Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: gifts (page 1 of 2)

Put your Prime to work for the good of humanity

Dear friends,

I have an idea. (I have a lot of those.) But this might be the best one yet. Actually, it’s much too good of an idea to be original to me, but I can’t say that anyone told me about it.  This involves online shopping and being a better neighbor. Also, it’s an excuse to upgrade to Amazon Prime.

So, our local shelters need things regularly – toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, tampons, socks, diapers – and we, the People of Good Intentions often know this and even remember it at the store from time to time, but lack the wherewithal to actually get it where it needs to go. Right? Please tell me I’m not the only one who has lugged around a few cans of beans in the trunk for two months before shamefully adding it to her own pantry.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Call your your nearby resource center, food pantry or woman’s shelter to find out what their top needs are and if UPS can deliver to their site. (It’s always a good idea to ask if you can help.)
  2. Log into Amazon Subscribe ‘n Save.
  3. Choose 1 or 50 items you’d like to regularly offer your friends and neighbors who lack necessary resources. Check the center’s website for a list of current or ongoing needs. Note:  Prime members get an additional percent off and I know how you love to get a good deal.
  4. Decide how often you want them to ship. You can buy in bulk and send just 2-3 times a year or keep it consistent and send monthly.
  5. Create a new monthly subscription for these items and ship them direct. If you’re local, consider Open Door Resource Center at 212 W. Wyandot Ave. Upper Sandusky, OH 43351.

Follow up with your site to make sure your helpfulness is actually meeting a need or if you need to change your contribution in any way. (Maybe they don’t need 83 toothbrushes a month but they’re constantly out of socks. You won’t know unless you ask.)

This idea is totally transferable to Amazon Prime Pantry, where you can order items and ship for a flat fee. (Or, if you choose the no-rush shipping on your other purchases, you get to stockpile free Pantry shipping!) You lucky ducks living in cities with one-hour Prime delivery can even add the benefit of perishables, making meals more nutritious for those who need it most. Locals, consider talking to City Mission about their ongoing needs.

You can take this a step further and if you know a family who needs some help, you can ask what they need most and ship it to them. Diapers, formula, detergent – think of the things you gripe about most to your spouse when it comes to price and then buy those things.

And there you go. You’ve now become thoughtful without having to think. Or, as I prefer to think of it, continuously thoughtful but never forgetting.

(As a side note, when I get the email telling me that my shipment is about to sail, I like to say a little prayer for the recipients, just as I would if I had put it in my grocery cart.)

Visit me elsewhere:

The Magic Penny and the Ebook

I’m not sure how you most effectively avoid doing necessary work. In the midst of most stressful days or weeks, I tend to take on projects that don’t actually need to be completed. But reorganizing the kitchen utensil drawer or listing our favorite recipes in alphabetical order somehow gnaws at me until it’s done.

So, this week, while I moved my parents into a new house, took on a new work project and revisited my Yoga Teacher Training homework, I decided to author an ebook. Fortunately, it was written, just not created.

It’s a compilation of my most popular pieces of 2015. Maybe you’ve read them. Maybe you missed one. Maybe you’re a sucker for the word “free” and hoard books on your kindle (ahem, I’m looking at you Trevor). In any case, it’s available for you, for free. Because when I went to 4-H camp we sang a little song:

Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

(The Magic Penny)

So, there you go. And here you go.  After you can sign up, it will arrive via email.  (No, I will not sell, give or otherwise disperse your email info, especially when I know you keep a special “junk mail” yahoo address for reasons such as this. Well, I might sell it,  if someone offers me One Million Dollars.)

 

Visit me elsewhere:

Love, Starbucks & the Incarnation

When I followed the ambulance down to Columbus, it carrying one of my life’s treasures, I didn’t cry. I called a friend, made lists and recited mantras (strong body, soft heart). But you know what brought me to tears? An inbox full of Starbucks gift cards.

Please, don’t think me too materialistic. I love coffee, but that’s not the point.

This past week we’ve been surrounded, carried and lifted. Family gathered our children, friends fed them, parents ferried them to where they needed to be next. My sister filled my freezer with healthyish survival food. My mom is doing laundry and vacuuming up our dogs’ attempts to not be forgotten. And people have flooded me with notes telling me they are praying.

These things. They are so very helpful. They make us feel better and they make life even a teensy bit easier. But it’s not just the actual thing – the help, the card, the word – which lifts up our hearts. It’s the intention. I see through the thing and see people who earnestly want to enter into this place with us. They want to “be there” in any way possible. Some will sit by our sides, others fill our cups, but it’s really the same to me. They say, “I see you. I love you. I’m with you.”

Which is the spirit of the season. I love the time leading up to Christmas because I’m in love with incarnation. For several years I’ve been weepy every Sunday of Advent. Behind it all is this God who said to all of humanity, “I see you, I love you, I’m with you.”

This week we’ve been waist-deep in our people’s versions of incarnation. Friends, you have not simply been nice or thoughtful or helpful. You have embodied the spirit of God-with-Us.

Do I mean that Jesus coming to earth is like when people give me a SBX giftcard? No. I’m saying that those gift cards and meals and words from afar – those are our attempts to live out that sense of Incarnation set within us. I mean to say, when you love others, you are like God. You are shining God’s image.  When you love like that, you evoke the presence of God in our lives.

Thank you.

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