What can a broke girl like me do for my neighbors in need?
- I can donate to food pantries. Food pantries are going to divert their stock to areas in need, which may at times cause hardship for locals in need. I can look in my pantry for anything I can spare and donate it. I'll come back to this in a second.
- I can offer cash in the form of $1 or less. If a dollar is all I can spare at the time then a dollar is what I will donate. A dollar here and there adds up and can go far if managed by a reputable relief effort.
- Girls and boys will need items to help them pass the time while they and their families try to rebuild their lives. Children of all ages will need more than the basics of life. I will think hard about what can be done on a personal level. My first thought is, there are artists out there without a pad and pencil. I know they're just losing it. I would be.
- I'd like to be connected to a family through a secure channel and send them small care packages. That will be possible later in the relief effort.
- I can encourage others during this time of national and international distress. I may not speak to them concerning Biblical hope, but I can be encouraging by validating their experience and being a listening ear.
I mentioned giving food from my cabinets to reputable food pantries. One of the topics discussed on this blog is the food stamp program and how it benefits my household. I wouldn't have food on my table without that program. I may not get as much as others get, but I can spend just a few dollars each month on food that goes to a reputable food pantry. Think of it as government assistance, not Faith Austin assistance because the source originally comes from the government.
While purchasing non-perishable items, I'll be conscious to pick foods with a pop top over those that require a can opener. I don't know who has a can opener and who doesn't. I think the vast choices in canned foods these days will benefit the evacuees. At Kroger, I can purchase pre-cooked, real hamburger in a can. It's not that bad at all. It's unseasoned, %100 percent ground beef in a can. Canned meals in the green bean and beans section of the store look half way decent. I think I'll purchase those, especially if they have a pop top.
You know I'm sending tea. Much of the tea collection I have, and use medicinally as well as a comfort food, was purchased on food stamps a little at a time. Everything from Dried apples to Burdock Root, Dandelion and Earl Grey, all the way to Licorice Root and Valerian were all purchased on food stamps, a little at a time. These medicinal items are some of my best possessions. I'd want tea if I was sitting in their shoes so I'm sending tea and Apple Cider Vinegar. Yup! The need won't be short lived so there's time to explore other areas of giving.
I spoke of finding a family to write back and forth to for encouragement. If it's not obvious, encouragement is what I do on a volunteer basis. Being able to send a family small, handmade post cards will be nice. I look forward to doing that. I'm not a therapist. I'm not a social worker. I encourage. I'm being trained to offer it to evacuees and refugees. My end of it is often over the phone or video conference. I'm at the hospital from time to time.
When I encourage others I feel better about this stage in my life. I feel like I can go on a little bit longer, too. Encouraging others is a win / win situation.