In giving is receiving...





It was amazing to me how people opened up once they realized why the clothing, toys and shoes were being given away freely at the Pay it Forward sale. The stories people told me were a reflection of today's society and showed not only the struggles many are facing but also the courage to succeed.

Keep in mind that many of the people who attended the Pay it Forward sale being held in my driveway, happened along it while they were on their way somewhere else. Many didn't come with the intent to get something free, and once they realized what it was all about, and why...they opened up...

One woman told me about her friends whose trailer home had just had a fire. Most everything had been lost from either flames or smoke damage. She picked out some clothing for them, and I told her to let them know about the Wish Upon a Hero site. As she walked away, she turned around and announced how she just had to give me a hug....she then promised to "Pay it Forward" to others.

A Grandmother stopped by and said she was looking for something for her Granddaughter. I explained to her what the Pay it Forward sale was about and what items were free for the taking. She told me how her daughter was unemployed, and struggling. She then also told me how she only had a dollar in her purse. She rummaged through the clothing and I reminded her to be sure to pick out a Barbie for her Granddaughter. She handed me that dollar in her purse, and I refused to take it. She insisted, while she too thanked me and told me how she was also going to "Pay it Forward."

A young couple came to the sale, and were thrilled when they found out they could pick up clothing for their children. We started chit chatting about life and the economy. It was then when the young women told me about her eldest son who has autism. Having been a special education and disability rights advocate for well over a decade now, I couldn't help but to ask how things were going with the school. The flood gates opened...by the end of the conversation I was giving them my phone number, and she was telling me how she wished someone would start a group for parents by them...I told her that it takes a parent to start it and suggested that she should. She said she just might ...

Then there were numerous women who stopped by and once they found out the reason for the sale I heard stories about them leaving an abusive relationship or trying to leave one. They spoke about something I know too well; how hard it is to make it on their own in the economy while trying to heal.

One by one people came and shared with me their situation. It wasn't a busy sale, but when people came you knew it was a "community" coming together. People opened up to me, this stranger. Children left clutching stuffed animals while huge smiles were plastered on their faces. There is nothing like that feeling when a child smiles that genuine pure smile at you, and says "thank you." That on it's own is a gift.

Unfortunately rainy weather has closed the sale today, but in just the one day is was opened we gave away:

Over 75 pieces of clothing... (so many I ran out of table space and had to lay some out on the driveway!)

A dozen stuffed animals, plus many Barbie's and other toys..

Not one person was greedy in the taking, and all were thankful and expressed they would in fact "Pay it Forward."

What I don't think they realize is in a way they already have....they opened up to me...a stranger...trusted me with things they admitted they haven't told others, and in doing so they allowed me to Pay Forward some of the kindness the children and I have been recipients of these past few years...a circle completed, and one that will not be broken.

The greatest gift of all; a child's smile! Little 4yr old Karley was thrilled to pick out a stuffed animal and Barbie Doll. Her older brother Cameron (age 8) of course was "too old" for toys.

Comments

Khris said…
You know, people are pretty much the same everywhere. We all long for that sense that someone cares. By doing this, you were able to see this first hand. They responded to what you were doing and why you were doing it. I think it is great! It is neat how this worked out and I applaud you for it.
Just Be Real said…
Wow Eva. I really have not heard about the Pay Forward Sale before. How intriguing and the stories that you heard, especially about the women leaving abusive relationship is awe inspiring. Thanks for sharing dear! Blessings.
Eva Marie said…
I am in hopes that more people do it..and call them Pay it Forward sales....litle dots of weekend inspiration across the country when and where people least expect it...

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