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Saturday, June 18, 2011

From getting, to giving. Update, and thank you.

Today, my mother and I teamed up and brought a trunk and back seat full of food and supplies to the young woman and her 4 year old little boy that lost their home to a fire (if you're behind, more details about that here) In fact, their home caught on fire TWICE!  After it was put out by fire fighters the first time, a hidden ember managed to re-ignite it hours later.  Everything was destroyed.  

We were able to provide them with enough personal care items to last them hopefully a few months until they can get into a home and back to regular life.  If not, we'll bring them more!  We also brought about $100 worth of groceries, a few toys, a couple new outfits and flip flops for each of them, and some miscellaneous items like paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, a can opener, hair brush and bands, etc.  Thanks to couponing, the personal care items cost us virtually nothing.  We wouldn't have been able to help them to this extent without this valuable skill!

I've gotta say, I'm really disappointed in the lack of action from the local community thus far.  It has been a week since the fire displaced them from their homes, and the only help they have gotten so far is a 3-day hotel stay from the Red Cross.  They are still in that hotel now, until something else can be figured out.  They have been left with NOTHING.  Where are the churches and charities?  I thought for sure that by the time we made it to this family with our load of supplies, they would have at least received some food boxes or something from other sources.  Nope :-(

I'd like to say at BIG thank you to those of you from various places around the country that have offered to send items.  They are definitely needed and greatly appreciated.  I look forward to being able to deliver your gifts of love to her!  Our personal resources are very limited and we've done what we can, but it won't be enough in the long run.  We'll also put in the time to go around the community and get in contact with churches and things to see if anyone else can step up and help out.  Hopefully that will happen!  An overwhelmed mama that just lost everything needs someone to be her voice.  Someone that knows what to do and who to talk to.  We will do our best with that and pray it turns out well.  My mom is great with talking to people, so I've got hope!

When I think of all the people I personally know, I know that if something like this happened to them, they would have somewhere to go.  They'd have loving arms to take them in and help them get back on their feet.  And I always assumed that for the people out there that aren't blessed with that kind of family security, that communities leap into action and make sure they're taken care of.  Today was a reality check when I realized that apparently doesn't always happen, and sometimes... strangers from a different town have to step in and get the ball rolling.  

The biggest Thank You of all goes to Ember, who had the courage to reach out to us and bring this story to our attention.  We wouldn't have known otherwise, and this family would have run out of food by tonight.  She simply heard about a stranger in need, and sought out help for them, knowing that we are "couponers" and might have some surplus items to share.  My heart is broken for this family, but it is also bursting with blessings to see that people from all over are now offering to help in their own ways.  It will surely add up and make a BIG difference!  And my heart as a mama also filled with joy to see how eager my little girls were to fill a bag full of their very own books to give away.  They would have given him everything, but I wasn't sure how impressed a 4 year old boy would be with ponies and dolls and such, lol!  

Anyway, thank you for being here.  Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes for these strangers in need, and thank you to those of you who are able to offer even more.  I know this isn't entirely relevant to the topic of my page, but I believe in paying it forward.  With the ability to get freebies and to coupon, comes the ability to help others in ways you may not have been able to before.  So, while it's often about getting around here, I hope we can also continue to highlight some instances of giving.  Speaking of which, if you have any stories of your own, no matter how great or how small, of giving to those in need or receiving when you yourself were in need, please feel free to share them on our facebook page.  I would love that, and I think others would too!

Please feel free to contact me on facebook if you'd like to be part of this family's own personal little relief effort, or even if you'd just like to send them a nice card or a letter.


Megan Lioness :) said...

This is my biggest peeve with "Extreme Couponers"- that they don't give back enough, if at all :( Thank you so much for donating things you acquire such deals on!!