A few weeks ago I wasn’t sure this would come together, but wow . . . I am in awe. Friends and strangers came together to meet the needs of 100 homeless men and women in Escambia County.
Donations came in the forms of actual bags filled, miscellaneous items for the bags and cash.
This is the plea I sent out on fb on December 3rd:
“Hey guys, need some help! A few years ago, Nothing Lost Outreach handed out 100 back packs filled with goodies for the homeless they minister to every week. The bag included a small lap type blanket (usually a couple dollars at the dollar tree/walmart), deodorant, hand lotion for chapped skin and chap-stick, beanie hat, gloves, bottle water, a few snacks (fruit cups, chips, nuts and plastic silverware) and a pair of socks. I know this is short notice, but I just found out they were not going to be able to do it this year so I was wondering if maybe my friends in FB land, and their friends, and their friend’s friends . . . you get the picture . . . . could help them out?! If you are interested in doing this, and would like to commit to filling a duffle bag, book bag, or even a re-usable shopping bag (like from grocery stores) would you let me know? Maybe a business would like to sponsor a certain number? Or a church? Maybe you want to do something but don’t have the time to spend preparing for it? You can donate cash and let someone else do the shopping for you! Or if you can’t afford to fill an entire bag by yourself . . . then message me and I will join you with another person that can’t fill a bag by him/herself! PLEASE SHARE THIS POST with your friends! The more people that see it, the more help we will have with meeting this need! Thank you!”
With that post I had a few shares, but no takers, so I contacted my Avon Representative, Cathy Burns to see if she could help with any items at a discounted rate. Wow! Did she bless! She offered deodorants, hand lotions and chap-sticks at a 50% discount in order to meet the needs of the homeless!
Because of her generosity, I sent out the following notification:
“If you would like to donate to help fill homeless bags but don’t have time to; I have an incredible opportunity! My AVON lady has GRACIOUSLY offered a 50% discount on deodorant, hand lotions and chap-sticks with an order of 100! SOOOOO! Who wants to donate $55 for 100 chap sticks to fill 100 bags?? Or $55 for 100 hand lotions? Or $65 for 100 deodorants? These prices are not available through any other representatives and once you message me I will gladly give you her information to confirm the order and total.”
Within minutes, this need was met!
AND THEN I put this plea out:
“I am looking for 15 people to give $20 in order to purchase two cases of beanie hats and gloves to fill bags for the homeless through Nothing Lost Outreach! PLEASE message me if you feel led to help meet this need. Thank you!”
AND THAT IS WHEN THE MONEY STARTED COMING IN!
Because of YOUR donations, I was able to purchase snacks, fruit cups, wash clothes, bars of soap, hand warmers, gloves, blankets, SOCKS, and Candy Canes!
On top of cash donations, we also received wool blankets, toothbrushes, hygiene kits, coats, and even clothes!
Even after God’s provisions, I began to get frustrated because we were short 10 beanie hats. The only ones I could find were $5 or more and that would blow my budget..
But God . . . .
Last month a friend donated some recyclable bags that I had forgotten about. In one of the bags. . . . TWELVE BEANIE HATS that she had made!!! One would think that we had two extra hats; however, another friend had filled two bags with all we needed . . . . except for two beanie hats.
When God calls, God provides.
I am so thankful for everyone that donated, prayed, shared the fb status asking for prayers or donations. There was so much given I was able to give $45.65 back to the homeless ministry to put towards more needs of the ministry.
The truck was packed full of your donations. Thank you! I will not be able to be at NLO to help distribute the bags, but I have been told they will take pictures and I will post them as soon as I get them.
Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
Luke 14:12-14, “12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.””