Motivate me Monday!

How can one person help others during this recession? Everyone is feeling the pressure of lost jobs, foreclosures and lack of extra income these days. I know I am. I live in Michigan, the number one highest unemployment rate state. Everyone I know has been affected by the lost jobs in our state. So, how do we, as individuals, help each other?

One way is to declutter. Say what? Yup, declutter. Tell me you don't have things laying around the house that you no longer use or don't like or doesn't fit. Those things can help someone else. We all need to be thrifty right now. We are all looking for bargains to make our pennies stretch the best we can. So, now is the time to seriously declutter your home.

First off, you want to try to make some extra money for your family, because you too, are struggling to make ends meet. So, have a yard sale. I think this summer is going to be the "Summer of Yard Sales". People are trying to earn extra money and people are shopping for the things they need at yard sales instead of heading to the store automatically to buy things.

If not a yard sale, put things on Craigslist, Resale shops or try Ebay. Once you have tried to earn a little extra money for you and your family, donate what you don't sell.

Earlier this month, our church was having a yard sale to benefit a girls summer camp event. I had been meaning to go through a bunch of baby things that were no longer needed and this was a good opportunity to do just that. I gathered some things and first went to the resale shop to see what they would buy from me. They bought a few items so, I made a little bit of money. Then I went straight to the home of the yard sale and dropped off all the other stuff that wasn't sold to the shop. The girls made enough money to go to camp and people who bought the items got many needed things that they didn't have to go and pay full price for.

Last week I listed over a 100 books on Ebay to sell. Hubby and I are major readers so, these books are from all the reads this past winter. I sold about half. The rest I am boxing up to take with us to the campground this weekend. The campground is having a huge yard sale to help any child who wants to go to summer camp and can't afford it. So, once again, I helped my family by making a little money, I will be helping a child go to camp and I am helping another reader out there by giving them the opportunity to buy some books super cheap.

I am going to list more books this week and whatever doesn't sell will be donated to a very small library. Last weekend we stopped at this small town library. They were having a booksale. .10 cents a book! Woohoo! We loaded up of course. As I was talking to the librarian we were talking about the local economy. She was telling me that they just don't have any extra funds available right now to purchase any new books or movies. This area is all farming country. The one large supporting industry in the area shut down. You see foreclosed homes everywhere. She (the librarian) was telling me stories about different locals. It was heartbreaking. She told me that they were selling old books in hopes of being able to keep the summer reading program open for children.

The library is super small, maybe 900 square feet in size. They are the only library within a 25 mile radius and they are the only source for renting movies. While I was there I looked at there movie rental area. Not a lot to choose from. What I was surprised to see was they had VHS movies as well as DVD's. Our local libraries don't carry VHS any more and don't accept them as donations either. I told the librarian that and she said that they really couldn't afford to be choosy. Well, I have a ton of VHS movies that we don't watch any more and I can't donate them locally and they don't sell on Ebay so, I told her that I would load them up and the next time we come up here I will bring them to donate to the library. She was thrilled. Pretty much the only way this library is going to get any kind of influx of new material is if someone from outside of the town donates. The residents in the area are tapped out.

I feel a sort of kinship with this small community. We have camped there for 2 weeks now and are planning to camp there several more times throughout the summer. The people we have met are very kind and helpful. This has motivated me to do what I can to help this little town out. I plan to go through more things that I have and decide what we want to get rid of and use those items to help and bless a small community in need.

So, go through your stuff. Decide what you want and try to earn some money for your family. Then when you still have things left over, check out your local churches, libraries and charities. Donate your stuff so others can enjoy them.

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