Giving more and spending less

With spring cleaning in the air it is a good time to thinking about Christmas???

Well not exactly.

Here’s the thing:  In our country we have a LOT of stuff.  Stuff we take for granted.  Stuff that, to us, is just…well… stuff.  Yet it could be used to make a difference to someone half a world away.

Starting in Januaury of this year I started a little, experiment if you will.  It seems we have a lot of brand new stuff coming into our home that we do not neccisarily need.  I’m talking about birthday party favors, duplicate gifts, and gifts in excess from grandma.  I started a pile in my closet (on the top shelf) of “shoebox” items:

Operations Christmas child is a project from Samaritans purse that collects shoe boxes filled with Christmas goodies for children in 3rd world countries.

OCC Philippines 9 21 11 1

Children like these who dig through the landfill located right beside their village.  This sweet boy digs through the trash to find something to sell or even to help build their home.  But when you are surround by poverty, there is not much of value thrown away.

For some reason I am living in a 1st world country with an over abundance of stuff and this boy is digging through the trash.  I have so much stuff that I often throw away that would be a joy to someone else.  What is wrong with this picture?

I am trying to re examine my “trash” to see if it could be used to bless someone else.  So far I have collected several toy balls, pens, pencils, flip flops, some costume jewelry, a recorder, a kaleidoscope, playing cards and a few brand new shirts (not pictured).

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I hope to have several boxes by Christmas time and divide toys, clothes, and school supplies evenly.  The picture is not what I will send but just to show the collection so far.   I am pretty excited about all of the stuff that we no longer need that can help make a child smile!!  For all the legalist, don’t worry i will still buy several things to make sure every box is even and more than anything stuff the children need.  But in the mean time can I get a woot woot for less waste, and more giving!!!




This is a great idea!  It is amazing the amount of stuff that seems to come into our lives throughout the year, and then to think about all those without, it makes me sad.  We have been trying to bring less into the house, especially after a couple of insanely over-indulgent Christmas years.


Great suggestion Katie! The kids are always collecting lots of small things like this and they certainly don’t need them. I’ve done OCC in the past, now I know just what to do with all those little goodies. Starting a box today!

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