Helping you create a home by hand.

150 Days of Giving

Today it is actually 154 days since I started the Giving Challenge to give one gift each day but I missed some days now and then so it only totals up to 150 days.

I decided last week that I wanted to mark this with a special gift.. one that would be a gift of time and service in addition to whatever monetary value the gift might entail. Long time readers might remember that when we are traveling/staying in hotel, I collect all the courtesy shampoos, conditioners and soaps to donate to women’s and homeless shelters. I purchase toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothbrush holders and deodorants. Then last year, I also started sewing small bags to put them in as many people arrive at the shelters with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

So over the weekend I sewed up 10 lined drawstring bags using some of the fat quarters I won recently paired with fat quarters bought during a fat quarter sale at my local quilt shop.

Each pair of fat quarters yields two drawstring bags.

photo of blue and pink drawstring bags

Photo of cherries and yellow drawstring bags

Photo of rose and cherry floral drawstring bags

Photo of yellow and floral drawstring bags

Purple and floral drawstring bags

Ten little gift bags all in a row:

Photo of Ten gifts bags in a row

And here they are stuffed as full with as much as I could fit into them.

Photo of filled drawdstring bags

I hope that the ladies who receive them will feel uplifted and know that even in the midst of struggle there is hope for a brighter future.

This giving challenge continues to bless and challenge me in ways that I could not have imagined. I do try to start out my day now by thinking about what I can give that day but as I mentioned above there are days when I’ve gotten to the end of the day and realized I had gotten so busy that I had forgotten to even think about giving. There are more days than I care to admit when it’s late afternoon or evening before I remember. Yet there are also times when I plan ahead to make sure I have gifts to give. And times too when the Universe conspires to give me the opportunity to open my heart a little more and give spontaneously.

On the days when me gifts are small gifts, I still struggle with “have I given enough.” I still tend to think that monetary gifts are somehow more important than my gifts of time or service.

And while I’m getting better at receiving, there are many times when I have to consciously say to myself, it’s okay to let others give to me.

I read a small inspirational book recently called The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Do Matters (ad) by Andy Andrews. It reminded me that even the small gifts could be the start of a butterfly effect in someone’s life just as the gifts I allow others to give me may well be the start of that butterfly effect in my life.

May you all be blessed this day wherever you may be, whatever you may be doing.

Live Aloha!

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  • Sue
    August 9, 2014 10:58 am

    Lovely idea – a church I used to go to did something similar for the womens refuge which was sited in the road next to the church. In the end the balcony was given over for women’s and childrens clothes of all sizes as well as school uniforms too. The ladies are so relieved and amazed to discover this is there for them. It was called the “Black Sack Ministry” because everything turned up in black bin bags ready for sorting 🙂 Congratulations on putting together these beautiful and special gifts – I am sure they will be so gratefully received and blessed to know that people do care about them.

  • Kate
    August 9, 2014 8:21 am

    Beautiful gifts and a great idea. I am sure the ladies receiving these will feel special at a time when they need it.

  • Kat
    August 9, 2014 8:18 am

    What a great idea, the Giving Challenge. I also collect the hotel soaps and shampoos but have not yet handed them out. These little bags are such a sweet idea, a little “home made love” to go with the practical gift. I’m adding these to my to-do list. (I found your blog from Crazy Mom Quilts and will add you to my blog reader list.)

  • WendyB
    August 8, 2014 9:26 pm

    what a beautiful and selfless way to give! Bless you!
    xox sugary hugs
    WEndy :o)

  • Christine Sherman
    August 8, 2014 9:22 pm

    This is so odd. A couple years ago I started collecting the motel soaps and stuff too with the exact same intention as you! Then I got the idea to sew small bags and allow my grand daughters to stuff them full. I feel it’s so important to teach kids about giving and appreciation. I got sick and never got the bags sewn and no more travel with my husband. I had taken the bags of soaps to my daughters and forgot all about them with the turmoil this year brought my family. I’m so glad to see you doing this and I’m glad you sent out this reminder for me to do this!

  • Vickie Horsfall
    August 8, 2014 10:24 am

    There are so many women that will appreciate the time and effort you spent to create these wonderful bags of ‘caring’. You are so generous with your heart and your time. Thank you for sharing this. It reminds me that I need to give more too.
    Enjoy your weekend. Take Care, Vickie

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