Counting Up and Down



Urgency Day: 500

Item 1: Assorted unused school supplies

  • Accumulated surplus from Sam’s school years
  • Small value— potentially a late night mad dash for supplies avoided
  • Zero parting-pain
  • Donation!

This was really a no-brainer for me.

I knew I wanted to start my Get Rid of 500 Things Project with a donation. Partly because I think it starts the whole effort off with some much needed good juju, but mostly because a donation allows me to write a bit about a group my family volunteers with, Families Helping Families.

Families Helping Families has been a presence on my blog since I started it, lurking right over there on my Blogroll. (There’s a lot of great stuff listed over there. I hope you’ll check it out.)

Shortly after moving to Naperville, I was very fortunate to be introduced to the actual center of the universe, Vicky Joseph (thank you, Janice!).

In 1994, Vicky started Families Helping Families, a non-profit organization which provides local homeless families with transitional housing and other resources that offer these struggling families a path to self-sufficiency. This amazing organization is entirely volunteer-run. Every penny donated goes to support our clients and their families.

Every penny. 100%.

So I gathered up and took a collection of unused extra school supplies (spiral notebooks, zipper binders, paper, etc.) to the learning center which is maintained for the children of our FHF clients. The learning center is located in one of the apartment buildings in which FHF families live. Tutors give lessons there, students use computers and print school work, kids check out books and games, and parents research community resources, all in the close but vibrant walls of this community center.

And a few extra school supplies will go a lot farther there than sitting in a drawer or bin in my basement.

Isn’t that part of a much larger story? We all have so much stuff, stuff that could be incredibly useful to someone else, but that’s just taking up room in our homes, usually unused, often forgotten.

Oh no! She’s starting to lecture!

The very best thing about Vicky Joseph (to repeat, the actual center of the universe) is that she never lectures. She laughs, she rues, she speaks out (and don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even heard her cuss a blue streak from time to time), but she never lectures.

We all know there are a lot of problems. Choose one that’s meaningful to you and give to it. Give your time. Give your money. It’s all good.

So, today we’re starting with a box of school supplies. Donated.

Only 499  to go.


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