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Samaritan’s Purse Garage Sale


While I love going to garage sales, I not a fan of HAVING a garage sale. Usually, if I have one, I will just give everything away for free. People love to come “shopping” in my garage, only to find out that everything is free. As I mentioned in my post about teaching boys to serve others, free garage sales are a great way to show Christ’s love! But, my little entrepeneurs got frustrated with me for always making everything free. They wanted to make money!

While I was contemplating our options, I checked the mail and found a Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. If you are unfamiliar with Samaritan’s Purse, it is a non-profit organization founded by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. Samaritan’s Purse provides food, shelter, education, and healthcare to needy families all over the world. While we have always donated shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, we haven’t ever given a gift through the gift catalog. Because it is so close to Christmas, I haven’t ever been able to find that much extra money. Until this year. The boys wanted to sell things, but, we can use that money to bless others!

So, I pulled out the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog and sat down with my boys. I pitched my new plan: sell our garage sale items, but we will use to money to buy presents for kids in third-world countries. They loved it! Honestly, I haven’t seen them so excited in quite awhile! It was so cute hearing their conversations as they tried to decide what to purchase.

“No….we can’t buy that. We need to give them the things they need….like food, not a soccer ball.”

“But, can you imagine not having ANY toys?”

“Yeah….maybe we should make enough to buy them food AND a soccer ball.”

While cleaning our house, we all kept asking ourselves, “Should I keep this or should a child get to eat?” It really helped put our unneccessay items in their place! The process helped my kids identify the difference between needs and wants, while understanding that it is fine to keep items that we truly love and/or use. It forced me to go through my overflowing closet with an open mind. If I haven’t worn that shirt in two years…..will I ever wear it again? Probably not!

Yet…..a few things did not get the boot, as I would have liked. Apparently, my youngest decided that he needed his Winnie-the-Pooh chair more than a child needed to learn to read. Well….it’s a process, my friend.

Truly, this event was a blessing in so many ways! It helped me get motivated to purge our excessive junk/treasures. (You should see my closet now!!) Because we sold everything in our sale for very cheap ($1 or 50 cents), the shoppers at our sale were blessed. Since we were able to make some money, we were able to purchase $153 of gifts out of the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog!

My little worker bees….setting up tables for the garage sale.

Little Man is stocking our tables (while trying to sneak some items back into the house!) I told him that he isn’t invited to our next garage sale!


After the sale, the boys are proud of all of the money they earned!

They are looking through the catalog choosing their final purchases. We settled on live baby chicks, five toy lambs (that sing Jesus loves me), two soccer balls, one blanket, live baby lambs, ten gospel booklets, hot meals for one week for one child, and a month’s tuition and supplies for school for one child.

Sending in our gifts……

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Serving Others

My church is participating in a nationwide movement , called Servolution, that encourages people to show Christ’s love by serving others in simple acts of kindness. Check out this list of ideas to serve others.

As a mom, I need to improve in this area. I serve others. But, I do it alone. God is convicting me that I need to include my kids as I bless others! So, I have created a family-style serving list. Will you join the Servolution?

1. Host a free garage sale. It is just like a regular garage sale, but everything is free!

Kid-friendly jobs: help other kids “shop,” bag peoples’ treasures, hand out free popsicles or treats, carry items to peoples’ cars

2. Have a free lemonade stand.

Kid-friendly jobs: make/serve the lemonade, take a walk inviting people to their stand

3. Date Night-Babysit kids while their parents go on a date.

Kid-friendly jobs: prepare activities to entertain the kids, prepare a “date night” gift for the parents (popcorn, sparkling cider, gift card, etc.)

4. Sack lunches for homeless people- Prepare and deliver sack lunches to homeless people.

Kid-friendly jobs: help prepare the sack lunches, deliver them (with an adult)

5. Bless people that are mean to you. This is a hard one! Choose someone that is hard to love. Brainstorm with your kids as to the best way to bless that person.

6. Buy someone’s groceries or meal- Before grocery shopping or going out to eat, tell the kids that you will be purchasing someone’s groceries or meal. Decide beforehand how you will choose the person. Certain color shirt? Man or woman? Older person or young mom? The person in front of you? The person behind you? Then, go do it!

7. Hold the door and smile- Simple. Hold the door for people, smile at them, and say “Have a nice day.” Purposefully, go several places that day so that they have lots of opportunities to bless!

8. Secret Adopt-a-family- My boys love to spy. So, why not use it for good? Find a family that needs to know that God loves them. (financial crisis, divorce, illness, disaster) Secretly, create a game plan to bless that family for several days in a row. Randomly drop off packages/cards/letters/treaats at their front door. Shhhh…..don’t tell!

9. Flowers- pass out flowers to ladies at nursing homes, beauty parlors, or a store. (Get permission first.)

10. Free money – Hand your kids a stack of one dollar bills. Parents might consider carrying fives or tens? Hand out money to random strangers.

What are your ideas for blessing others……family-style?


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