Friday Joellen and I took a little shopping trip and my sister asked us to look for a few things along the way. What she wanted us to pick up wasn't anything for her exactly. She didn't want something special that was only available outside of our area. What she wanted was toothpaste-regular run-of-the-mill everyday toothpaste-and we were happy to make a few stops to try to get just what she requested.
You see, our church, the First Church of God in New Martinsville, offers the Necessities Barn, a giveaway of necessary personal care items, once a month. My sister Betsy has often thought this sort of a charity was necessary as people with low incomes may not have the necessary funds to purchase items like soap and detergent, which can be quite expensive. So a while back she and some others at our church initiated this monthly occurrence that is evidently needed as approximately 150 people line up on the third Saturday of each month to gratefully accept the gift that includes such things as the aforementioned toothpaste, toilet tissue, laundry detergent, soap, and shampoo.
This is no small undertaking. Not only does it take a fair amount of financial support-either with direct monetary donations or donations of goods-but finding 150 bottles of detergent when they are on sale can be daunting, if not impossible. However, there is a core group of volunteers at the church who are committed to being the best stewards they can with the donated money. They scour the sale flyers every week and then do their best to stock the shelves of the barn as inexpensively as possible.
That is exactly where Joellen and I came in during our shopping trip Friday. Betsy had asked us to stop at as many outlets of a particular chain as possible to buy some half-price toothpaste. We went armed with some money and a tax exempt form.
At our first stop we found some on the shelves and cleaned them out. At our next and final stop the shelves were bear. So instead of toothpaste, Joellen and I opted to buy some chocolate and water-with our own money of course. Can you believe it was actually a few cents cheaper to supply 10 families with toothpaste than it was to supply us with this simple treat?
That disparity was striking to me. If I can spare $5 for some chocolate, can't I surely give that to someone else for an item they need?
What about you? Can you spare a little to help someone else?
I'm not even necessarily talking about the Necessities Barn-although they would be happy to accept any donations and I could certainly take them here at the Wetzel Chronicle and get them to the right place-but I'm just talking about helping someone other than yourself in any way you can and through any avenue you choose. I have often said that life is all about choices. They direct our own paths and affect others. It is up to each of us how we spend our lives-our time and money. We need to make them count.