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We Believe...

..that the solution to inequality, pain, suffering, and lack in the world is ‘those that have’ sharing willingly from the heart with ‘those that have not’ who are sick and/or needy.

Warm clothing and bedding for babies, quilts for the aged or ill, books for the disadvantaged, essentials and household goods for those who have lost everything in floods, house fires, or due to job loss; these are just some of the need we assist with. You can help.
 

Archive for Self Reliance & Preparedness

Science Has Spoken – Giving Makes You Happy!
By Eve Pearce 

Helping babies makes us happy and makes them happy, too!

Relief Share believes that the true solution to the inequalities and suffering that occurs every day in the world is giving… by sharing toys with children whose parents may have lost everything in a natural disaster, bedding with those who who cannot afford to stay warm, quilts to keep the aged cosy, we play a small part in curing social ills which could be eliminated on a collective levels. Interestingly, numerous scientific findings reveal that when we give, we don’t just help the recipients of our donations; we also take our first steps on a journey towards greater personal happiness. These findings should be shared with the world, for they are likely to lead to further giving. In this post, we share important research work on the link between giving and personal joy:

Happiness is a cycle: Researchers, Isen and Levin conducted a study which revealed that people were more likely to help others when they were happy; those in a positive mood were also more likely to lend a helping hand to researchers. Similar observations have subsequently been made with children. In another study, Rosenhan et. al. randomly assigned positive or negative mood states to children by asking them to reminisce, talk and think about specific memories. They were then given some candy and money, which they were told they could give away to other children. While both groups of kids consumed more sweets than the control group, the happy children gave larger amounts of money to other children. As is the case with adults, similar positive mood states (achieved through a sense of competence or success) resulted in greater giving.

Happy people have been found to help others more in many contexts, including the work context: In one study, inexperienced workers with more positive moods and outlooks were found to be more likely to go the extra mile when helping customers by trying hard to find what the customer was looking for, and making a greater effort to provide quality customer service.

Giving also makes us happier: In an excellent report on giving, L. Anik et.al. run through the most useful recent studies on the subject. One study mentioned, carried out in 2007 showed that when persons donated money to a food bank, the ventral striatum region of their brain was activated. The This area of the brain is involved in the experience of pleasure and reward, showing that giving does inherently make us happier. In Germany, meanwhile, Meier and Stutzer (2006) showed that those who performed volunteer work had greater life satisfaction. The study is vital because it shows that giving doesn’t always have to be about money. Sharing one’s time by making blankets or toys for needy children, for instance, is an equally important way to make a difference.

Everyone can help!

Giving is good for young and old alike: One particularly touching study involved elderly retired volunteers and infants. In this study, 10 elder volunteers with a mean age of 70 years were asked to massage infants at a nursery three times weekly for a period of three weeks. The elderly were also given massages at other times in the week. The researchers sought to observe the different effects caused by giving and receiving. The scientists found that “immediately after the first- and last-day sessions of giving massages, the elder retired volunteers had less anxiety and depression and lower stress hormones (salivary cortisol) levels. Over the three-week period, depression… decreased and lifestyle and health improved. These effects were not as strong for the three-week period when they received massage.” This is a particularly strong indication of the bond human beings share – the love for children and the need to care for others are almost universal feelings that we can fulfill by giving.

Volunteering and giving keeps awakens us to current problems facing society: When donate blankets, art supplies or toys, or volunteer our time to entertain children or the elderly, we begin to fully realize the vulnerability of the human condition. ‘There, for the grace of God, go you or I’ is a saying many volunteers repeat to themselves when faced with the devastation caused by poverty, HIV, and disease, not only in our area of the world, but in third world countries as well. As we meet other volunteers and patients, we share and discover vital information such as the link between poverty and STDs, heart disease and Type II diabetes; or the devastating child poverty rate, even in so-called affluent countries. In this way, volunteering stops us from turning a blind eye to social problems and opens our eyes to the important role we can play in helping even just one person – with a little help, maybe that one well-fed, warm and happy child will one day change the world.

So….GET HAPPY! Get involved. Clean out your closets for a good cause!

Added to this article by President Carol Green/Relief Share:

Here are some of the items needed – go through the list, pick some, and send them to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225. Be sure to include your shipping information so we can send you a tax deductible receipt/thank you letter! We appreciate you!!

Baby Items: diapers, receiving blankets, sleepers, hats, booties, onesies, outfits, pants, tops, socks, swaddlers, baby cocoons, hygiene items (like soap, diaper cream, baby wash, q-tips, cotton balls, washcloths), diaper bags, soft toys, quilts, afghans, etc

Children’s items: clothing, toys, books, coloring books and crayons, videos, hair accessories, video games (these goes to the hospital to keep kids occupied when spending long periods immobilized after surgery), soap, shampoo, conditioner, food (yes, many of our children don’t get enough to eat) – healthy snacks or Wal Mart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to go get what is needed, such as milk, bread, cheese, oatmeal, basic fruits and vegetables etc. Quilts, afghans, etc

Adult Items: Clothing, quilts, afghans, books, hair items – brushes, combs, curling or straight irons (for women who are in homeless shelters or crisis centers due to domestic violence trying to get ready  to work), hygiene items, washcloths, towels, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, conditioner, food (basic healthy food items are great, WalMart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to get what is needed is wonderful, too).  Just think what you would need if you suddenly found yourself homeless and without anything – that is what is needed.

Animals – collars, food, litter, litter boxes, leashes, bedding, toys, flea and tick prevention products.  We help a number of animal shelters with donations of needed items when they are donated in.

Supplies for volunteers to work with to make some of the items needed:

Knitting & Crochet supplies: knitting machines, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles (addi turbo circular knitting needles in all sizes are a huge blessing for our volunteers to use – if you want to pick a size, the 14″ or 16″ length in size 7 is the most popular but we need the smaller sizes, like 5 and 6 for knitting booties and preemie hats, and larger circ needles for afghans are wonderful as well) We can never have enough knitting needles!  Stitch markers. Yarn winders are really needed right now! Patterns.

Quilting supplies – fabric, thread, needles, templates, patterns, batting, rotary cutters, mats, etc

Sewing Supplies – fabric, scissors, thread, elastic, velcro, lace, binding, embroidery thread, sewing machines, sergers, fabric cutting machines, etc.

Office supplies – paper, labels, price tags (for our flea market booth), post it notes, pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, computers, speakers, printers, copiers, digital cameras.  We have more than one location and when a machine breaks, it slows down the work.

