Happy Hump Day! I never get tired of watching the Geico commercial with the camel. Do you love it? My weekend was busy volunteering for a great cause. My church started a new ministry called The Closet. It's a division of a national ministry and non profit organization. We provide free quality used and new clothing and shoes to people in need. So we have been taking donations of clothes for the last 6 months and they all had to be sorted , tagged, folded or put on hangers . We handled over 8000 articles of clothing in preparation for our "free shopping day".
There is a hotel/ motel near our church that has several families that live there. Many of them have drug addictions and just a step above homeless. A team of church members visited last Friday and signed up families and gave them their shopping time. We had a few other families show up too from word of mouth from one of us. We didn't do a lot of advertising in the community because we wanted to get through our first shopping day under our belt before we went too big.
So Saturday morning , all the volunteers showed up around 9am so we could continue sorting and organizing and then the first group showed up. How it worked was that each group had 20 minutes to shop and then we checked them out. When people signed up they got an index card with how many pieces they could have. Example, each adult gets 10 pieces and each child got 5 pieces. If they had 3 kids and husband, they could get 35 pieces total. It went very smoothly and the people were just shocked that it was all for free. I saw some great stuff like full length leather coat, name brand jackets , even a wedding dress ( not mine). We had our sanctuary set up like a department store with racks and all. The best part was that we had a prayer group at the end if the checkout line. Of course if someone wasn't comfortable with that they didn't have to. I would ask them if they had anything on their heart that they would like prayer over and if they said yes, I would point out our prayer leaders. To see all the people in bowed heads and many in tears was amazing. By that I mean that tears of relief of having someone actually care for them and their freedom to shed some burdens off their chest.
Another favorite part of my day was holding all the sweet babies that came through. I could just squeeze them! We had another lady that also held the babies . The moms loved having us hold the kiddos so that they could shop with both hands. One mom even let me hold their daughter the whole time and i got a little worried. Lol. I went up and down the aisles asking " is this your daughter"?
We were done for the day around 3:30 and I think all in all we served over 300 people And we learned so much about we want to do differently the next time. What's also nice is that we have also helped a few families in immediate need leading up to our shopping day. I am a shopper and I love love buying new clothes. The down side is that I don't have the closet space anymore. I personally felt good that I was able to donate many large stuffed bags of clothes. I feel better shopping now. Haha!