Wow! Those are really, really nice compared to the whole cloth quilts
I whipped out. They will make some children very, very happy. You
were very generous to send special quilts you had planned to sell.
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
Ohmigawsh!! Don't ask. It was terrible. DS took it to mail box etc
because my little home scale wasn't big enough. I'm on Social Security and
I ran out of money before the end of the month. DS paid for it and he
looked a little ashen when he came home and told me "don't ask". This was
his contribution. Sure hope it was not for aught. For years I was one of
the coordinators for the County Community Share Xmas program where we
accepted donated Xmas gifts and clothing for Foster Kids and poor kids
across the county. I have seen so much waste and abuse. Parents sold the
stuff for drugs and alcohol or just threw it out. I found brand new -
unwrapped toys - in the garbage during home visits. Many parents signed up
for like programs from every agency in the area and got duplicate food
baskets and toys and sold them or just threw them out. I will never give a
whole turkey dinner again unless I give a cooked turkey because they would
let it spoil before they would cook it. There just doesn't seem to be any
appreciation for the effort. Most wouldn't even come pick them up and our
social workers would have to deliver them or they wouldn't get to the
children at all. I have become too cynical. But I enjoy the giving so I do
it with the knowledge that it probably won't be used as I wished it to be.
I just have to let it go and enjoy the giving. Sure makes me made when
people use other people and then abuse their charitible hearts.
It was no hardship - the quilts were already made and just languishing in my
ebay store. I would a lot rather they get some use so I was glad to do it.
My garage has one less tote full of inventory taking up space that my RHS
Purple Blazer will need when winter weather comes. Thanks for you very kind
words and recognition.
Just? But Sharon! Just three little quilts, added to those five over
there from someone else, and the 50 from that group over here, and
multiplied by all the quilts being made and donate from all over the
place make a fine stack of warm loving wonderfulness. Just?! Phshaw!
Every single quilt, and block, and blankie being made and sent is going
to add up! All the drops in the bucket will add up to a full bucket. :)
HUGS to you!
I made 6 smallish fleece blankets, about 54" square, single layer of
fleece, serged edges. In the box, they weighed about 8 pounds. To ship
them from Minnesota to Texas, either by USPS or UPS, will cost about
$9.00, based on info from the
Snig's tote full undoubtedly weighed quite a bit more.
Julia in MN
Oh, Sharon. Think about it. Three little ones will finally have
something to comfort them, give them hope that they will have something
of their own again, know that there is a nice lady who cared about them,
and will probably be passed down to their own children and grand
children with the (by then) wonderful story of the great flood that gave
them a second start. Close your eyes and see their smiles and the
wonderment in their eyes as they get bigger and bigger and ask, "Is it
really for me?"
God bless all of you who have made and sent quilts. The best I was able
to do was send fabric to someone to make the quilts.
And that's something, too, Phyllis. No contribution is too small or
unimportant. Do the envisioning thing like you told Sharon to do.
Picture the person who will be using your fabrics to create something,
then picture those who will be recieving them.
You might also check around to see if anyone in your area is taking a
truck down. The local chapter of Interfaith Hospitality Network is
taking a truckload of relief supplies on Thursday, and I will send my
blankets and some other stuff (toiletries, school supplies, etc.) with
them. I figure I might as well give them the money to defray the cost of
their trip as to give it to the post office :)
Julia in MN
On Tue, 6 Sep 2005 08:47:30 -0500, "SNIGDIBBLY"
Snigs, I am not going to even try to excuse the a***oles of the world,
because there is no excuse for them. There are indeed plenty of them,
on both sides of the giving equation.
It is high time some common sense was thrown into the world of
Now, so you all know, I give when and what I can when causes come to
my attention. More often though, my family and I are on the other
side. Yes, we are poor. In fact, one of the jokes is we are "p",
'cause we can't afford the rest of the letters. I know that there are
others out there that are much worse off than we are. In fact
sometimes I get pissed off because I know that there are needier
people living close by and some charity comes knocking at my door
(figuratively and sometimes literally) instead. I usually try to send
them in the right direction, but often they are set on who they are
going to give to.
