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I was blown away when one of our volunteer staff walked in with two amped up bicycles. I asked if he wanted for people give a donation for those, or what? He said, “No, that’s fine just give them away!” Not a few minutes passed by when a group of girls from Bridge of Hope came in and asked, “How does this shop work?” We said, “Just shop for anything you want for free and give it to someone else”. They said, “Anything?! even these bikes?” We said, “yes”. Their eyes lit up, big smiles on their faces and took the bikes. They couldn’t wait to get the bikes home as a gift to their families.
A man came in and asked how the boutique worked. We said, “Just shop for anything you want for free and give it to someone as a gift”. We had also been sharing with people that there was a needy family, and that if anyone cared to make a cash donation, it would go to that family. This man said, “I don’t have any money, but can I get something from here and donate it to the needy family?” He was elated to have it gift wrapped and went on to make a card for the package too. He later brought a friend back with him and showed him around the boutique, and his friend also shopped for a donation for our adopted family!
I noticed a young man come in who was studying a crafty little suitcase filled with hand creams inside and cute silverware decorating the top. He looked at it for quite some time and compared it to other items. He finally decided on it. I asked him who it was for and he said it was for his Mom. He also went and made a handmade card and proudly came back to have it gift wrapped.
One of our new volunteer staff guys came in and picked out a crockpot and said, “Can you save that for me?” I said, “Sure”. He then helped out the guys outside with set-up and later came back and asked if he could have it gift wrapped. He told me it was for his sister. He told me her husband had just left her and taken everything including her kitchenware.
Thanks so much for welcoming some of our refugee friends to Art of Giving. They had such a great time and kept thanking me for bringing them. They were inspired by the art and spoken word, in addition to the live music and new friends that they made. I’m also thankful that they got two free bikes for their families! They were so excited about that and shared that they had been wanting a bike for the longest time, but didn’t have the resources to get one.
Our small group hosted one of the adopted families from Afghanistan. It was a mom here with her children, but her husband has been stuck as a refugee in Turkey for the last 2 years. The family invited 3 friends to come with them- all from Afghanistan. We had dinner, sang carols, read the Christmas story and gave them gifts. One of the most interesting things to see was how much they seemed to enjoy decorating the Christmas tree. It was a great night! They were invited back next week to our Christmas party beach bonfire & campout. It will be interesting to see what God does through this small beginning, but, It was great.
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