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Redeeming the Wait: Fundraiser #1

October 25, 2011

Four months after starting the adoption process, we made it on “The List.” We were settling in for what we were hoping would be a three month wait and yet could very well be a six month wait (or more). What were we supposed to do with all that time? Well, for anyone even remotely familiar with international adoption and the massive expense involved, that answer was easy: FUNDRAISING! Up to this point, we had been blessed with financial gifts large and small, from expected and unexpected places, that had gotten us through the expenses up to this point. Now, we were out of money and needed to doing some fundraising to get us through the next phase.

My husband is non-staff pastor at our church, which means he does as much work for the church as he can while still holding a day job that supports us and pays the bills. Fortunately, his day job is being a special education teacher, which has many perks, one being AN ENTIRE SUMMER OFF! I know, I know, not every house is lucky enough to have Daddy/Hubby home for the whole summer, but we are, and we decided to make the most of it!

Our goals was to do one fundraiser per month of the summer, so when we got on “The List” in the middle of May, we started brainstorming about what fundraisers we could do. A sweet lady in our community group suggested we do a garage sale. She suggested we get donations from families in our church and combine it all to make one giant sale. We liked this idea for many reasons. First, in our seven years of marriage, we have accumulated so much junk but lacked the motivation to sort through it and purge. This would give us motivation. Second, we liked the idea of getting our church family involved, and finally, we liked the idea of having something in our neighborhood that would allow us to visit with and talk to neighbors as a follow up to our Memorial Day block party.

So, we sent out an email to our church family through our church’s online community site, explaining our idea and requesting donations. The response was incredible. We accumulated SO. MUCH. STUFF. for our sale. I just couldn’t believe the amount of stuff we had. Even though we went through a fair amount of purging of our own things, I would say not even 10% of the stuff we sold was actually ours to begin with. We were completely overwhelmed by our church family’s love and generosity.

We collected the donations and stored them in our garage until a few days before the sale. Then we started pricing. I was so thankful for my mom (who is also a teacher with summers off!) who basically spent a week at our house helping us price, sort, set up, tear down, and sell, sell, sell. I will admit, having a garage sale is a TON of work. A day or so before the sale, I was so overwhelmed with with all the work to be done that I was swearing I would never, EVER do this again. But after it was all said and done and we had taken the last of the items that didn’t sell to Goodwill and counted up our total ($850!!), we declared the trouble totally worth it and thanked God for his provision. One thing that has certainly been amazing during this process is to see the many creative ways God has provided for us right when we needed it. It is so incredible to see Him work.

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