Giving from the Heart: Katie at Life, Love and Frugality Pt. 2

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giving of your heart

Katie is a College Graduate, Wife and Couponer.  She blogs at Life, Love and Frugality.

You can read Pt 1 here.

This was the turning point for me. I simply couldn’t ignore the needs of people who are so close to me (geographically if not emotionally). I knew from my co-worker that the men at the shelter get food, shampoo, toothpaste – the cheap stuff. What no one donates are the higher-priced necessities: razors, deodorant and sunscreen. These men are on the streets all day and our temperature frequently soars over 100 degrees, accompanied by the beating sun (I’m in Florida if you haven’t guessed). As silly as it may sound, being fair-skinned, that really struck a cord with me. Plus, I wonder how I could ever hope anyone would a job if they go to each interview hairy, smelly, and as red as a beet.

During my adulthood, I have frequently given to food pantrys, church outreaches, and other charities. The change was that I went from giving when I thought about it to making it part of my lifestyle. My goal is to donate enough food each week to give 2 families a good meal. Also, whenever I can get deodorant, shaving cream, or razors for free (it’s the only time I’ll “buy” them), I give at least 25% of what I bring home to a homeless shelter. How much deodorant can two people actually go through, anyway?

I will say that I am very blessed to have a husband who is 100% behind me in this. He is so open and giving and very empathetic. I had barely mentioned giving more before he heartily agreed to it.

The bottom line is this: Our bounty has made me very aware of the needs and struggles of others. It is a joy for me to be a blessing to others, and I love shopping intentionally for their benefit. I now view clipping coupons as a public service. I can frequently get good food for free, all it takes from me is the time to clip or print the coupon and the time putting the items in the cart. I can hardly call it a sacrifice.

I know that I cannot say that I am concerned about those around me, that I love my neighbors, all the while withholding from them. I know that I would be a liar. Any blessing I receive I should be sharing with those around me. There have been weeks in my life when I would not have been able to give much (or anything). I’m not going to go into debt but I give what I am able, when I am able, knowing that the Lord will bless my efforts and knows my heart. The point isn’t to be guilty, but to be aware and willing to help where you can.

I hope you will be inspired to pass on some of your blessings. If you can feed one needy family one meal a week, that’s 52 meals a year. Over 20 years that’s 1,040 meals that would have otherwise been missed. That, my friend, is a difference.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

- 1 John 3:17-18

*Amber and I would love to hear how you’re doing in your giving. What works? What doesn’t? Drop us a comment from time to time, and keep us up to date!

2 Responses to “Giving from the Heart: Katie at Life, Love and Frugality Pt. 2”

  1. I love the math of the free meals–amazing. We have a local men’s ministry that gives them a place to live while they get of drugs or alcohol and then trains them for a job, often they get a car that has been donated and refurbished in the training so they can get the job–so they need all the items you mentioned plus we take food, paper products,cleaing products, anything we can get free because they care for them 24/7. It’s amazing the amount you can get with coupons to share. Enjoyed your article greatly.

  2. I’ve known Katie since she was a little girl; she was the maid-of-honor in my daughter’s wedding two years ago and my daughter was a bridesmaid in hers. It brings tears to my eyes to see such lovely young women grow up together with a compassion for others. Katie, I love your blog, and you are such an inspiration to me.

    I wrote my own post in 2008 about saving money on groceries. You can find it here:

    There is also one on more general strategies for saving money.

    As for giving to the disadvantaged, also think about homegrown produce. One year we had so many ripe oranges on our tree at Christmastime that we couldn’t use them all before they would rot. So we picked several dozen of them, washed them carefully, and rubber stamped them with a cheerful Christmas design. Then we delivered them to a homeless shelter just before Christmas.

    Virginia Knowles

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