Category Archives: Generosity

A Challenge for the Greater Good

I was searching around on the internet and came across the Flat and Hand washing Challenge that Dirty Diaper Laundry held back in May.  The reason that she did it (from what I took from the challenge) was to show that all families can use cloth, there are some choices with minimal up front fees, and you can do cloth even if you have to use a laundry mat or don’t have regular access to a washer.

Later on today, I was thinking about the people who use the food bank in our community.  I was reading a note on our food bank FB page and was saddened.  I understand that Christmas time is tough on families, but it always shocks me when I read updates from the food bank.

I was thinking that if these families have such a hard time getting food for their families, what else can they do to make the burden a little less?  Do the families with children in diapers let their kids sit in disposables until they can’t absorb anymore so they can make that package stretch a little farther?  Have they thought about cloth, but was shocked by the price of the newer, more modern cloth diapers?  What if they have to go to the laundry mat?  Does our laundry mat have a policy against cloth diapers?

I obviously don’t know the answers of these questions, but was wondering what I could do to help out.  We’re feeling the pinch of Nova Scotia Powers’ most recent power hike.  We’re trying to cut our grocery budget now before the price of food goes up again.  We’re keeping the van in the driveway as much as possible to try to cut our travel budget.  We have a modest income from my husband, not too much, but not too little, but Student Loans and other bills threaten to choke us monthly.  If we’re feeling like this, how are all the families that have lost their jobs lately feeling?  I couldn’t imagine.  And the thought of my kids sensing that kind of stress from us brings tears to my eyes.

So what can I do?  Well, I had a thought.  I am going to challenge you to start a box to go to your local food bank.  Keep a list of what you send and a running tally of the weight of your box.  Do this for the month of February and then post you’re totals on the February Food Bank Challenge FB Event Page.  Keep us up to date of the course of the month to let everyone know how you’re doing.  It doesn’t have to be much.  An extra box of cereal in your grocery order, or some unused cloth diapers that are sitting in your stash.  Any little bit counts!  Call your food bank and see what items go the fastest and maybe buy those all month.

There’s no prizes for those participating.  But knowing that we are helping keep the food bank stocked a little more is more than I need for compensation!

The first thing going into my box are my baby prefolds!  What about you?

 

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Giving back

This news story ( http://www.bigdog1009.ca/news/Story.aspx?ID=1557870 ) that was aired this morning on our local radio station really caught my attention. Please take a moment to read/listen.

It got me thinking of ways that we as a family can help. During this time of the year, my family gives back in many ways. Here’s a list of what we do:

– The local radio stations in the area hold a food drive every year to raise food and funds for our local food bank. I take the kids to the grocery store and they each buy food to donate. I try to target their age groups. J1 buys things that kids can take to lunch like Alphagetti, soup, crackers, snacks. M also buys things that she likes such as crackers, cereal, oatmeal. And this year J2 will do what we did when M was a baby; formula and baby food. After listening to the above mentioned article, we will also be donating cash to help with the expenses of running the building.

-We donate any used outer wear that we have to Coats for Kids. Here in Truro, you drop off any good used outer wear to Wilsons Fuel, and Maggie’s Place and The Boys and Girls Club of Truro and Colchester distribute them to families in need.

-Every Christmas, we take the kids to Zellers and they each pick out a name from the tree to buy a child a gift. They pick out someone who is the same age as them and they each get a certain amount of money to spend on their child. D and I buy each child 1 less gift then we would normally and they learn that instead of getting that extra gift, the child that they picked off the tree will be getting it instead.

-During the year, I pick up an extra box of cereal, pasta, canned good, etc. and put it in the donation box at the grocery store. Both stores that I normally shop at have one. If your store does not, then ask to have one! It doesn’t cost me that much extra on my grocery bill, and I normally pick up two sale items instead of one to throw in there.

-I sell the kids used clothes in clothing sales. Whatever doesn’t sell (usually more than half come back home) I put the rest in the Diabetes Association bins. They are red and are all over Truro now. If there are no red bins in your area, you can call 1-800-505-5525. You can also donate any used clothes to your local Salvation Army or your local children’s center. Our local Maggie’s Place accepts gently used clothes to give out to families in the area.

I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about this, but people need food and clothing all year round. I always think about what would happen if we needed help to clothe or feed our children. So instead of giving back around the holidays when most people do, try finding ways that you can help out all year round!

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