Our dear volunteers and donors:  Thank you for everything you do – from sharing your smile with someone to giving of your time to sew, knit, crochet or simply spread the word.  We love all our volunteers who share their time, efforts, funds and love to make the lives of God’s sick and needy better.  Volunteers unselfishly drive our donations to where they need to go, spend time going to flea markets and yard sales to try to get what is needed to stretch our dollars, people who spend countless hours listing and shipping charity auctions on ebay for us, and wonderful people like Eve Pearce who wrote this article for us to help others understand what it is that Relief Share does to make the world a better place is what makes the miracle of love happen. Thank you so much!

 

 

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Relief Share volunteers are preparing for the cooler weather by knitting up hats, scarves, mittens and making snuggly blankets and afghans. When the colder weather hits, requests for help come flooding in.

Relief Share donation made by volunteers for the sick and needy

This is a donation that went out today to a crisis center to help the sick and needy cope with falling temperatures. A warm hat can make all the difference for a tiny baby or toddler. Children having to walk to school in colder temperatures really need a warm hat, mittens and scarf.

It is not usually on everyone’s minds, as we are all enjoying the last rays of summer and heading into fall, but it is important to be ready to meet the needs of those who can’t provide for themselves.  Babies and toddlers don’t knit, crochet or sew, but they grow up into adults that can, if they want to. Perhaps the love given to them from strangers as a child will help them continue to create a world filled with sharing, caring, love and peace.

So as we head for the season of ‘peace on earth, good will to all men’ in a few months, lets start in our own homes by making and donating what you can with the skills that you have and sharing.

If you don’t have time to make the items, our volunteers are more than happy to take the supplies you send us to create items to ease the difficulty of children in poverty and sickness.  Together, we can be the difference between a child shivering in the cold, using precious resources just to stay warm, when they need to use their strength to heal and grow.  Reach out today, please help!

Donations can be sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  If you would like to make a donation through Paypal, please click the button below.

Have a great day, knowing you made someone else’s day a lot better!

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Its been a very chilly month and seems to be staying cold.  Relief Share volunteers love everyone to be comfortable and warm, especially the very old and the very young. Donations of warm scarves, hats, coats, clothing, bedding and mittens have come in and been donated out to where the need is the greatest.  Boxes of darling handmade dolls, knitted balls, warm double receiving blankets and yummy soft scrumptious flannel, fleece and minky fabric arrived at Relief Share home office and is quickly being made into needed items.

Twin size quilts are being sewn and hard working caring volunteers are tying the patchwork quilts as fast as they can at fun quilting bees held at the home of the main project co-ordinator. Jan is amazing and has ‘rallied the troops” to work fast, efficiently and joyfully to provide 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis.  Relief Share completed 240 quilts for the hospital two years ago and we are doing it again ;-)

Volunteers Larry and Linda Smith spent hours working on our four Relief Share flea market booths that are donated by H & K Flea Market in Houston, MO.  Everyone gets involved in donating items to fill the booth to raise funds for supplies and needed items to help the sick and needy.

President Carol Green went through her home and de-cluttered to bring a truck load of items to fill the booths.  You’ll find everything in our booths – Carol jokes that if it’s not nailed to the floor and needed to sell to get the yarn and fabric needed – it’s going to wind up in the flea market booth.  Her children grew up knowing that if they didn’t clean up their stuff and left it lying around, it got sold!  (one way to get children to tidy their rooms ;-)

Dottie Schafer and Carol Green spent an enjoyable afternoon taking donations to where they are very much needed. Dottie went through the clothing she had saved from when her children were little and donated boxes full of very nice clean and excellent condition baby and childrens clothing, along with a bag of much needed children’s shoes.  The recipients were so glad to get the items and it made Dottie feel good to share her precious treasures from when her kids were little.

There is joy in giving service and goods to others!

 The feeling you get in knowing you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing helping your brothers and sisters in Christ is amazing.  In a world where its easy to get caught up in political problems, personal conundrums and depressed with how difficult it is to get by these days, it is a blessing to be able to wash away negativity with positive actions.

Here are some ideas on how to make your life joyful and productive – even more than you are doing now (and you may already be doing these things):

1.  Clean out your closets and home for a good cause. You will feel a lot better owning your possessions instead of having them own you.  Put the excess that you know others need and you don’t, into boxes and mail them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We will send you a thank you letter and tax deductible receipt for your donations.  We know the price of shipping is getting higher – so if you can’t afford to ship your donations to us, consider calling a local charity and have them pick up your donations.  One man’s excess is another man’s treasure, especially when they don’t have what is needed. Your old snow boots may be a life saver to someone else and you’ll love the extra space in your home.

2.   Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need? It’s one of our favorite songs we hear regularly at church, and it is a good litmus to see where we are in our humanitarian service.  Make yourself a promise that you will help at least one person per

Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need?

day.  It doesn’t have to be earth shattering, like an entire truckload of donations or enough money donated to help others that temporarily hurts a tad in your budget (even though that is nice), it can be opening the door for someone else with a smile, cleaning the kitty litter box – even though it’s not your turn, or making someone else’s bed for a surprise.  How about calling someone just to tell them you love them, or giving them that sweater of yours they love and comment on every time they see you wear it and you don’t need the sweater really as you have  others.  Put on your thinking cap and ‘move it, move it’ to help others.

3.  Pray daily for your fellowmen. Oh, we don’t mean the rote prayers that are memorized, or the ones that are really generic, we mean the heartfelt prayers where you are chatting with your Heavenly Father and letting him know what is important to you.  We have a precious volunteer and friend who has really struggled with terrible bouts of cancer.  Honestly, if it was according to medical knowledge, she should have died by now, but through prayers and positive attitude, Vonnie is alive and kicking and in remission.  That was one of the best phone calls we have ever gotten – she is in remission because of love and prayers offered on her behalf, a doctor who just wouldn’t give up on her and her own marvelous attitude and relationship with God.  Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.

Well, we have a lot of other suggestions but these three are good to work on right now.  We must walk -  in learning to serve God and others – before we run, trip and get discouraged.  Take life a day at a time. Never mind yesterday, it’s gone, but today …..  today is such a marvelous gift from God – share your ‘today’ with others.

Happy hugs and lots of love to you from Relief Share :-)

Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.
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Crisis center donation of warm hats, scarves and more!

Our Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting and crocheting up a storm.  Donations have come in from many parts of the country to be combined with items made here at Relief Share’s home office in the Ozarks.  Many items to keep babies and families warm have been created with love and prayers to be shared with the sick and needy who appreciate a gift from a stranger to ward off the cold.

Hats, scarves and other items can mean the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.  It can also mean the difference between a simple cold and pneumonia or worse.  In more desperate circumstances, it can even mean the difference between life and death.  Babies need their strength to heal and grow and a warm baby hat and cocoon can mean everything to a struggling family bringing home a preemie baby from the intensive care.

Relief Share is donating 50 handmade knitted hats, and many scarves and other items to the crisis center for the sick and needy, so the Thanksgiving and Christmas season will be a little warmer with love from the heart and hands of strangers who cared enough to spend their time, talents and resources on those who are in desperate circumstances and need help.

