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31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Finding Joy in Helping Others (Day 25)

Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.

If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

I was so blessed and inspired by this email from Katie:

Katie and her sons with all of the birthday donations they collected from friends

I’ve been a reader of yours for years, and you’ve helped me learn to be content with what I have and who I am. I’ve also learned from you the value of living with less “stuff”.

With that, for my recent 29th (golden) birthday, I asked friends and family to donate birthday supplies (instead of buying me “more stuff”) to help with my mission to assemble and donate 29 bags for deserving/needy children in our area. The response was INCREDIBLE and my new goal is to assemble 100 bags this year, and maybe double that next year!

This has been an amazing lesson for my children to watch me give graciously and find joy in helping others.

Thank you for planting the seeds of generosity in my heart. -Katie

For more pictures and details on Katie’s story, check out this news story.

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  • Luba says:

    What a great story of caring about others and unselfishness! Thank you for sharing, Crystal.

  • Susan says:

    Very inspirational!

  • Ac says:

    What a fantastic story! This may seem like a silly question but how did you ask people to do this for you in lieu of gifts? I love this idea but am afraid I would seem presumptuous to ask friends and families to do it in the event they weren’t planning to give me a gift. :-/

    • Kimber says:

      I did this for a recent birthday party, and I had a similar worry. I sent out “evite” invitations, and I put a little note at the bottom that said something like “In lieu of gifts, donations of small pampering items to donate to the local women’s shelter are welcome”. Not those exact words, but something like that. I had a brunch for my friends, and then we shared with the women’s shelter. It didn’t seem like people felt obligated – several people didn’t bring anything, which was totally fine. And I feel like putting “small” in there made it okay for people to just spend a dollar or two if they’d like to participate but have tight budgets. No one seemed offended or anything. Good luck!

  • Sarah says:

    we save all year long as well. We have filled 3 large dish pack sized boxes. With new or nearly new items. We give to a charity near our home (called Mission of Hope)
    With all of our birthdays all year long I make a similar offer. My exception is that the gifts can be gently used items. Mission of Hope accepts things that are in near new condition as well. So we have managed to give more by adding this to our description of items.

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