Friday, December 3, 2010

Coats for Kids/Truck Full of Love Coat Drive

Please take time to donate any of your extra coats to this cause!
Both children and adult size coats are needed.

I spent a good part of yesterday sorting through our family's coats deciding which coats we could donate to the coat drive. At first I approached the project with the attitude of "Oh good, I can finally find some place to unload all these coats that the boys don't wear anymore." But as the day wore on... my attitude changed.

I first started going through the hall closet which houses mostly Dan the Man's coats and mine. I wanted to make sure that each coat was clean and all the zippers and snaps were in working order. Who wants to receive a coat that won't even zip? What good is a coat that won't zip in Western Nebraska where the wind blows a gazillion miles an hour? I already had a few in mind to donate out of that closet so I gathered them up and threw them in the washing machine. After the washing machine, the dryer. After the dryer came the inspection... if all zippers worked, there were no holes, snaps snapped, and so forth... they would be the lucky ones to move on to an owner who would actually wear them on a regular basis.

I also based my decisions on weather I "personally" would actually wear the coat or not. Was it too hideous that no one would be caught dead in it, was it too outdated? Did it look like a coat my grandmother would have worn in the 40's. I was thinking surely no teenager one would want to wear a coat that was outdated and not cool. Let's face it, now I'm being brutally honest with my feelings and opinion, but if someone was unfortunate enough to be receiving a donated coat, I doubt that they would want one that was outdated and was obviously a donated coat. No teenager I know wants to draw unwanted attention to themselves... Let's face it, if you are trying your hardest to fit in with the group, you don't want to be sporting a coat from the 80's. We all know how most of society is... don't the less fortunate usually get treated differently than those who are most fortunate? Better not get me started... but hopefully you know what I mean. If you don't... then, well, I guess you just don't get it.

As I was working I started thinking about each coat. I hoped that who ever received the coat would actually like it and not have to wear it because that was the coat that they were given. I started thinking also, what if I only had one coat to wear. Which one would I choose? I actually chose one and set it aside. I was thinking that I would keep that one and I really didn't need any of the others. It is my favorite coat anyway and has a zip-out liner so it is good for all kinds of weather. Then I started taking all my coats out. Evaluating each one more closely. I'd ask myself, "Why aren't you wearing this one?" My answers were usually something like..."Well, that one is for dress clothes" or "I like to wear that one with jeans."

Several times I thought... "Even though I don't wear that one very often, it is way too nice to donate. I paid too much money for that one to donate it." Egads, I was thinking this about coats I hadn't worn once in the last few years, not since I quit my job in town and started working full time out here on the farm. Disgusted with these thoughts and actually ashamed I was so self-centered about mere possessions that I didn't even need, I started taking out ALL the coats. Even the ones I spent a lot of money on. SOMEONE could be wearing them, especially since I wasn't.

Why should I get to pick and choose between several coats as to what I was going to wear some particular day when others didn't even have a single coats to wear. Or perhaps the coats they had were "worn out" according to my standards and should have been tossed a long time ago. So into the donation pile went my leather coat that I hardly wear but paid a pretty penny for, a "like new" Woolrich coat, a nice down coat I had gotten Dan the Man for Christmas last year that he never wears because he doesn't like the fit and others.

Some of the coats I came across I thought, "Oh, I love this coat, I forgot all about it. I think I'll keep this one, I might wear it again now that I have uncovered it from the back of the closet!" Well, how did it get to the back of the closet? Any idiot could tell you it was there because YOU NEVER WEAR IT and if you haven't worn it in a year, you are NOT GOING TO MISS IT!

A few of the coats I debated back and forth on and finally placed them in the donated pile if I hadn't worn them in the last year. Period. No grabbing them back out of the pile. Face it Kathi, they are history!

Then came the kids coats. I went out into the shed and gathered up all the outgrown coats that I was going to sell on Ebay a couple of years ago. I figured that if I hadn't found the time to do it yet, I was never going to find the time to list them on Ebay. Some of these coats were like new. Uhhh, I think some were new. What a spoiled nation we are that some children, mine included, didn't have to wear a particular coat because they simply didn't like it. Or they had so many, that the coats that was not within grabbing distance were never chosen. And I can tell you that with the boys and men in this house, that if they can't see it in plain view, it doesn't exist! You literally have to rotate their clothes in their dressers or the same shirts that are on the top of the pile are worn over and over.

When I was finally done with all the coats, I was shocked. I had a stack of 20 perfectly good coats that no one was wearing... Made me sick to my stomach that we had in essence been hoarding these coats when they could have been donated long ago to someone who really needed one. Almost half of them were my coats.

I hope that I have made you think about your coat closet in a different way. Please consider donating your extra coats to someone who really needs them.

If you live locally and can't make it to the coat drive this Saturday at the Scottsbluff Winter Farmers Market, you can still donate your coats next Saturday, December 11th @ First State Bank. Click on the link below for more information.

First State Bank GIFT OF LOVE

The bible tells us countless times that we should give. Here are just a few verses that encourage us.

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

"Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21

"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind." Luke 14:13

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18

"Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, 'Here's a good seat for you,' but say to the poor man, 'You stand there' or 'Sit on the floor by my feet,' have you not discriminated among yourselves and becomes judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?" James 2:2-6

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need." 1 Timothy 5:3

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading a book called: Radical, taking back your faith from the American Dream.
    There's a story in there about John Wesley.

    [Wesley]had just finished buying some pictures for his room when one of the chambermaids came to his door. It was a Winter day and he noticed that she had only a thin linen gown to wear for protection against the cold. He reached into his pocket to give her some money for a coat, and found he had little left. It struck him that the Lord was not pleased with how he had spent his money. He asked himself:"Will Thy Master say,'Well done, good and faithful steward?' thou hast adorned thy walls with the money that might have screened this poor creature from the cold! O justice! O mercy! Are not these pictures the blood of this poor maid?"

    Your post made me think of that story....