A heartfelt THANKS to all the wonderful donors and volunteers working with Relief Share to make the miracle of love and warmth happen for those who need us this season.

If you would like to help knit and crochet to help the sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns and make hats, scarves, mittens, cocoons and sweaters in any size and any type of yarn – there is always someone waiting for your items as we address the needs at a number of hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, medical clinics, churches etc across the country.

Send your donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We always send a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt with each donation received, so be sure to include your name and address for us to thank you properly ;-) We are so grateful for your love in action. If you would like to donate yarn, knitting and crochet supplies and tools, please do – we will love you for it!

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Email me – I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

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Knitted and crocheted essential cloths donated to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483 for the benefit of the sick and needy.

This wonderful donation just arrived from Binghamton Ravelry in Endicott, NY.  It is a marvelous donation of cloths, an essential item for washing dishes, faces, wee baby’s bodies and more!  No matter who you are, you need a way to keep yourself and your environment clean.  If you are able to sustain yourself and your lifestyle, a cloth may be something you take for granted, but if you are one of the many who are struggling for basic essentials, a cloth may be a life saver to you.

New moms with tiny babies need cloths for everything – cleaning up burps, babies and all that goes with having a baby in your life.  The homeless have to resort to whatever they can find around them – perhaps a newspaper or a paper towel picked up from a restaurant, just to stay clean.  Families in domestic violence situations sheltered in crisis centers are very grateful for soft cloths that they can do dishes with, dry dishes, clean living areas, etc.

Just think – the next time you pick up a dish cloth, wash cloth or towel to use – it may be something you never thought much about before, but can make all the difference when you don’t have it.

A HUGE thank you goes out to the Binghamton Ravelry group for their love in action in knitting and crocheting these essential cloths to bless the lives of those who need them.  May your Thanksgiving be as wonderful as you have made others by giving a donation of such usefulness to so many others through Relief Share ;-)

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What are your New Years resolutions?  A quick search on the net shows that the number one New Years resolution is to lose weight.  We had to blink twice at that one because many of the sick and needy we serve don’t have that problem. In fact, they have trouble finding the resources to get enough food to eat.

If you are trying to keep your New Years resolution of losing weight, we have some suggestions that might help ;-)

1.  One day a week fast for one meal (or two) and donate the money you would have spent on those meals to charity.   Give it to your church, your local food pantry or send it to

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483-2225.

If you would have eaten something you already have in your home in your food storage – take the cans or boxes you don’t eat to your local food pantry, or donate them to a family you know could use them.

2.  We all know exercise helps us lose weight.  Get off the computer, stop watching the TV and dig out your sewing machine, knitting machine or serger and make some baby blankets or receiving blankets – perhaps a quilt or two to give away.  It will stimulate your heart and mind at the same time and bless the lives of the sick and needy.  If you prefer to hand knit or crochet – I bet there are some chemo patients that would love a hat to keep their heads warm or a prayer shawl or afghan to keep them snuggled and warm during the long hours of laying there getting chemotherapy for cancer.

3.  Gaining weight, for some of us, comes from comfort eating, do something else instead! Bad day – chocolate, upset – ice cream, family party and feeling good – Grandma’s famous peach pie, special occasion – root bear floats and birthday cake…well, you get the idea. Good or bad, we tend to reach for food to complete the situation.  Space abhors a vacuum.  Instead of reaching for food eating food, try doing something nice for someone else.  It’s hard to fork more pie in your mouth if your hands are busy sewing quilts for the crisis center and you can’t reach for the jelly beans at home on the counter if you are giving your neighbor in his wheelchair a walk in the sunshine for a much needed outing. Attend a local charity work meeting, volunteer time at the local library, or keep your hands and mind busy doing another productive service for someone – like weeding their garden when they can’t.

4.  There are good weight loss products to help boost your efforts (and there are many bad ones).  We recommend a supplement that compliments your efforts, not one that shocks your body into unhealthy weight loss.  After a great deal of research, we found that America’s number one health weight loss supplement is HCG drops.  Not all drops are good for you, though, depending on what the manufacturer has put in the bottle.  The most productive, safe, and cost effective can be found at www.herbalhealthco.com – you must stick to the diet suggested, but if you do, it works well.  HCGslim can help you get the body you want, healthy, strong and trim.  The company also donates to Relief Share – we are grateful for that.

Good luck! We would love to hear how your New Years resolutions are coming. Please feel free to respond to this post and share!

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Sewing cloth mama pads

What a wonderful time we are having at Relief Share to take care of the sick and needy. In under a week we have donated out 15 lap afghans to the wheelchair bound, boxes and bags of clothing and bedding to the sick and needy, and  toys to the children who need them.  Donations going out this week is a truckload of sweaters and t-shirts to Missouri residents (some  of them survivors of the Joplin tornado), boppies to nursing mothers, baby cocoons to the hospital and new mothers in the area, baby clothing to 3 soon to be babies, pacifiers to the hospital, afghans, blankets, infant burial layettes, dolls and toys, books for the homebound to read and more.

Relief Share has been blessed with very generous donations of fabrics that just came in. The boxes are filled with the most delicious scrumptious high quality fabric that our volunteers are over the moon with.  One of the directors kept exclaiming, “Do you know what fabric this is? It’s the very best! Oh my gosh, I LOVE this designer…come see the fabric colors!  WOW, this fabric is so soft and dreamy, I can’t wait to get it sewn up for the hospital, it’s perfect for the preemie babies.”

Yes, I listed to nearly an hour of folks thrilled with the fabric sent for our sick and needy.  I can’t thank the wonderful donor enough.  Everyone is so grateful for her knowledge of fabric and willingness to share it with us to help those who desperately need the items that will be made.

May God bless her as plentifully and generously as she has blessed the most helpless and needy of His children. She is truly his hands and feet here on the earth answering fervent prayers for needed essentials for the babies and their families.

Donations arriving

Boxes of much needed new baby clothing has also arrived from a wonderful long time donor, Terry W.  The timing was perfect, as usual, as requests for help had just been documented when her boxes showed up with everything in them for the babies.  Marianne C. has sent beautiful preemie afghans for the little ones in the hospital and Shirley B made the most beautiful little burial gowns that are so precious and appreciated.  Roberta M. always sends the prettiest blankets with gorgeous crocheted trim and lovely crocheted afghans along with dollies for the little ones in the hospital that love a dolly to snuggle with.  Her donations are carefully and lovingly packed with the greatest of care.  J. W. blesses us with lovely fabrics that are just perfect for the quilts we make for families to snuggle under.  Our volunteers love working with them.

