Friday, January 10, 2014

Making A Difference with PB&J

We are so excited to see the days on the calendar filling up with people willing to Give Up To Give. There have been so pretty creative ideas and we are looking forward to highlighting all of them--they are inspiring and challenging!
Today's Giving Up To Give Donation has been filled by the Flora family (Mike and Jennifer and their boys Isaac and Grant). I will let Jennifer Flora tell you in her own words what they are Giving Up To Give and why.

Why did you joing Giving Up To Give?
We signed up for Giving Up To Give for a few reasons...1.) It offers a simple way to help others as a family. 2.) We love the idea of giving something up in order to send the funds we've pledged. We live daily with comforts and conveniences that we constantly take for granted. Giving up something that we usually would do keeps us mindful of our blessings, as well as the ones we want to be a blessing to. We hope this is something that our sons will be able to understand and experience a little bit better than if we simply donated some money in our family's name.
Do you have a personal connection to the Congo?
We have a personal connection to the Brown family... so they are our "Congo Connection" :)
What are you Giving Up To Give?
We're giving up a drive-thru dinner... we are traveling to see loved ones this evening, and when we're on the road we often go through a fast food spot for dinner. Finding someplace other than the 3 or 4 places we have in our hometown is a treat. :) Tonight we'll brown bag it.
How would you encourage others to join Giving Up To Give?
Giving in this way is about as simple as it gets! Our gift isn't huge or monumental, but it's from our hearts. We're hoping to have some fun with our boys finding a new way and a new day to "Give up to Give" every month or at least every other month. This will keep the Congolese children present in our minds and hearts, as well as be a consistent reminder to us of all we have and need to appreciate! Mike and I came up with this one on our own, but we are hoping to have the boys brainstorm ideas for what we can give up in February. Anytime we can look outside of ourselves and try to help meet the needs of others, we end up being the ones to feel blessed! I hope that doesn't make our participation selfish - ha! We certainly feel consistently challenged to guide our sons to think of others before seems that our present culture works against being unselfish at every turn. I would encourage any family to take this on as a fun challenge and get their kiddos involved!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Harnessing the power of returns

As the Christmas season ends and we all take down our decorations and put away all our new gifts, we might find that we have too much. Maybe in a gift-buying frenzy we bought something on clearance we didn't need. Maybe we received a gift we won't really use. Maybe we got double of something. And so we all line up at the return counter--exchanging and returning and rethinking our December purchases.
What about harnessing the power of those returns for Giving Up To Give? What about donating the money credited to your account? That is just what Beth did. And here is what she has to say about it:

"I decided to give up some impulse purchases, as well as some housewares I received for Christmas. It was not because I didn't like these things, but because we did not need them.  It was a good feeling to return these items to the store and donate the money to Giving Back to Africa.  It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking there isn't room in your budget to give, but when I examine my spending habits with giving in mind, I can usually find something that is not as important to me as quality education is to the children served by this program."

Beth and her family

What about you? Will you harness the power of your returns?

(and don't forget, we are still looking for families to join our Giving Up To Give Rice and Beans Challenge. One family has already committed and we just need four more!)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rice and Beans Challenge

This week our family is eating rice and beans for dinner and donating the money we save on groceries to Giving Back To Africa. We are looking for five families to also sign up for a week of rice and beans (or something similar) on our Giving Up To Give calendar. Will you accept the challenge?