This sweet and spicy four-year old came with me to drop off our first trunkload of donations to a local center, Joseph’s Coat.  (They are very full of donations, but are looking for hygiene care and new socks/undies, etc.. by the way!)  As we drove up, a friendly man made jokes with her and gathered our things.  She stood quietly by and took the experience in, and as we drove away I asked her how it felt to donate our things.  “Sad” she replied.  When I asked her why, she explained that she’ll never see those clothes, toys and things ever again.  We sat in silence for a bit.  We talked about when we’re sick and need help, the people and places that help us get better, and how there will be times when we need something and times when we can give something.  She sat for a moment and asked, “So, when will we go back to donate more things?”

It felt amazing to share this first experience with her- to discover the many feelings involved in giving away.  We are very lucky to have so many clothes, books, toys, household items that we are in a place donate.  We cannot always expect to be in this place.  She won’t see the families and people receiving the same things, but she understands what it means to need something and receive help.  I am hoping, like Becker said in “Clutterfree with kids,” that we are teaching her the value of an experience over objects, as well as the sense of community in our intentional work.  That friendly man?  He’s our neighbor, the woman after us in the donation line?  She rang up our groceries last week.  It is my hope that these experiences add up to create a woman who understand the value of our community.