows of a family going through hard times. There are so many needy organizations, I don't think it will be that hard for you to giveaway what you no longer need. Good luck to you!
    Sharon :-)

  16. I like the way you think. I would pray and a way will open that is uniquely you. (I will pray too) I can't wait to hear what wonderful window will happen for you.

  17. We give locally as well. If there is a need else where, we would or could come up with a way to send something.

  18. I love the idea of donating to the school or a local charity.

    (And when I saw this, I remembered that I got an email from you recently that I never responded to... I'm so sorry about that! I stink.)



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