In my time, we have been gifted with food, clothes, and whatnot, and
most of it was about as useful as tits on a boar hog.
I have never thrown perfectly good things away, I have always tried to
find someone else who needs them, or recycled them into a charitable
For example, one of the local churches (unasked) once brought us a
turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. Delivered complete with conversion
pitch and admonitions about how we were going to go straight to hell
if we didn't give up sex, drugs, rock and roll, and our obviously
satanic lifestyle. I guess that since we don't have a lot of money
that means we are obviously maniacal drug useing minions of satan.
Well even if we weren't vegetarians I didn't have the equipment to
cook a damn turkey. What the heck was I supposed to do with the thing
even if I planned on eating it? Stick it on a fork and toast it over
a burner? Put it in the oven in a plastic grocery sack? I'm not even
sure it would have fit in my oven. So I gave most of the lot to lady
down the road. Even there I had to call the Salvation Army and beg a
tinfoil roasting pan for her (she didn't have a phone, and was about
as inclined to put her hand out as cut it off). Fortunately they not
only gave her the pan but included a whole roll of tinfoil and
instructions on how to cook the thing, otherwise she had no better
idea of what to do with it than I did.
Yeah, "Aunt Sal-ly" rocks!
Another time a social worker gave me a bag of 8 or 9 brand new dresses
for my then second grader. She thought they would be so cute with
tights and rumba pants. Yeah, right. I have never, nor will I ever
send a 7 year old child out into January in what amounts to a frilly
shirt and stockings. Nor am I inclined to send a 7 year old girl out
in a dress that flashes her bottom regardless, even if I could have
forced her out the door dressed like that. To say nothing of the fact
that I would have had to buy the rumba pants and then a never ending
series of tights. (1)
The dresses when to Aunt Sal-ly.
The number of people who have thought that we would be so grateful to
get their trash that we would come and fetch it is astounding.
Anytime someone says, 'our widget is broken so we got a new one, but
your husband is clever and I am sure he could fix the broken one.
Just come and pick it up anytime between noon and 12:01.' I just
smile, nod, and walk away. I don't have a car and I am not inclined
to walk over to fetch a widget that I have been doing quite well
without, and that probably will never work again anyway.
There have been times that people have offered me large items that we
really did truly need. But we haven't had the means to go fetch them.
That has not been good. Especially when they get all angry because
they know we need the thing. What the heck am I supposed to do? Pull
a carjacking on a moving van?
Remember the thread we had on kitchen stoves not long ago? Just last
month I was darn near to weeping with frustration because my
daughter's landlord offered us an old Chambers gas range in beautiful
condition. He had taken on a partner who owned a second hand
appliance store and was replaceing all the very old appliances in his
apartments with more modern ones. I met this stove, it was beautiful.
One of the ones the gas company gave out decades ago to get people to
switch from wood or coal to gas. But I didn't have the fifty dollars
the partner wanted to shift it, nor could I find anybody to move it
for less. My stove is an apartment sized thing with one working
burner, one sometimes working burner, and no functional pilots so I
have to light the oven from the broiler. I sooo wanted that stove!
I s'pose all I am saying is please please think before you give, and
think before you condem. That social worker with the dresses gave us
no end of grief about DD not wearing them, and other people have gone
all superior, taking a "see what happens when you try to do good"
attitude when we have not been all happy to recieve useless stuff or
able to fetch things we actually needed.
If you give a box of tuna helper to the food pantry, please give a
couple of cans of tuna with it.
Don't assume people will be happy to haul your junk for free just
because they are poor.
Please don't offer people things without a thought for how they will
get them home. That is just cruel, especially if it is something they
Don't assume that just because they are poor children will be happy
with any old thing you want to give them. No ten year old will be
happy with a toy meant for a toddler, regardless.
Don't assume that everyone knows how to alter clothes that don't fit.
Don't get all offended if they do alter clothes that don't fit.
Most poor people do not need cable converters, entertainment centers,
knick knacks, table linens, or cordless phones. I have been offered
all of the above and turned down all but the linens, they were real
linen and made some mighty fine shirts, but most people wouldn't know
to do that with them. The lady with the cable converter was astounded
that I didn't accept it and run right out to get cable.
