Giving Small

       Don't Have a Cow!¬†¬†Give a Cow to Someone Who Needs It

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Monday, October 19, 2009

* Chapter 3: The Fourth C is Christmas

In August I started getting to know more about the 601 Outreach Center to see where I could best put what energy I might have on a given day, if any.

I took on one small project and after a lot of thought, I decided to tackle a BIG one and work at it in my "Giving-Small" way - a bit here and a bit there and see what could happen.

christmas garland

So the big project is to try to fill 70 Christmas hampers with food for a Christmas meal and then food stuffs for 4 weeks. We'll also try to add age appropriate gifts. The organization does receive some donations for the hampers but last year it was a major challenge to get 50 together. With the increase in the number of people who are HIV positive, there are more hampers to fill this year. This is definitely an area where some extra help was needed.

So am I nuts - trying to fill 70 Hampers? Perhaps. Well there's a still librarian in me even on leave. I like to collect, sort, store and make things available.

squirrel carrying a big acorn

I thought I would try to do some of it and never thought I could fill them. I wanted to do 1 or 2 juices in each box, some pasta, some rice, soup, and then the fixing for Christmas dinner. In my dreams I thought of coffee and tea and chocolate and nuts and Mandarin oranges -- it is Christmas. Then there some items which I had no idea how I would get them with coupons -- the stuffing, gravy, potatoes, and of course turkey and vegetables.

So on September 22, the hamper starts off looking like this:

Day 1 - Sept 5 Christmas Hampers

Check back Wednesday to see what happens when Giving-Small posts a list of items she's looking to trade for on the couponing discussion board.

* The Three C's - Coupons, Cows and Charity

8 thumbnails of piles of groceries to donate

Some of the grocery items donated this summer.

The Three C's - Coupons, Cows and Charity

Chapter 1: You can't really milk coupons for cows

Many of you will remember my hopeful entry into the world of coupon trading for the cow. I soon discovered that I am not cut out to be a traded and it's much much slower to trade enough to eventually be able to convert Canadian Tire money, gift cards or points into "cow money". I still keep trading a wee bit and hope to finish it up by Christmas. That's my deadline for raising the money for one cow. I'm at $225 after 9 months so with a bit of work, the cow should be in the shopping bag so to speak.

Chapter 2: Coupons put milk and cereal on the table.

While coupons aren't so great for cows, they turn out to be a super route to give locally and help people here and the established charitable organizations that serve them. I have taken things bought with coupons for free or near free to Crisis Nursery, Aids Saskatoon Homeless Drop-In Center, Food Bank, YWCA Shelter and SCAT.

I spent some time to talking to all of these groups to find out what was the "best match" in terms of their needs and my ability. In the end the best fit was the 601 Outreach Center that helps the homeless. They don't get tons of donations so things are really appreciated and used there. The staff is outstanding and the people who use their services are very helpful. When I pull up with my van, they all offer to help unload it.

So I still want coupons - lots of coupons so I can continue to buy health and hygiene items - toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, deoderant, as well as household and food items like laundry soap, dish soap, juice, cereal, snack food and dry goods etc.

* Where does the time go?

September was so beautiful and it's come and gone. And then October rolled around - belated Happy Turkey Day everyone.

Image - thank you - a bee with a bouquet of flowers

Thanks so much to all of these folks who contributed bottles and more. We have raised $209 towards "Belle" - cow #24.

  • Robin, Frank and Cara - new collectors and donators for the cow :-)
  • Gigi and her roommates
  • Peter and Barb
  • Beth
  • Kate and Murray
  • Frank and Diane
  • Urve
  • Nancy - that cute dog bed was snapped up on kijiji
  • folks from Kijiji who bought books and Ikea chairs
  • Dean's Office bottle recycling
  • ITS bottle recycling
  • Access Services bottle recycling - special thanks to Iffat that coordinates this
  • Cheryl and Ron
  • All the great folks in Special Collections and Archives - special thanks to Kulwant who always lets me know when it's time to pick up
  • Bottles from Data Services
  • Neil
  • Fullcircle coupon helpers - Carole, Zoe, Cecelia

Image - thank you - a bee with a bouquet of flowers

I know I'll forget to thank someone, so please forgive me -- my brain is a bit like swiss cheese memory wise - flavourable and delicious but full of holes. The joys of being ill. I've discovered that I'm just a whole lot more human (error prone) than everyone else I meet. Everyday I get to be around people who have super powers!