We were also blessed by a sweet lady who was willing to trade some of her yarn stash with us for supplies we didn’t need so we would have the yarn needed to knit baby cocoons, hats, booties and chemo hats and prayer shawls.  Yarn is always in short supply and we are so grateful for donations of yarn of any kind and color. It’s fun when white or cream wool yarn is donated and we can color it with koolaide in the microwave for permanent coloring to make fun kids print colors.

It takes all of us working together to help answer God’s call to serve his most helpless and needy children.  Great blessings are in store for those who answer the spirit’s whisperings.

All donations can be sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  Do you know this is the same address we have had for 2 decades now? In a world that is constantly changing, it is nice to know some things don’t change. Our love for God’s children will never change and our efforts on their behalf will never cease.  Your efforts combined with ours create miracles.  Thank you so much.

unraveling sweaters to get yarn to knit into baby cocoons

What kind of donations are needed?

Supplies:

Sewing – fabric, thread, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, snaps, pins, needles, patterns, templates, sergers, sewing machines, etc
Knitting and crocheting – yarn (all kinds all colors), knitting needles (circular 16″ size 7 the most but all circular and straight needles, dpns) stitch counters, yarn winders, swifts, spinning wheels, patterns, books, crochet hooks, etc
Tatting – tatting shuttles, patterns, books, threads
Quilting – fabric, templates, quilters basting gun,  batting (a huge need), books, patterns, etc
Embroidery – thread, hoops, patterns, books, fabric
Smocking – pleater, pleating needles, batiste, quilting thread, embroidery and kreinik thread
Office supplies – paper, envelopes, cards, pens, TP, wet wipes, canon ink. digital camera (a huge need).

new and gently used baby and childrens clothing.
basic essentials – hygiene items, shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, combs, brushes, toothpaste, underwear (all sizes) etc.

Baby items: diaper bags, bottles, pacifiers (a huge need – all kinds for the hospital), baby oil, shampoo, lotion, diaper rash, wet ones, cloth and disposable diapers, toys, cribs, bassinets, monitors, sheets, blankets, afghans, hats.

We address a great deal of needs.  Any donation that is sent is used to bless the lives of the sick and needy.  All donations are accepted with a tax deductible receipt when requested.

Carol Green

President

ReliefShare.org

 

 

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Cotton knitted dishcloths

These cotton dishcloths are earth friendly and last a lot longer than synthetic mass produced dishcloths – they work better, too.   They also save money when you use them instead of paper towels or wipes.

Make some for yourself and extras to donate to the refugee center, homeless shelter or crisis center in your area or send them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn. We like the Peaches and Cream cotton yarn.

Knitting Needles: Size US 7 or 8.

Pattern: Cast on 3 sts.
1st row: Knit.
2nd row: K1. Increase 1 st in next st. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 40 – 50 sts. (depending on how big you want the dishcloth.
Next row: K2. K2tog. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 3 sts. Cast off.

Note: This pattern makes a darling baby afghan. Use washable acrylic yarn and knit rows until it is as big as you want, then decrease.

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Ted Grabenauer sleeps on his front porch on Monday, the morning after a tornado ripped the roof off his home in Joplin, Missouri.

It’s been a wild time with all the tornados and flooding. Prayers are being offered for the sick, afflicted, homeless, stricken, suffering and experiencing more difficult trials than they have ever had to deal with before. The aftermath of the nasty weather (that is not over yet) is one of shock, loss and deprivation.

Our prayers are very much needed, as there are only some areas that God can heal and handle, but as we pray like everything depends on God, we need to work like everything depends on us.

Urgents needs: QUILT BATTING! Can I say that again? QUILT BATTING! We have material for quilt tops and backs, and even have many of the quilts ready to put together but we are short on quilt batting. 90″ wide is the best size and however long you can get it. JoAnn Fabric is having a wonderful sale right now with only $5 shipping if you do it before tomorrow night. Any kind of batting, any size of batting will be gratefully accepted. Volunteers are standing by to make the life saving, warmth giving quilts that are so desperately needed but we need YOUR HELP in supplying the quilt batting.

People walk a devastated street in Joplin, Missouri (map), on Sunday, hours after a tornado killed at least 116 people, as of Monday afternoon, and left the town in ruins.

Other urgent needs are:
- BABY CLOTHING -  sleepers, socks, booties, bibs, receiving blankets, afghans, soft toys, diaper lotion cream and shampoo, diapers, formula, bottles, diaper bags – anything for a baby.
- basic simple clean clothing for toddlers, children and adults. Many of the people affected have nothing, it’s all gone – just look at the pictures on the news. New clothing is best, but gently used clothing is gratefully accepted.
- basic HYGIENE ITEMS  like toilet paper, kleenex, pads, shampoo, shaving cream, razors, hair conditioner, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste – just think about what you find in a hotel room that are considered basics.  Ttrash bags, face lotion, hairbrushes, combs – even makeup for the women (it helps with morale and to sustain a ‘normal’ life feeling).
- TOYS & BOOKS to keep the little ones happy in crisis shelters, tote bags are a huge help for folks to carry what little they have around with them.
- SURVIVAL ITEMS – matches, flashlights, water containers, tents, tarps, safety pins, MRE food supplies, back packs, writing supplies, batteries, etc
-FOOD. Survival type food is best – lightweight and nourishing. Dehydrated fruit like berries, trail mix, fig newtons, protein bars, water (a biggie)
- basic SEWING KITS (ask your local hotel for a few donations and send them on to us – same thing with the toiletries).
- crochet, knitting, tatting and sewing supplies. Thread, yarn and fabric.

One of the saddest items we must provide are the burial layettes for babies and children that didn’t make it through. Soft fabric in white or pastel colors is best, soft laces and trims and a little ribbon or ribbon roses are needed. Smocking and tatting supplies are needed to make that last little gown, bonnet and blanket special.

Cars smashed by the tornado rest in the parking lot of St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, on May 23.

Please help. Don’t just sit there and listen or read the news – DO something. Fill a box today and ship it to us at Relief Share. The folks that need the help aren’t picky, they are suffering and desperate. If you don’t have anything to send, please send us a donation. A money order or check can be mailed to us, a paypal donation can be sent to info@reliefshare.org and even cash can be sent through the mail (not recommended but accepted).

We are a 501 (c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS. All donations are tax deductible. Please don’t wait another minute, send what you can today, even if it’s only a dollar or a box of used baby clothing. Just do something – anything – to help.

Note: You don’t have to help just through us – please consider other charities in your area if that is a better solution to helping for you. There is no corner on charity and it doesn’t matter who gets the credit for helping. There are people – even little babies suffering with hunger and cold tonight and you are the solution – please be the solution….

Our address to ship and mail to is:
our Missouri address to ship to is
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

It is best to ship to the Boise address as we have more volunteers here to sew and help and arrangements to get the items to the needy areas fast. If you need to ship to the Missouri address because it is cheaper for you to ship there, that is okay, too.

