Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Donations

Yesterday Boaz and I made our monthly donations. I try to drop of goodies at Community Sharing once a month. I know that there is such a HUGE need in my local communities.

I first heard about Community Sharing through my Mom. Both my Mom and my Dad volunteer their time to Community Sharing, my Mom assists clients with registration and getting their proper care and guidance, and my Dad helps with sorting and carrying goods into the building for donations and out of the building for clients and their families.

The mission of Community Sharing is to be a Beacon of Light in their community.

"All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light from one small candle."

Community Sharing is striving to be that candle. And they extend a welcome invitation for anyone to partner along side of them. I have gladly accepted their inviation.

When I first step through the doors of Community Sharing, I often am overwhelmed with how blessed I am. Seeing people who are struggling with what are considered basic essentials is heart breaking. I try to make eye contact with each person who is patiently waiting in line. I know each person is just like me... trying to do the best that they can to care for their family. I want to make that burden or that stress lighter.

The individuals and families who come to Community Sharing to seek relief from the brutal economy are traded food and clothing in return for proof of residence in either Highland or Milford MI. Sometimes I am saddened that this food pantry can only serve these two small towns, but I believe that God has a place for each of us to serve one another- and for me it is at Community Sharing. For you it may be at another food bank closer to your home.

My short visits to Community Sharing do so much for me personally. I always leave feeling so much more thankful for my husband's job, our home that we are able to not only make the mortgage payments for, but we are also able to heat. I am thankful that I am able to decide what we will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am thankful that we have more that enough hygiene products to care for our bodies. I am thankful for our health insurance and our running/gas filled cars.

My heart is greatly impacted- and I always leave thinking of ways that I can do more... I know that I can do more... people's lives are at stake, and the economy isn't getting any better-I have to do more!

So during my weekly shopping trips I keep Community Sharing in mind. I LOVE to shop like a crazy lady- especially like a crazy lady with a cause!

Almost all of the items in the picture above were purchased especially for Community Sharing. I try to keep their list of needs in mind when I plan my shopping. Community Sharing always needs: cereal, canned goods, beans, spaghetti sauce, hygiene products, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, feminine products, paper grocery bags and seasonal clothing. Most of these things are pretty easy to pick up for FREE with coupons.

In addition to Community Sharing doing all kinds of wonderful things for their clients, Community Sharing also offers some great perks to their donors. Because I chose to donate to Community Sharing I receive a tax write off and I receive a very kind thank you note. Honestly, I'm not sure which perk I like better!!!

I am able to get a tax write off because Community Sharing is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation. They received this governmental status by providing food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, referrals, advocacy and tutoring to people in need living in Highland and Milford Michigan. So ALL items donated to Community Sharing are legally tax deductible. The IRS code places the responsibility of estimating the fair market value (the estimated cost) of the items donated by the donor. Because I donate new items, I have been encouraged to estimate my value based upon the price tag- not my purchase price. I kind of laugh because the volunteers at CS call this the 'Street Value.' Like its drugs or something :).

When planning my donations I try to sort like items together- I'm pretty sure that this makes the donations easier to stock in the pantry and gets them into the hands of clients faster... that's my goal anyway.

When I pull up to Community Sharing there are ALWAYS kind volunteers to help me take my donations inside. Often they use a grocery cart. Once inside, I visit my Mom first (Mary Cronenwett if you want to say hi too! My Dad volunteers in the evenings- so I don't see him, but if you are there on a Tuesday night you can say hi to Frank Cronenwett!) Then I drop by the center registration table in the foyer to fill out a donation slip. It is quick and easy- Community Sharing keeps one copy and I keep one copy (for my taxes).

Honestly, it feels so good to be just one little person who can make an impact.

Sometimes I like to stop and image all of the households who I have had the honor of sharing with. I often wonder who or how many people are brushing their teeth today with toothpaste that I was able to donate.

If you would like to partner with Community Sharing here is a bit of their information:

2029 North Milford Road
(CS is housed inside of Apollo Elementary)
PO Box 405
Highland, MI 48357

Drop off hours:
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
2nd & 4th Tuesday's
6:30pm- 8pm
2nd & 4th Saturday's
10am -1pm

***It is easy to think that you may not have the funds to be able to make any sort of an impact. I have been amazed by what I am able to purchase for FREE with coupons. The picture above does indeed show $650 worth of food and hygiene products, but I only spent $28. I also, through store rewards, coupon overage and one rebate made $73 on these purchases. So I am ahead of my purchases by $45 and I have received $650 in a tax write off.




You rock girlfriend. I cant wait until I go to your coupon class. I am linking your blog to mine. Hope that is ok!!!!



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