Monday, December 8, 2008

Wake Up Call

As I may have mentioned before, our family donates old or outgrown clothes, toys, books, and just about anything else we don't need anymore to a local women's shelter. I also shop in the thrift store for things we need that don't necessarily have to be brand new.

This weekend, my Mom brought by a couple of bags of clothes and linens to donate. I had gone through my summer clothes and pulled out some things to give. Today I took the trip to Kaufman to drop off the bags and look for a replacement backpack for Baby Monkey. He has been dragging his on the ground and rubbed a hole into the bottom of it, big sigh.

On arrival, it seemed a little odd that there were so many people helping sort donations. After dropping our stuff off at the back, I drove around front and parked in the thrift store parking lot. A quick look around revealed no backpacks. Oh well, I can buy new if necessary. There is usually a lot of stuff to choose from. Today, there was very little in the way of children's clothes or toys.

When I went back outside, I noticed it. The parking lot was completely full. All those people helping sort donations were homeless or battered women being taken care of by the center. The shelter was full to capacity. There were no backpacks because so many people need inexpensive things now.

Our little family is so sheltered from what is going on in our country. I was able to find a good, part-time job. Manly Man has a secure, well-paying position. Our marriage is loving and kind. Drug abuse, domestic violence, and poverty are not on our radar. We have plenty of food, shelter, and clothing. An education for my children is taken for granted. We are safe and secure.

I came home and sewed up the hole in Baby Monkey's backpack. Somehow getting a replacement does not seem as important anymore.


  1. Great post, Debbi! I've noticed that the local Goodwill has been virtually stripped the past couple of months---such a change from last Christmas! It really tells you something.

  2. So sad and disturbing to think that so many need help right now. In my community the forest industry has been hard hit by the slowing housing market in the US. Lots of layoffs and shut-downs. The Salvation Army has seen a big increase in people needing help, in every demographic.

  3. I've been completely broke twice. Not in debt..just good old broke. And you didn't know it by being around us. My kids were in junior our last go round. We had just gotten out of the AF and MrD couldn't find a job.

    I bought all my kids clothes at Goodies. I love that store. Cheaper than Goodwill when they have a sale. I don't think I paid more than $5 for any shirt or pant.

    My family has moved so much that my kids were never attached to a brand of anything. Brands change depending on where you live most of the time. So they didn't mind one bit that their clothes didn't have a label.

    Good for you Deb! Your kids will grow up secure since you have the right attitude. My kids say now-adays..hey mom...we didn't know we were broke.

  4. Great post Deb - one of our charity shops has closed in town, I think that's another sign of hard times and is the subject of my post on Thursday.

  5. This is such a difficult time for so many people. My heart goes out to them .. we donate clothes and other useful things as well.
    Yes .. we all have to stop and think how lucky we are .
    Hope Baby Monkey slings his backpack up to his back now ? LOL

  6. What a moving post today Deb. I know what you mean. I was telling my husband today that we are blessed for having a roof over our heads, our bills payed, food to eat and our health! The things that we take for granted are the same things some people won't have this winter. Bless your heart, you tell Baby Monkey to stop dragging that bookbag! ;)

  7. Beautiful post! I love charity shops, they are a double blessing. I can give my older items to them knowing someone will find a use for them. Then, I can shop and find things I need for a thrifty price! I have long passed the need for "new, name brand" in my life.

  8. Lovely post Debbi and timely. I think this time of year we all need to stop and count our blessings. I've been guilty of whining about stuff that really doesn't matter. I am so lucky to have what I have, my loving husband and kids. We have all we need.
    It's weird, the op shop thing is happening down here too. We went to Vinnies on Monday and they had hardly anything. It felt strange and it occurred to me that they have been having to give stuff to people to help them out.

  9. This is such an inspirational post, Debbi. We all needed this wake up call this time of the season. I for one am not buying any Xmas gifts this year. Just didn't feel right about it. I also have a lot less hanging in the closet after taking about half of my clothing to the Salvation Army. I now have less than 10 long-sleeved shirts. I don't like to wear them unless I'm visiting my kids in Oklahoma where it's very windy. So someone before or beyond menopausal years can wear them! I love what you taught your boys with this!

  10. OFB, Mom said that another local thrift shop was alvoe pretty low on mechandise.

    Blossom, very sad, Apprently, this is pretty widespread.

    Anna, We have struggled, but we have never needed help. I love thrift stores. Cheap prices and my money goes to a good cause. My boys wouldn't know a designer lable if we hit them over the noggins with one.

    VP, It must really be getting bad when the charities shut down.

    Joy, We had a Come to Jesus meeting about taking care of his things.

    Racquel, Bless you too, and baby monkey has been schooled.

    Nola, me too.

    Thanks Barbee

    Brenda, thanks. I hope the lesson sticks.

  11. Foxy, didn't mean to leave you out. We are counting our blessing here as well. The thrift shop demand appears to be outstripping our giving. Maybe we should all go clean out our closets, cabinets and toy boxes.

  12. This is a wonderful post Debbi, and a good reminder to all of us. How many things do we take for granted? (And how blessed we really are.) Thanks for the reminder!

  13. I'm glad I read this today...I was going to sort things this weekend in "sell or donate" piles. It will be ALL donate now. Thank you for the reminder of exactly how good my living situation is.

  14. Lisa, I went through all our coats and found several to give.

  15. I just wanted to add that in the past I have needed help of this kind when I was a single mother when Katy was little. I was so grateful for the help I received and I always, always give back now that I can. Whenever I buy something from the Op Shop here I always pay more than they ask. I will never forget how they helped us.
    They gave us Katy's first bed, Christmas hampers, help paying electricity bills and one time, for no apparent reason some people showed up at the door with a big box of canned food and stuff. No idea how they knew we needed it.

  16. Foxy, I am glad to hear you were able to receive help when you needed it.

  17. Foxy, I am glad to hear you were able to receive help when you needed it.