Every year for almost 20 years (Wow! Crazy that it has been that long.), my Mama, sisters and nieces have all gathered together on the Saturday before Mother's Day for a service project and luncheon (my Mama's beautiful and selfless idea, of course). Each year, we take turns planning what we will all be doing for the service project and where our luncheon will be. After what has seemed like a very long wait, it is finally my year again!!! Yay! Over the holidays, I had some pretty amazing experiences that all seemed to lead to the inspiration for the project I decided on for this year. I have personally been in the very humbling position of requiring assistance from others. It was so challenging to put my pride aside and accept help from others when I had always been the HELPER and not the HELPED. Every day since then, I have realized what a beautiful thing it was, for a period of time, to accept service from others. I have always loved serving others, but after experiencing first hand the true MIRACLES and tender mercies that came to our little family as a result of the angels who have served US through the years, I can't seem to get ENOUGH of service. I. Am. Hooked. This year, I felt strongly that I wanted our project to be "Women Serving Women." Not only did I want us to work to provide daily necessities for women in need, I wanted us to also provide the little extras that make us FEEL as beautiful on the outside as we are on the inside. When things are rough, those extras are unnecessary luxuries when babies need clothes and food isn't on the table. But they are also the "little things" that can remind us for a moment that we are strong, beautiful and capable of enduring the challenges we are currently facing. Trust me. I have been there.
|My cute Girls (and nephew) buying makeup bags for the purse project.|
This year, all of the Dahlquist women of all ages will be getting together on the Saturday before Mother's Day to put together purses for women in need. Necessities and little luxuries, all packaged in FABULOUS purses that will help these good women forget, for even the briefest moment, that life is so very challenging for them at the moment. I put together this SAMPLE PURSE to show what we will be collecting for each and every purse. Each purse will contain the following: 1. PURSE (NEW or VERY GENTLY USED CONDITION, Large enough for all items listed below...you know we all have 2 or 3 in our closets that we aren't using, right? ;-)) 2. HYGIENE KIT (Full-size Shampoo/Conditioner [can be both or 2 in 1], Brush, Deodorant, Toothbrush, Full-size Toothpaste, Bar of Soap, Razor, Lotion, Small Tissues, Small package Tampons/Pads [the small ones found in travel sections or at the Dollar Store]) - in a gallon size baggie 3. BASIC MAKEUP KIT (Neutral Eye Shadow, Blush, Mascara, Lip gloss, Nail Polish) - in a quart size baggie or inexpensive makeup bag (Dollar Store has great ones) 4. NECKLACE, BRACELETS OR EARRINGS - wrapped nicely in a little box or cellophane bag 5. $20-$25 GROCERY GIFT CARD to WALMART or SMITHS and 6. COMPLETELY OPTIONAL EXTRAS: anything we'd like to add in order to make it more personal (gum, small first-aid or sewing kit, wet wipes, bandaids, q-tips, tictacs, perfume, manicure set, etc.
This year, instead of keeping it within the family, I have reached out to the community and friends in a service group I belong to. I feel such conviction about the importance of this project and know that obviously the more hands we have, the more we can do. There is great need.
Our goal is to collect and fill 150-200 purses by the Saturday before Mother's Day. A lofty goal, perhaps. However, over Christmas, I witnessed firsthand how the Lord absolutely MAGNIFIES the efforts of those who wish to serve in ANY capacity. He will provide.
If you'd like to get involved.....whether you are able to donate a completely filled purse, an empty purse to be filled or ANY of the elements to go inside of the purses....please let me know. Anything we can do is a blessing.
Today my Girl Scouts got involved. We went shopping and purchased 23 makeup bags and 42 necklaces from our troop account for this awesome service project. Heather confided in me that with such an outpouring of love from the surrounding community, she has been able to assemble over 400 purses for the women's shelter. Thanks, Heather, for helping us to remember to take care of our fellow man... uh woman.