Leave the laundry basket! RUN!
Helping others really is FUN!
Years ago, before the kids were born, we would find a family or couple who were in need and find ways to bless them.
It might be someone who was down and out, just lost a job, or a person we'd met living in a hotel.
Whatever the case, I just HAD to do something to lift their spirits.
Oh yea, someone did this to us before we started doing it, and we were hooked! They 'paid forward', and we, in turn reciprocated. You seriously have to try this! Then come back here and tell us about it. You may have other ideas that we can share with others.
Here's what we did.....and it's soooo FUN!
When we had a little extra money, we'd purchase a sturdy laundry basket and fill it with all types of things (I'll share the ideas in a min.) Sometimes it would take a few months to gather everything but slowly we would fill the basket with much needed hygiene or food, baby supplies or pet food. Depending on the family, we added all types of items to help take a little burden off the shoulders.
Then, when we had everything we thought the family could use or the basket was full to overflowing, we'd quietly take it to the family's door, ring or knock, and.......RUN!
We'd hide somewhere (prearranged for best viewing) and watch.
Always the same reaction too; they'd come out, see the basket, look around, smile a bit confused like, tell someone in the house, and close the door. Sometimes someone else or two would come out and look around with a bewildered look.
WE LOVED IT!
The thing to keep in mind is that there is always someone in worse shape than you are. Don't think you have to have a lot of money. We had very little. We just knew that we were blessed a 'little' more than the person we were helping.
You can do this with a team of people, as a scavenger hunt, a church project or as a family.
Whatever the case, ENJOY!
Also stay anonymous.
My challenge to you? Go try it, report back here and share the excitement with others.
I can't wait to here from you.
.....who loves to have FUN!
Do you see homelessness as an issue in your community? - Homelessness is growing, what can you do to help the 'man on the corner with a sign'?
What items do you give a homeless person?
Light Hobby Supplies and Bed Linens
Wicker baskets make a beautiful addition to any room. As a thought, this would be a nice basket for an Older Woman who crochets or knits.
You'd have to be careful of the handles though, they wouldn't hold if you filled it up and tried to carry it by the handles.
Looks like it would display nicely around the house though.
You might add items that are light in nature. This would make a beautiful basket for a NEW BABY: filled with baby items. It might also work nicely for a NEWLY WEDS: with towels, linens, household gadgets, SINGLE MOM: filled with 'mom' things just for her such as pampering items, hair supplies, costume jewelry, basic girl stuff to lift a mom's spirits, a SINGLE MAN: possibly for his 'man cave' filled with popcorn, chips, snack cakes, nuts etc.,
Veterans can use a helping hand also. Don'f forget about them.
Laundry Baskets - perfect size for lots of stuff
Our thought was to remain practical, and a laundry basket seemed fitting. People don't always purchase a new basket when the old one falls apart if they don't have extra money. It was also easy enough to carry, as well as having enough room to put lots of stuff in it.
Before doing anything, think about the family.
Large or small?
Ages of children?
You get the idea.
Then, add things like, toys, food, cleansers, toiletries, personal hygiene etc. The list goes on.
Don't worry about spending a lot, just think about what they need, get a few items here and there and set the date for the family adventure.
Be random, not on holidays or special days necessarily, it's about helping someone less fortunate than yourself.
Not for You?
If you're a person that would like to help, but are not comfortable doing a basket run, consider sending the items to a local ministry in our community that helps seniors, hungry and handicapped. They will distribute the items for you.
The Potters Wheel
Evansville, IN 47713
Thank you for giving back.
See what others are saying - You have to try this, it's so much fun!
Have you tried doing the basket run yet?
This one is my Favorite
Something along this line might work also. The handles look sturdy, but don't carry it filled with heavy items to the door. You could fit quite a bit in this basket too, with plenty of room. Items such as hygiene, sheets, feminine product for ladies, or shaving items for men would be a nice addition to fill this basket with. Laundry baskets are always a nice item to give most families and are a nice item if the family already has a place to stay. A basket for a homeless person wouldn't work however, and a backpack or duffle bag would be a much more suitable item for the homeless.
Again, I like this item to surprise a family with, but would hold the bottom to keep it from collapsing or the handles breaking off.
The blue might be something a man or boy might prefer. Fill it with guy things that might be more appropriate for men. For instance, when purchasing items for men, think blue, brown, black, grey or deep shades of green, burgandy, gold or purple. Men prefer earthy tones for their toothbrushes, sheets, and underwear. Pink or glow in the dark green aren't something he's going to be interested in. Be thoughtful with your purchase; something you like might not be for a man's taste and therefore might be a waste of your money.
If you are purchasing for a single man, this particular basket, or maybe the wicker one might be more to a mans liking. Just a thought.
Keeping them warm
Handicapped, Older People Shut In's
One of the biggest concerns I've always had is that older people, handicapped, and shut ins might be cold at night. Many cannot afford the electric bills that our country keeps seeing rise. I met an 82 (specific age ?) who had closed off her house and slept in the kitchen because the only heat she had was her stove. Think about blankets and warmth when purchasing your items.
Men don't usually purchase linens for themselves, if they don't have much money they'll purchase food first, especially if they have children. Linens are always a nice addition to any home and they're a nice gift for any man.
Let's face it, women love nice linens but the kids usually take front seat. If you know a single mom, make special basket for her and surprise her with some chocolates, a bottle of wine, some bubble bath, towels, a magazine, nail polish or something I hadn't thought of. You might not get the credit for it (remember, you're anonymous) but she'll feel like a million bucks that someone thought of her.
