Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

The beauty of my home is that it has always been inhabited by members of my family.  The downside is that the attic of my home is filled with items from every generation who ever lived here.  There are seven steamer trunks (filled), boxes and boxes of decorations, books, and furniture.  Most of the recent “crap” is mine… starting with childhood and right up to present day.

The problem is… the insulation installed by my father is inappropriate due to holding moisture against the roof boards causing rot.  It simply has to be replaced with newer insulation which allows for air flow.  This is an easy project which can be done by any homeowner or contractor.  However, in order to get to the insulation I first have to clean out the junk blocking it.  The clean out has to allow for access as well as room to store, cut and work with the new insulation.

Over the last year I have been slowly digging and purging items… and feel that I am starting to make some discernible headway… say 10% complete.  Now, you might ask, “Is the attic really that big?”  No, it is just that full of “stuff”.  However, as best I am able, I always judge each item before simply tossing it.  I use a 4 pile system; Charity, Trash, Keepers, and Family.  If an item could serve another then I put it in the Charity pile and be sure it is donated.  When purging on this scale keep in mind if you haven’t had a use for it in 3+ years… you probably don’t need to keep storing it.

As for the Charity pile, each month I get cards from several different organizations that reach out and are willing to schedule pickups for clothing, household goods and books.  Please consider this during your fall and spring cleaning projects!  The clothing and household items should be clean and serviceable and books should not be musty.

One week’s donation… this was an exceptional haul!


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The passing of a loved one is often a challenging time, especially if you were the caregiver.  Trust me… I know.  I was the primary, live-in caregiver to my mother for 20 years although she didn’t really require a high level of care until the final 8 years.  Her diagnosis (ALS) had us believing that she would have only 3-5 years at the very most so I consider myself very blessed to have all of the added memories of shared travels and laughs over those extra years.

However, after having cared for a loved one over many years I was amazed at the amount of durable medical equipment amassed during that time.  Maybe amazed is not an accurate word… overwhelmed might be more appropriate!  For example, I found myself with 3 bath chairs/ benches, 5 walkers of various styles, several canes, bed rails, 2 commodes, 1 toilet seat lift, reacher/ grabbers, voice enhancers, a medical alert system and many wheelchairs.  This was after Hospice came and took back the equipment they provided (Hoyer Lift, hospital tables, oxygen tanks, etc.)

The wheelchairs progressed from basic to electric as the disease developed.  We had one for the house, one for travel, a transport chair (to save my back since it is lighter to lift into and out of the car) and of course the electric (battery-powered) wheelchair.  The earlier models were easy to give to charity as they are readily accepted and often will go to someone who is in need.  What was the most difficult was the battery-powered chair.  Due to the batteries, you simply can’t leave it at the curb for pickup to the landfill for obvious reasons.  So what do you do??  My goal was to find someone who would take the chair and either overhaul it and donate to a family who might not be able to afford one or use it for parts to rehab other chairs in better condition.

After an extensive online search I found a recycling program that was not only willing to take the chair but pick it up from the house as well.  Not only were they personable and friendly, they were also sensitive to the emotional attachment people have to a piece of equipment.  I know this sounds silly but often this is the last piece of equipment to leave the house and represents a significant part of daily life for years of care.  So when this went out the door and down the ramp for the last time there were a few tears.  But it was important to me (and I am sure to Mom) to have this go to someone in need.

Please always consider donating the equipment to charities if there are no family members in need of them.  For the electric wheelchairs… reach out to recyclers such as The Wheelchair Recycler.  This is a wonderful program that not only helps others but keeps this type of equipment out of landfills.  Click here for their brochure.

I have been very pleased with the overall process and would recommend them to anyone in the local area.  If you are not close to this program please look for a similar one in your neck of the woods.

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Scooper Bowl 2010While the weather cooperated the beginning of the week… my co-workers and I decided today was the day to go and it was a bit chilly and overcast.  Not exactly ice cream weather but we made the most of it.  This week was the  28th Annual Scooper Bowl which is a fundraising event for the Jimmy Fund.  Since its inception in 1983 this event has raised over $2.65 million for cancer research and care. 

What was even better?  My employer bought us all tickets in lieu of a boring old ice cream social.  Now we have ice cream and can help others at the same time!  To learn more about the Jimmy Fund go to their site by clicking on the logo below.

The biggest hit this year (for me) was the Garelick’s Lobster Tracks sample… just perfect with bits of chocolate covered caramel bits!

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We have all thought that the finishing touches found at some spa salons and resorts are so wonderful but we never seem to bring that home with us.  Why do we not treat ourselves to a little spa feeling during our everyday?  The number one reason we don’t is probably the effort.  We are so busy in our day to day that we skip over these little things.  So, in the midst of some spring cleaning… where I attach closets and cupboards with a trash bag in hand… I found some items that added a perfect touch that made me think, spa at home!

Guest Towels and SoapI had been given a gift from Bath & Body Works that had soaps in a little porcelain tub.  I held onto the tub for a while and found it was a great docoration in the bath.  Recently, I had purchased some new face clothes at Marshall’s and decided they needed to meet.  Viola, spa at home. 

During your spring cleaning, please consider donating any unopened soaps, shampoos and conditioners to a local shelter.  Our office asks those who travel to bring home the soaps made available by hotels so that we can donate to the local women’s shelter. 

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