Yesterday, I talked about buying $607 worth of toys from Joyce Reed for two local charities. Last night, I took my family to Target to buy another $1000 worth of toys, thanks to YOUR generous donations. We had a really great time figuring out what to get. I trended towards boy toys, like Star Wars and two really big remote control cars, and things like that. For me, I was thinking like this: I want to buy things that a needy kid would NEVER expect under the tree. Cool things. Name brand things. HUGE things.
You know, the kid’s not at fault for the economy. His parents are or aren’t. I figured, let’s try to really knock something out for some kids.
The Difference in the Shopping Experience
It was a different feel than the small, independent store. There were more name brands. There were more value opportunities. And at the same time, the experience wasn’t exactly as fun. It wasn’t as personal or as rewarding to buy from a big company instead of buying from Joyce. I mean, we helped with her prayers. This? It was another kind of good feeling, but not the same as buying local.
The difference between Target and Kmart was that Target had a few more rows of toys. They had a lot of the same brands, and their prices were similar, so that didn’t really feel all that different. Target just had a somewhat bigger selection. I’d say that I would still go to Kmart and check, because there were some things that I got for less money there – I think Star Wars toys, but don’t quote me.
How Good This Felt
I’m grateful for all your kindness. Your donations topped $1200 all told. I added in my $500 matching, so I have a total of $1700 to buy things. I’ve spent just over $1600 so far, but found an opportunity to support a local independent bookseller, so I’m going to throw another $200 of my dollars in to get some things from her.
You did this. You made it possible for me to pick up several carts full of toys (SEVERAL people made faces at us for how much stuff we were carting to the front, until we could flip a glib ‘my online community bought these for needy kids.’ (By the way, at Joyce’s store, we convinced a woman there to buy a toy for the collection, too. She told people all over town, it turns out, which meant even more toys for kids.)
So this felt great. I’m thinking of ways to support a charity a month for all of 2009. This is going to be a tough year. More so, I want YOU to support a charity a month. I want you to think of ways to change a few trips to Starbucks into real change for other people. Let’s work on that together, right? It takes work, but the rewards are worth it.
Photo credit, fdecomite