Kids and Grandparents:
Usually it's easier to know what size bed the kids and grand parent sleep in. You can figure most of the time the family has a twin bed for the youngsters and grandma.
To Make A Woman Feel Elegant Again
When I saw the Egyptian Weenkle Fwee Sheet Set, I began to drool. I visualized a big bed with long hand carved wood headboard. I thought about the whole room dark burgandy and lights low and glowing. It reminded of my dreams and future I believe is just around the corner.
Snap* out of it. Shake my head and back to the job at hand. Understanding that not everyone has the ability to care for themselves makes me so much more thankful of the love I surround myself with.
It's part of my driving force; that little thing that makes me tick and focus on an ever-growing concern. So these sheets could be for that person, young or old, that needs to feel like they are worth something. Like they have value. It's also a wonderful hug without giving a hug.
Families need Natural Products
Many families who have little to spend, won't spend on products that are expensive; they'll opt to buy products that might not be good for them and therefore might never have the opportunity to try a product that's better for them and their family.
Tom's of Maine is a natural product that has no flouride and is much better for families.
Consider adding a natural product for the family to try.
Baby Lotion, All Natural
Burt's Bees has been around for many years. They make products that keep families safe from pesticides, toxins and other garbage you don't want on your baby or family.
Burt's Bees Nourishing Baby Lotion is made for your baby with the best ingredients for your family.
I highly recommend the products.
Toms of Maine
My kids are older and this brand wasn't something I'd heard of 'back then' I did some research and this particular Brand seems to be something that people really like. I thought I'd share it with you. :-)
Free of chlorine processing
Free of fragrances and latex
Free of petroleum based lotions
There are literally so many items you can add to a basket that the list never ends. Here are just a few more thoughts you might have to add to the Basket Run FUN!
From baby clothes to diapers and everything in between, you can add to the family basket. Tweezers to nose thingy's are all welcome too, I'm sure.
However, I like adding those items to the basket, but I also like to go a step further on the baby items too.
I like to add items that are dye free, natural and don't damage the land or add to the landfills.
My family had disposable diapers and I also used cloth diapers. Not everyone is willing to use cloth nor would some people appreciate this gesture, so it's something to think about.
If you know they could use diapers, you might consider having the diapers drop shipped to the recipients home. You could go a step further and purchase 1 pk. per month if you have the extra funds to help. (formula is something they probably won't need because that can be purchased through the system)
If you're in Evansville, I am putting a listing of families and youth that would benefit from a monthly sponsor. Your help can help some folks get up on their feet sooner than they thought.
Single Moms, Single Dads, Homeless and Homeless Teens, Grandparents raising grandbabies.
Sharing love with others helps them continue to love.
I'm not really one that feel diapers is always a good thing, for several reasons. I won't go into that right now. I do know moms love them and won't change to cloth even with the updated versions on the market. I'm all about saving money and planet (I'm old school)
Anyway, this particular link leads to size 4, so make sure you get the right size while you're there.
Pampers is a name brand company that has all the sizes you'll need to raise your little person with a dry behind.
Hair Ties for Long or Short Hair
Items such as shampoo and conditioner are very appreciated and needed items.
If a person is down and out, something as inexpensive as Shampoo might not be something they can afford. By helping Seniors, Handicapped, Homeless or Veterans with items such as daily necessities, you could help them purchase other items such as medical supplies, medicines, electricity or gas for their home or even rent.
Simple purchases to help others go much farther than you realize
Consider purchasing 6 bottles to help cut the cost for the family or individual. This will be about a yr. supply for an individual.
A savings of approximately $12 a yr. for ONE product can buy a meal or pay for a prescription that might not have been readily available without your help.
Consider purchasing daily items in bulk to help them throughout the year.
1-2 items that you and I take for granted might be the one item that keeps someone alive because they are able to purchase medication or food.
Hair Supplies - Personal Hygiene is the most needed items of all.
Hair brushes, combs, hair supplies, pony tail holders, bobby pins, hair bows, men's hair items, curling iron, flat iron, solutions for balding or thinning hair, clippers, razors, hair spray and more.
Finding a job is easier if you have the items you need in order to keep up with your appearance. Things like these aren't always something the homeless, handicapped, seniors or mentally ill on the streets purchase for themselves.
Items like everyday products are a helpful item for those who need to watch every penny. Handicapped and Seniors will often go without daily essentials because they must eat or get medications; they shouldn't have choose between staying clean, taking meds. or eating.
If these items were available to Seniors, Handicapped, Homeless or Mentally Ill, it could help them save for medications or food that they might be needing.
Everything is helpful, some things more than others. Hair products are definitely something people need.
What type of items might be helpful to those in need?
Many of the items have already been listed on this page, but what you can do to help is be as creative as possible in your thinking.
For example, if you know the family and they have a family member that has chronic medical problems, purchasing daily hygiene would be a cleaver way to help the family save money for medical expenses.
Consider purchasing a 12pk. of something and have it delivered to the family:
Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Feminine Products, Washing Soap, Diapers, Dish Soap, or other household item.
A 12 pk. of Shampoo that would cost $1.00 could be used for other purchases
$12 = medicine or food
Combs for the Entire Family
A pack of combs is great for the entire family. Each person can have an individualized preference. Packages of combs are also great for a family with young men and boys.
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