Our email and paypal address is info@ReliefShare.org – please feel free to email with questions, we are so grateful for the help. We do what we can but it takes all of us to create the miracles to ease the suffering for others.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Spring cleaning – does it fill you with dread or elation?  It used to be a time of drudgery, wishing we were somewhere else and wanting the chores to be over.  Not any more!

It is spring.  Birds are singing, babies are being born, the earth is shaking off her dormancy of winter and bursting forth in blissful colors and sounds.  It is a wonderful time to be alive and share what we have with others.

De-cluttering will lighten your load, make your heart sing with freedom and put a smile on your face in knowing you are helping others – with the “trash to treasure” mentality.  What clogged your closets, littered your counters and made laundry day a form of torture can be blessing the lives of others who desperately need what you don’t want.

Clean out your closets and homes for a good cause! Here’s how:

1.  Line up 4 boxes beside the area that you decide to tackle first.  Box one – things you want to keep and store for later use, box two – things you are throwing out, box three – things you are currently using and want to have easy access to; and box four – things you are donating (recycling and re-using useful items keep our landfills free and earths resources not wasted).

2. Set your timer for 15 minutes, take a deep breath and start filling those boxes.  For more details on the 15 minute approach, visit www.flylady.com -  a wonderful website that has saved the sanity of lots of folks wanting to have a clean house and de-clutter but didn’t know where to start or how to do it.

3.  Do NOT tackle the entire house in one day. Choose one area at a time – the craft, hobby, and art room is where we would love you to start ;-)   Bedrooms are another wonderful place to clean out.

4.  The boxes filled with new or gently used items can simply be labeled and mailed to:

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483-2225.

All donations are tax deductible and each donor will receive a thank you letter with a tax receipt.  We accept anything and everything because the requests we receive for help address all situations of lack, sickness and need.

Recent donations in and out have been quilts, blankets, baby clothing, children’s and adult clothing, books, toys, fabric, yarn, sewing supplies, thread, machinery, sewing machines, sergers, knitting and crochet needles, quilting supplies, jewelry, kitchen supplies, and more.  Donations that are not needed directly for immediate needs can be used for fundraisers to pay for shipping, medical expenses, items needed, etc. but most of the donations are given directly to the sick and needy.

Our number one Relief Share urgent need right now is for batting to make quilts. Next to that is baby supplies – diapers, receiving blankets, clothing, hygiene items, hats, socks, undershirts, soft toys, bottles, and diaper bags – anything a baby could use. Next in line is sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting, quilting and spinning supplies and equipment.

Recent recipients have included St. Alphonsus Hospital System, LDS Humanitarian Center, families with newborn babies who needed basic essential supplies, adults with medical conditions (blindness, tumors, cancer), refugees, and those who are caught in the economic downturn or natural disasters that are struggling with the lack of essentials like food and clothing.

YOU CAN HELP! Turn your unwanted items into much needed treasures by simply giving relief through sharing.  There will probably be many boxes to share.  Simply pop a box or two in the mail every week, it’s easier on the budget this way and we can go through it and get it donated out easier if it doesn’t come all at once, but if you need to send it all at once, that’s okay, too – we have garage and storage space to process it and volunteers ready and waiting to make sure everything goes out as quickly as possible to those anxiously waiting for help.

May your spring season be rewarding and blissful and after de-cluttering, may you enjoy the song of the birds, the beautiful flowers and trees and the wonderful feeling of knowing that your compassionate sharing is blessing the lives of others. Thank you for all the continuing support, together we are alleviating suffering and lifting up the hearts and hands of those who lack and need not only the items missing, but love from their fellowman in their time of need.

President Carol Green

info@ReliefShare.org – email
ReliefShare.org – static website
ReliefShare.org/wordpress – ongoing updates on our blog

We are also on facebook ;-) Spread the word and share the love! www.facebook.com/reliefshare

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Recycle sweaters and tee shirts turned into baby cocoons

After some very busy cutting and serging, 72 cocoons were delivered to the hospital today.  It did my heart good to hear the answer to my query from the nurse.  I asked her how were the cocoons working out and she said they loved them.   Some of the little babies tend to have a problem keeping their heat and the cocoons helped keep them warm and snuggled.  She also said it was a lot easier for new Moms to pop their babies in the cocoons to keep them snuggled up instead of trying to keep them swaddled in the blankets.

The cocoons are fun to make – they can be sewn, serged, knitted, crocheted, hand knitted, and machine knitted.  If you are really energetic, you could even tat one ;-)   The patterns are free and offered on our blog.  You can also google for free cocoon patterns on the internet and find a ton of them.  A great website for free patterns is www.ravelry.com

The cocoons in the picture are made from recycled sweaters and tee shirts, most of them donated from the local food pantry and crisis center.  They are 16″ long by 10″ wide.

Here is a quick way to make a pattern.  Take a piece of paper that is 16 x 10 (I buy roll ends

Shape of the cocoon

from the newspaper and it gives me lots of pattern paper to work with)  and put a dinner plate on one end and trace with a pen.   Cut it out so that will make one short end of the pattern rounded.   Then cut a wedge on either side of the other end so that the top of the cocoon slopes in towards the baby’s neck.

Extra Long knitted and serged cocoons

Lay the pattern on the sweater so that the top of the cocoon is the bottom of the sweater – this gives you a finished edge at the neck of the cocoon.   Serge around the cocoon on 3 sides with your serger. Ta da! Done.

The general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across)
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across)
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across)
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)

I made the extra long cocoons to test and my grandson is doing really well with them.  You can pull them up around the baby’s face in cold weather to keep them snuggly warm.

Long rib knit serged cocoon to snuggle baby.

If you are doing these cocoons for your local hospital or birthright center, be sure to ask them what size they want.   If you are making them to help us provide the 350 cocoons the hospital has asked for (yes, we love help!), they use the 16″ long by 10″ wide the most.  They also use the smaller ones as well.

Our address to send donations to of finished cocoons, knit and tee shirt material, sweaters and tees to cut up to use, thread -sewing machine and serger thread, and other sewing supplies is:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this project. We appreciate the donations of sewing machines, sergers, knitting machines and sewing supplies so much. It takes all of us together to make miracles happen.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

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Joy

“One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”
Ida Scott Taylor
1820-1915, Author

With our challenging economy and hardship of difficult weather, there seems to be a general pervading sense of of regret, fear, hopelessness, and anxiety. In order to flip that kind of thinking over to positive thoughts of gratitude, joy, happiness, contentment, peace and understanding, priorities need to be set.

If you are going on a trip, it is wise to know where you are going, for how long, and properly prepare. The Bible tells us “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”. In our “me, too”, “I want it right now” “It isn’t fair if I don’t have what my neighbors have” world, many blessings are missed because they are simply overlooked. It’s not that they aren’t there – they are – but in the lemmings rush to the sea, not many stop to smell the flowers that are along the way.

