Lessons from Clothes

Lessons from Clothes PIN
Often times when driving down the road in my safe, reliable car, wearing some new outfit, thinking about what I’m going to cook for dinner that night, it’s easy to loose sight that there are, in fact, many less fortunate that live only miles from our home. Amongst us, might be a more fitting word. Not in another country, not some other place, right here in our own town.
Our church held their second annual Clothing Connection last weekend. Church members {and other wonderful people like Angela, Nana, Gan and Gannon} donated almost 9,000 articles of clothing, shoes and handbags. The event was to be held from 8:00 am until 12 noon. By 10:30 am almost all the clothes were gone.

I wasn’t sure if I should be elated or saddened by that.

Here my girls get to go “back to school” shopping with a new pair of shoes, several new outfits and shiny new school supplies each year. It’s just a given to them.  And my heart is torn when I see these children come into our fellowship hall, thrilled to get my girl’s old, silver glittery Target tennis shoes. I probably have the wrong attitude about the whole thing. I should be happy that we are able to help other people. And I am. But the over riding feeling is sadness with a dose of humbleness in there as well.

“There but for the grace of  God, go I.”

It was Mike’s first time helping-  he later told me that when he walked into Moor Hall and saw the people and all the clothing that he had to take a moment to gather himself.

It was a tremendous amount of work for those ladies on this committee- an entire 40+ hour week of just setting up the clothes alone. But goodness, how they must get paid back ten fold when they see the folks coming in by the dozens thrilled to get some ol’ Haystack khaki slacks or a men’s XL button down shirt.

A young boy, named Bruce, came to ‘shop’, with his Mama and two younger brothers. He is one of seven children and is in the second grade. As we walked down the tables, me holding up a t-shirt asking him how he liked it and would he wear it {hey, I am a Mom after all}, he was rather quiet. Every article I held up, he gently nodded his head yes, he would like it. And yes, nod, he would wear it. So I would place the item in his plastic grocery bag that he held open. After some time, I could tell that he, like most boys, was less than thrilled to be shopping on a Saturday morning, although very grateful nonetheless. After about 15 minutes of me asking, him nodding, and putting clothing in his bag, he looked up and me and quietly asked, “do you have any books?”
As a Mama to an avid reader myself, my heart just melted.  I wanted to hold up my finger, say ‘be right back’ and quickly drive home to throw some children’s books into a bag, and race back to bring them to Bruce. Unfortunately, while we had coats, pajamas, men’s suits, children and infant clothing, women’s clothing, shoes and even bathing suits… we were short on children’s books.
I wish I had gotten Bruce’s address so I could bring him some books.

Kenley helping her Sassy

While I didn’t do much- helped a little on Friday and Saturday is all, I gotta be honest… I do it for selfish reasons. Because it makes me feel good.
I know I make a lot of mistakes at this whole parenting thing. A lot. But hopefully, I am doing something right by teaching my children that is a good thing to skip a birthday party, every now and then, to give back to our community by reaching out and helping those amongst us.