Friday, September 5, 2008

Hand Me Downs

I have always been a firm believer in hand me downs. When I was growing up, my mom stayed home with my brother and I and she made a small income from babysitting children in the neighborhood. Mom was always frugal with how she used our money and thankful for the hand me downs people offered for us kids.

My aunt (her sister) was especially wonderful at sending over hand me downs and she would shower me with clothes from my older cousin. Mom and I would bring the bags home and empty them onto her bed to sort out the treasures. Always a delight were the few toys she slipped into the bag. I remember getting a deluxe Barbie Kitchen that had all sorts of little cabinets and things that really opened! I absolutely loved it!

My own boys, now, are at the age where they pretty much destroy their clothes--especially the knees of their pants. But we are still lucky enough to receive some items that have a little life left in them.

Last week, I picked up 4 pairs of jeans/pants that looked virtually new, and a few books with tapes (that my youngest son will love) out of my neighbor's yard sale pile. We were able to make a happy swap--a small tool box my husband was selling, for my stack of "finds". How cool is that?!

And just yesterday my Soccer Mom friend sent over a bag of cleats and shin guards that her kids had outgrown. Both of my older boys are now set for the soccer season and lucky for us, we don't need to buy equipment! At a time when we are all pinching our pennies, God is still faithful to meet our needs, and in many cases our wants as well!

That brings me to the flip side of the coin. When we come across things that my boys have outgrown and, remarkably, aren't ready for the rag bag, we like to think about what we could do with them that would bless someone else.

Sometimes, like last week, we host a yard sale and end up giving lots of stuff away for very little to anyone who expresses an interest or need. Sometimes, we find a good outlet for them in a charitable organization. Our church recently started a project to meet the needs of those in our community that were devastated by this years flooding. It's a great venture and one that is really meeting needs. You probably have lots of outlets for things in your areas as well. Ask around or check the yellow pages.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that my Aunt and cousin were huge blessings to our family. They often provided things we couldn't afford to buy new. Thanks, Aunt Grace, and Micky! That's the way it should be, family helping family, and neighbor helping neighbor. Sometimes it is easier to just round stuff up and take it to the Good Will, and there is nothing wrong with that. But keeping your eyes out for someone to bless with them can meet needs on the spot, and make a lasting impression!

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