Have eyes to see, ears to hear with and hearts that are soft enough to take advice, constructive criticism and willingness to change, if change is needed.

May your day today be on a trip towards a better tomorrow, for it is our todays that make the future what it is. Decide now to be happy – happiness is a gift we give ourselves, not something that happens to us by default (though that can and does happen). Be pro-active in your life, and if you are feeling like a victim, realize that there are no true victims here – no one can make you feel unhappy unless you give them the power over you to do that. There are recorded histories of people incarcerated in German holocaust camps that learned how to be happy despite their circumstances.

There is a popular quote that is attributed to Jesus – “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it”. How shallow our lives would be if we had everything too easy. “The best stuff sometimes happens because we had to fight so hard to grasp hold of it to get it, to savor it, to embrace it.” – This comment was made by a young lady who had a terrible experience of rape at 18 years old. She rose above it – taking time to heal but never gave up.

You only fail when you stop trying. Just remember, you don’t have to do it alone – the Saviour is always here to help you, but he can’t help if you won’t let him. He also can’t talk to you if the yelling, screaming voices around you are so loud that you can’t focus and concentrate on the still small voice. Take time everyday to stop and meditate on your blessings. You will find that life may not be as difficult as you perceive it to be – that’s Satan’s trick.

Life IS good. God loves you. You deserve to be happy and you will be, if you decide here and now that you will do whatever it takes to reach out to the Lord and walk side by side with him. You do not have to be perfect, you only have to try. There is only one perfect person and by following in his footsteps you can go where he is and enjoy all that he has. He promised, and he is a promise keeper!

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A HUGE THANK YOU to the Big Piney Sportsmen’s Club, 16866 Hwy B, Houston, MO 65483 for allowing our Relief Share volunteers to collect the used shot gun shells out on the shooting range whenever we need to.  We use them to make Christmas lights.   Relief Share is very appreciative of support for our charitable activities to take care of the sick and needy.

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Thatcher's Cocoon

I have added a free (albeit rough) pattern here for everyone to enjoy.  Hopefully the ‘cocoon’ bug will bite folks and they will be happily making up loads of them and sharing them with local hospitals, neighbors having babies and families.   I welcome tips and ideas on how to make them nicer and faster :-) If there are left overs from making cocoons for their own purposes, I would love extras sent my way to take care of the hospital’s needs.   I also just delivered one to a 4 month old baby here who keeps pulling the blankets over his face and scaring his mom and grandpa half to death.  Problem fixed LOL.

The pattern is so easy.  A tube with a rounded end and slightly narrower at the top. approx 18 to 23″ long, depending on how big the baby is you are making it for, and here it is – http://grandmothersattic.net/reliefshare/cocoonpattern.jpg

This is called “Thatcher’s Cocoon”.  My newest grandson is Thatcher.   Add 1/4 seams on the side and an 1″ at the top.  If you are using a tee shirt or sweater, use the hem of the garment as the top of the cocoon and you don’t have to add 1″ at the top.  The widest part across is 10 1/4″ inches and the narrowest part at the top is 8″.  Use a dinner plate or something round to make the curve at the bottom. I just folded the paper in half and eyeballed it.  Cut 2 and sew together.

Hint: pin, pin, pin.  If you are doing it out of recycled sweaters, sew FIRST along the seam to make sure all the fibers are caught or you may have a run (thank you so much to the list members here that suggested it when I had such a problem with the serger lettucing the edges).  You can zig zag the seam after that for stability or serge.

I love sergers, as they are three times as fast as a sewing machine and sewn and finish the seams in one quick shot,  and wish I had more on hand as the ones we have now are going full speed ahead and folks standing in line for their turn to use them.  I have 2 Janome 4 thread with differential feed and have one in black thread and one in white thread going all the time so depending on what color items we are making, we just go over to one or the other serger and make the cocoon.  Ditto with the sewing machines.  My favorite sewing machine, that is used constantly, is the quilting machine with the large plastic tray that allows the items being made to be sew without tugging on the needle.  It is a huge blessing and I pray God blesses the donor each and every day for sending it.  All the volunteers love it, but I am usually the one on that particular machine as it’s the nicest to use. It has a very nice stitch on it as well.  We use it for everything.

I am still working on a nicer way to finish the top inside seam near babies face instead of just having a serged seam.  Sometimes it’s rolled down for a smaller baby and sometimes all the way up so I need a way to make both sides of the seam look nice and feel soft.  I already though about putting ribbing around the top or a finished edge with the seam inside but it really adds to the time it takes to make the cocoons and takes extra fabric. I never have enough ribbing and go through it like water when it’s here.  Ribbing is expensive, too, so I try to find ribbed material to use instead of actual ribbing.  I found some wonder ribbing at the flea market once and made the entire cocoon out of it – heaven!

I hope folks enjoy the pattern.  I know it’s rough, but it gets the job done.  On this blog there is now a pattern to crochet, knit and sew a cocoon.  I am working on getting a pattern written for machine knitting a cocoon on the ISM knitting machine.  Not hard, just something else I need to do that takes me away from actually making the cocoons LOL.

The  Hospital intends on keeping a supply of 350 on stock to use for the babies who are born there – some to stay with the hospital and some to go home with babies.  After we have filled the need for their inventory, we will continue to supply the mothers who are needy in the area through DFS, the crisis center, medical center and homeless shelter with cocoons to use and keep for their little ones.

I’ve been sewing quilts and receiving blankets for my charity for 20 years and this is the first time I have heard of cocoons.  They originally were made as photographers props, because they are cute and lull the baby into being calm and sleeping.  When mothers saw how wonderful they were for comforting babies and found out they were marvelous for transporting babies without wrapping and unwrapping layers of receiving blankets that seemed to slide everywhere, they really caught on and are now the latest ‘hot’ items for mothers in the know.  The cocoons are big in the earth friendly mother channels and recyclers as well as you can either take apart sweaters and use the yarn to knit or crochet the items, or you can simply sew the cocoons out of the sweaters or tee shirts themselves.  The cocoons do take some kind of stretch material.  Velour, knit, tee-shirt material, baby print knit, etc are marvelous – and my favorite – rib knit.

Yes, they will be washed in the hospital laundry, but our hospital has a volunteer that takes items home to wash that can’t go through the high heat and autoclaves in the hospital laundry room.  I also deal with hospitals that actually had regular washing machines and dryers installed on their floor for the nurses to wash items in that come from my charity ;-) The extreme sanitization of items is only required for children with serious contagious diseases and they have their own separate items that are never reintroduced to the regular laundry items.