Please! Please! Please! Do not patronize or proselytize. Poor
people have as much pride as anyone else. Being given a sermon along
with food is something that you can expect at a mission, but not in
your own home or at a secular help agency.
It is wonderful to try and help the less fortunate.
It is not wonderful to expect them to fall down and praise you for it.
It is not wonderful to get all huffy when things you give do not get
used as you anticipated.
We are doing a whole lot better than we used to.
(1) This was a worker who was offended for my child because this
child was going to school in hand sewn and made over clothes, of which
DD had plenty.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write all of this!! So many
times I get the feeling people give and do to make themselves feel
better rather than really thinking about what the need is and what
really needs to be done. Thanks!!
It does make me irritated when people don't think through what they are
giving... The very idea of giving a family of vegetarians a turkey
makes my liver curl! I always make sure that anything I donate to
charity shops is clean, in good working order (like has working zips,
all the buttons, and no rips!), and fit for its purpose. Broken tat is
junk, and should be thrown away in a responsible manner. Things that
are good but we have finished with (like grown out of clothing from
James, or shrunk out of stuff of mine) is rehomed in several ways:
Charity shop - usually Demelza House, the local Hospice for kids.
Friends and others with kids smaller than James (especially those with
less disposable income than us), who can use up or wear for a while and
pass on his grown-out-of stuff.
The dump: anything not broken or that could be salvaged for parts is put
on one side for others to re-home.
I've given away: a well used but still good 3 piece suite to a young
couple just starting their first new home (it was given to us, so I
passed it on when we could afford to replace it)
Two double beds: my mum gave me the one my dad built when she moved
house, so mine went to a neighbour in need. The other went to another
young couple in need (it was one a sister gave me when she moved and no
longer needed it).
A HUGE crate of excellent baby stuff that James grew out of. The
student mum was ecstatic and loved everything. She was intending to
pass everything on as her baby outgrew it (some of the stuff was on its
fifth kid when James wore it! OshCosh jeans are expensive, but they
really do last!).
All my maternity clothes - made and used for a single pregnancy by me,
so still in excellent condition. They went to a charity the deals
specifically for homeless mothers-to-be, who needed some larger sized
preggy clothes. I was pleased the lass who got them wore one of the
outfits for a job interview and got the job! (I like feedback from
I sold a lot of stuff along the way too, to finance other expenditure.
I sold the buggy/car seat combination and loads of accessories, the
travel cot and a pile of other baby paraphanalia. I also sold DH's
(dead) motorbike to an enthusiast to rebuild, and I sold a really ugly
and useless antique chest of drawers. We used the cash from that to
build a couple of useful bits of furniture (like the eight foot tall
bookcase upstairs, and some of the shelving in the sewing room).
We are far from poor, being a one-income family of moderate means. When
I have stuff to donate, I like it to go where it will be useful. I
would also rather re-home something than destroy it.
I've also been on the receiving end when I could not afford to buy for
myself: furniture, bedding, clothes... Sometimes the gift of a second
hand bed is a life-saver, but I'd never try to give someone something
they didn't need or could not make use of... If I don't need/want it,
and I cannot re-home it, it goes to the shop to be sold on to someone
who does want or need it, and makes a little money for one of my
preferred charities on the way.
I don't need thanks (though it's nice to get it), and I don't want
praise for giving stuff when it's needed. I do like to be told what is
needed, and that the stuff I give is useful. I try to keep an eye on
the charities and give them the stuff they can make use of. I got a
marvelous Christmas present from a dear friend last year: goats for a
family in Africa! I'm a great believer in that thing about giving a man
a loaf and he easts today: teach him to grow crops and he feeds his
So, if anyone has a good idea about where to send those baby changing
bags, drop me a note! I'd rather give them to folk who need them than
have them sold cheaply to folk who like a nice bargain!
Thanks for writing all of this, Nightmist. I too grew up poor (but
rich in neighbors, experiences, learning how to make and do things...)
and it was one of the reasons that I was later taken from my family.
Of course, that fact is not printed in any of my files, but it is
there. Many more poor children than rich ones are taken into the
custody of children's services.
-- Jo in Scotland