The Right Wrong Number

Last weekend, our Women of Vision-Orlando chapter officially met our first fundraising goal to help support the mother and child healthcare initiative of World Vision. Not only did we reach our goal, we exceeded it. In total, we donated $547 to support pregnant women, new mothers, and young children in Somalia, Uganda, and Zambia.

I’ve kept the money we raised in this old stationery box that my boys painted 5 years ago, when we spent a summer in Colorado and collected aluminum cans to exchange for cash. With the money we received in return for the cans, we bought groceries for a Fort Collins food bank. We ended up calling this the giving-charity box, and I kept it and re-used it. Now it sits empty, waiting to be filled again.

giving-charity-box

giving-charity-box-open-with-money

The money we sent to World Vision will go toward…

  • Ensuring that mothers and children are well-nourished
  • Protecting mothers and children from infection and disease
  • Providing access for mothers and children to essential health services

Although we sold clothes, shoes, and books at consignment stores, our primary money-making efforts centered around the clothing swap we held in August. We ended up with about 100 times as much clothing as we did shoppers, and the leftovers traveled back home with me afterwards. Garfield has told me several times recently, “Our house has been took-en over by clothes!”

About 6 years ago, I organized a community clothing give-away with the church we attended at the time. Although our fellowship didn’t have its own meeting space, we held a {mostly} successful event outdoors in late August–and avoided the near-daily rain at that time of year. We served about 50 people. I came alive helping the children at that give-away find things that appealed to them in their own sizes. Days before that event took place, however, I looked at the dozens and dozens of bags of clothing filling an entire bedroom at our house and thought, I don’t ever want to see another piece of clothing again! Why must humans wear clothes?! 

I had an I’m-over-all-the-clothes moment before our swap last month, too. And again when I brought so much back home. But none of it went to waste!

After I hauled home the containers of leftovers from the swap, I contacted a friend in Louisiana who’d been impacted by the recent flooding, thinking her family or church might find the clothes useful. She connected me with a pastor at an inner-city church in Baton Rouge, and we shipped 2 large boxes of items to their congregation. We also sent one box of clothes and shoes to Togo with a Cru staff member returning home there.

Cathy, my Louisiana friend and one-time summer roommate in Hungary, explained to me how she’d first come to interact with Bro. Jarrell, the pastor at the Baton Rouge church. One morning, Cathy received a text with a Bible verse accompanied by an encouraging message. She responded that she must have received the text in error; but she appreciated the message and chose to stay on Bro. Jarrell’s contact list.

When I explained all this to my family–that what had seemed accidental resulted in our having the privilege to share with others–Woodrow declared, “It was the right wrong number.” And, of course, he was right.

And all those boxes and bags of remaining clothing from the swap? As one of the women in our group shared at our last meeting, they echo the leftover baskets full of food from the simple lunch of a few fish and loaves that Jesus multiplied to feed thousands.

We still have more of those bags hanging out in our den, and we have a few more ideas of how to use those things. They HAVE seemed to multiply, those clothes, and we will not let them go to waste.

 

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5 thoughts on “The Right Wrong Number

  1. Wrre there any plus size clothes? I really like long dresses that cover my swollen knees. Psnts are sometimes too tight. Would be willing to donate to your cause. 2x and sometimes 3x depending on how the are cut. Love reading your blog. A great way to keep up with you and the family.

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  2. I don’t recall skirts of that size, Vickie, but I promise to take a look as soon as I get back from the dentist office this afternoon! 🙂 If I find anything of that size (shirts as well as skirts/dresses), I will set them aside for you, lady! Thanks for reading the blog.

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