I don’t use wool for the cocoons as it does felt.  (I love wool, though, for the other projects we do).  Acrylic is naturally hypoallergenic and bacteria resistant so the #1 choice for hospital and baby items.  Cotton is marvelous but expensive.  It also tends to be harder in larger yarn weights and more appropriate for wash cloths.

I had one well meaning lady send me a baby blanket out of heavy cotton yarn and the blanket weighed a ton and had huge holes in it due to the pattern.  I felt so bad for her, she tried so hard, but it was pretty much unusable for the babies.  It wound up as a lap quilt for a elderly person’s wheelchair blanket.  We never waste anything  – all items that are send in for donations find a useful home somewhere ;-)

Yes, this would be a marvelous item to give to a new mother for a baby gift.  Like I said, it is the newest ‘hot’ item for buying for baby that is

out on the market.  There are fancy swaddling blankets with all kinds of flaps and snaps, but this is so simple, quickly understandable and way more effective than anything else I have seen, that it is very much in demand.

Babies prefer the cocoons over blankets.  It’s being nicely wrapped up in something soft, comfortable and warm.  Babies stop fussing, twitching, crying and they just calm down and quietly lay there or they go to sleep.  Nature’s way of calming baby ;-)

You can put a baby in one as long as you want to. I just sew them a longer and a tad wider for older children.  There are 4 year olds who love these.  It’s basically the same principle as a sleeping bag, too.  I know adults who would use one if they could get their hands on one big enough LOL.

President Carol Green,
info@ReliefShare.org

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Got your attention, did I?!  :-)

If anyone has some spent shot gun shells, we would love it if they would donate them to our charity.  Relief Share can give you a tax deductible receipt for them as they will come to our charity to be donated after they are made into Christmas lights.  Yep, you read right.  They make the prettiest Christmas lights.

I just finished watching my son in law and daughter make some for their Christmas tree this year.  Laura had ordered some off the net and when they came they were only 8 feet long.  Yeah right, that really doesn’t go far.  She came over to my house to see if I had more white mini light strings and I had a brand new box of 100 feet.  Josh had figured out how to make them himself and they turned that string of mini lights into the prettiest Christmas lights you ever saw by using spent shot gun shells – recycling at it’s best! Cost free, too.

I know a lot of folks that would love them.  Relief Share volunteers will make the shot gun shell Christmas lights up and donate them to the those who don’t have any money for Christmas decorations ;-)   We also have a charity flea market booth and when we can take care of all the needy,  if we have any left over, we will use them for fundraiser in our charity flea market booth, though probably next year for the fundraising with them as there isn’t enough time to do that this year as well as do the donations as we always take care of the sick and needy first.

Here are pictures ;-)   You may even want to make some yourself!

Take these:

Hammer, glass eye wash dish, screwdriver, spent shot gun casing

If you don’t have a glass eye wash dish, use anything that has a curved bottom that you can hammer the shot gun shell into to push the bottom concave.

Using the shot gun shells, you can make lights by pushing clear mini lights into the end of the shells and closing the top with the screwdriver pushing the plastic in place so they will stay on the mini light string.

spent shotgun shells

All that effort is worth while (and it’s a lot of effort), will make get these:

That look like this:

and these:

That look like this:

Shotgun shell Christmas lights! Recycling at it's best!

Note: the black ones are too opaque to do much but the other colors, especially the green, red and yellow work great.

The address to send the shot gun shells to is: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 64583-2225.  If you have clear mini light strings that you’d like to send as well, that would be wonderful.  We will send a tax deductible receipt with your thank you letter.  We are a 501 (c ) 3 IRS approved non profit.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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We found this quick and easy tutorial on the net to make cute tissue holders. This would be a wonderful Christmas stocking stuffer or a gift for a friend in hospital (which is what we are using the tutorial for – the hospital patients really appreciate little things like this to know they are loved and not forgotten.

Here is the link for this adorable tissue holder.   http://mel-allwrappedup.blogspot.com/2010/11/tissue-pouch.html

It’s also a great soft and quiet tissue holder to slip into the pocket of your temple gown. Rustling plastic at the temple or church is so distracting.  Isn’t it cute?  You will be amazed at how quickly it sews up with just scraps of material you have laying around!

Soft Tissue Holder

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Apr
20

Ideas for saving money

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This information is timely and important.  It has been taken from an email from www.flylady.com Share the information with friends as this economy has even the most spendy folks now paying attention to nickels and dimes. Charities are being overwhelmed with people who would love to be self sufficient but don’t know how.  Here is a good place to start:

Going green doesn’t have to cost us green money. We are very bright and each of us has come up with great ways to save money, help the environment and FLY!

Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy. Did you know that when you are FLYing you are saving money and helping the environment? I want to discuss some of these money saving green/purple
habits we can help you establish.

Decluttering 15 minutes a day! How can this save you money; I know you are thinking this? The act of decluttering makes you more particular about what you buy and bring into your home. This amazing thing happens because you begin to love yourself and the way your home looks. You have to really need something to buy it! Shopping becomes something you do because you don’t need a diversion from being at home feeling guilty about your clutter and all the stuff you buy because it is on sale. If you did not spend $20 a week on more clutter then you would have saved $1040 a year. This doesn’t even count the money you spend on the gas to run around and buy the clutter. Buying less reduces your carbon footprint. It also reduces your trash and landfills.

Picking out your clothes as part of your before bed routine! This simple action will give you more time in the morning so you can fix your breakfast and a cup of coffee before you head off to work. No more stopping for expensive drive thru breakfasts and designer coffees. You have to pleasure of a peaceful morning with your life under control along with your finances. If you spend $5 a day on a drive thru breakfast and a coffee then you could have saved $1300 in a year. Pulling out and trying on creates pile of clothes and those clothes get mixed up with your dirty clothes and then you use more water to wash them.

Planning your menus for next week and preparing a grocery list before you go shopping can help too. This keeps you from going to the grocery store multiple times each week. This alone can save you $50 a week. There is hardly anyway to keep from spending less than that each time you go to the store. If you are cooking then you are saving more money by not getting takeout from restaurants. That could alone could save you another $25 a week. This amounts to $3900 for a year. Then if you factor in the gas you save by only going to the grocery store once each week. Less gas used, buying fresh food instead of packaged also
helps reduce our trash.

Wearing good shoes for your feet help in lots of ways! Good shoes gives you more energy and keeps you from breaking toes and cutting your precious feet. More energy helps you to exercise more and take
better care of yourself; this saves on doctor bills. One co-pay for an office visit could save you $20 a month. A broken foot could set you back $1500 for an emergency room visit. Shoes save you more than you
would ever think about. $1740 is amazing when a good pair of shoes could runs around $50. What an investment! This doesn’t even count the money you save because of the energy you have to keep your home in order. More energy means more walking instead of driving.

Next let’s look at how much you save by paying your bills on time and not running up your credit cards. One late charge a month or an over draft fee is could run into $100 dollars a month. If there is one there are usually many. You are having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Stay on top of your bills and paying things on time is a major way to save money while FLYing! $1200 is a small amount to save when we examine what we really spend in those fees and interest rates. I haven’t even figured the cost of the fuel for all those extra trips to the grocery store, to pay a bill before the power gets turned off, doctor visits and fast food trips. Besides the more you go shopping the more you spend. Fewer trips to the store will keep your bills affordable and you have not put that gas into your car and the pollution into the atmosphere.

So you see with these five simple habits you can save lots of money and help the environment. $9180 is no chump change to me. That is more money than I made some years in my career as a furniture store bookkeeper. That is $176 a week. WOW! Now that will buy you a tank a gas with some money for savings and something simple for you as a celebration.

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That’s a question we hear almost every day.  Are you ready?  There are a variety of events that we can all be ready for depending on our situation, age and family.  We may need to be ready for school, work, church, shopping, or the holidays.  Most of what we do we can do on auto pilot because of our experiences in the past.

The kind of ‘are you ready’ that I am going to discuss is the kind of events you may wish would never happen to you, your family or your friends and neighbors.  Some of the events that you may not be ready for can be described in one word and the whole world will know what you are talking about.  Haiti.  Obama.  H1N1.  Taxes.  Flooding.  You know what I mean.  Unforeseen events that require preparation or survival may be at question.

Lets discuss a few of the ones mentioned in the above paragraph one at a time.

Haiti – Instant hell for an entire nation throwing world orders into action to help the sick and needy.  Many sources for donations at home are immediately drained off out of the US as the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the media is making sure that Haiti is the squeaky wheel right now.  Charities that usually had resources to calm the cries of cold hungry children here in the states no longer provide necessary bedding, clothes and food at the level they used to simply because donations are down, having been sent overseas or just not available due to the rotten economy – which brings us to another event, or rather person.

Obama – because of the decisions made by the Obama administration, every man, woman and child is in debt to the tune of $100,000.00 – that is one hundred thousand dollars – not chump change – and more announcements of further excessive spending by the same folks are surfacing daily.  I am not discussing whether anyone likes it or not, or even whether they like our current administration, I am simply stating a solemn fact that the US is heavily in debt and not likely to get out for generations, if ever.  If you are counting on the US for welfare, social security or any form of free handout – just know that it may be dubious as to whether governmental help will be there when you need it.

H1N1 – sickness can strip even an able bodied man or woman of the ability to provide basic essentials for themselves or their families.  Illness knows no boundaries, creeds, or race.  It can strike when least expected and leave devastation and misery in it’s wake.

So – what can you do? Can you do anything? Are you a victim or is there a way to safeguard yourself and your loved ones in times of crisis?

The answer is in the Bible.  “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

You may ask.. What kind of preparation?  How do I  get started?  What do I do?  How much does it cost?

The good news – there are many entities, charities, churches, and resources to help you be more self reliant.  You see, that’s the key – being able to rely on yourself for relief and assistance, and then extending help to family, friends and neighbors.   After you are secure and stabilized, then you reach out even further to others who need help.

Natural disasters, national leadership out of control (not just the current administration, it’s been going on for quite some time), sickness, death, loss of jobs, breakdown of the family and the disintegrating moral standards of those around us all impact our lives.

Here are some suggestions on how to insulate yourself, as much as possible, from negative aspects of events.

I.  Be aware.  Read the news, check the weather and be involved in your community so nasty surprises are kept to a minimum.

2.  Get out of debt.  Cut up those credit cards, use bank debit cards instead or paypal where when the funds are gone, they are gone and you can’t dip into someone else’s pocket at a terrible rate of up to 30%.  Know the difference between wants and needs.  You can get along with a lot less than you think you can.  Use ebay, craigslist, your local flea market or farmers market to sell what you don’t need that is cluttering up your life.  If it means walking to work instead of driving, taking a sack lunch instead of eating out, mending your clothes instead of buying the latest trends, then do it. If you can’t meet your mortgage, talk to the lender NOW before things get out of control to see if you can refinance at at lower rate or if there are other options available.  There are debt management companies  – legitimate ones – who are ready, willing and able to help you pay off your credit cards.  Don’t wait – mail this guy david@debtguru.com

David Gibbons, Credit Counselor
American Credit Foundation
www.debtguru.com

800-259-0601
7720 S. 700 E.
Midvale, UT 84047

Nope, I don’t get a kickback or am related to anyone that works there, I just am more than happy to share with others how to lighten the load. There are no gimmicks or high fees and it’s easy.

I will be posting more on provident living later on our Relief Share blog.  Helping folks to be self sufficient reduces our workload and strengthens America.  Once you are on your feet, then we hope you will join us in helping others who are walking the same path that we have walked.

3.  Illness is devastating.  Some illnesses are long term and coping mechanisms need to be set in place.   However, other illnesses have immediate onset and no warning may mean little or no preparation for some folks, such as having 6 months worth of income in the bank should employment be discontinued or disrupted due to illness.   Preventative measures can circumvent a lot of the loss and pain accompanying  illness.  Good quality vitamins can build your immune system so you stand less of a chance of getting sick in the first place.  The vitamins we recommend and take ourselves are by Pharmanex These vitamins are nutritionally formulated to nourish and protect cells, tissues, and organs in the body.  We also take Reishi for immune boosting.  You can read about the ‘miracle mushroom’ at www.reishi.com

When you do find yourself dealing with illness, don’t hesitate to talk to your caregiver, hospital, Bishop or family for help.  Note that emotionally sustaining the sick and needy is just as important as providing warm blankets or essential items through the hospital, such as gowns or slippers or turbans for women who have lost their hair through cancer.

There are a number of wonderful resources to offer more advice, and we strongly recommend you get yourself a cuppa, pen and paper and check them out.

Our self reliance top picks are free :

http://www.ready.gov  – prepare. plan. stay informed.

http://www.fema.gov/areyouready – an in depth guide to preparedness

http://www.providentliving.org – self reliance and resources

http://emergencyemail.org – have severe weather reports for your area sent daily to your email, etc.

If you have other links or information to share regarding self reliance, please feel free to respond to this article in our blog.  It takes everyone working together to make life a better place for all.

If you are able, and have the desire to assist others, please consider sending a donation to: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483. All donations are tax deductible and acknowledged with a thank you letter. Donations of funds, new and used clothing and bedding, baby items, toys, books, fabric and sewing, knitting or crafting supplies, and essential items are gratefully accepted and donated out to those who need your gift of love the most.

If you have a question regarding a donation, and some folks have unusual donations they would like to make, please feel free to email us at info@ReliefShare.org  – come join us in making America a happier and better place to life.

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