We shared beauty with over 70 people!

Have you recovered from the holidays yet?  Even though the decorations are packed away, I’m still trying to catch up!

I am happy to report that my donation closet has been very much depleted thanks to all the giving Share Beauty Project was able to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Here are  a few of the projects that your support made happen…

*We were able to give 36 shampoos and conditioners, 50 mini-gift bags filled with hygiene products (hotel samples mostly), 50 protein bars, and 20 handmade ruffle scarves to a special needs home supported by Bethany Church.

*Two backpacks filled with hair supplies, make up, and hygiene products were given to two young teenage girls at Bethany Church’s Twice Blessed Christmas party.

*A single mom taking care of 13 children was provided with hygiene products, food, and other supplies.

*A single mother and her teenage daughter received ruffle scarves and make up in gift bags so there would be something under their tree this Christmas season.

*Three teenage girls in the foster care system received make up, beauty products, and hygiene products as Christmas presents.  They were thrilled!

Don’t think that clipping a coupon, buying a clearance backpack, or handing me a $5 gift card can’t make a difference.  Because of you, we were able to bless over 70 people with the above projects.

Thank you so much!  I appreciate your support and prayers as we continue into 2015 sharing beauty and spreading love.

Beauty is Greater

I realize my lack of blog posts doesn’t inspire much confidence in this project, but it is still happening in spite of life.  I’m going through a rough time right now, which I was reluctant to publicly share.  While I won’t delve into details, it’s there and it’s real.  It’s hard to keep moving as though nothing is wrong, when something is very wrong.  But with God’s help, I will get through this and the project must continue.

My lack of communication and wrestling through life stuff hasn’t kept me from collecting plenty of bags and hygiene supplies.  I continue to be blessed and overwhelmed by my church, the community, and others who support this Share Beauty Project.  You are truly wonderful people!

I can honestly share that through these trying times, Share Beauty Project has kept me going.  It helps me get out of bed to snatch up good deals.  It gives me purpose and hope.  It says to me, “God is still using you.  You need only see what only He can do.”  Perhaps it’s not just about sharing beauty with others, perhaps this is also about God allowing me to see the beauty with which He has graced me.  (It feels vain to even write such a thing.)  Maybe there’s a greater beauty to be seen.  Let’s all keep our eyes open to it.  Let’s open our hearts to expect it.

And here’s an update on what’s been going on with the SBP:

Right now, my focus is on supplying bags to residents of a home for adults with specials needs where one of my pastors leads a weekly Bible study.  I know there are at least 17 women who could use something special this holiday season (and I’ll see what we can do for the men, too.) I am also working on supply boxes for needy families that come to my church for help during the holiday season.

However, I am always open to hearing from anyone who has need, whether you are going through a rough time or know someone who is, if there’s a community collection, or if you can help donate to this project.  I don’t want this to be just an Amy thing, or a church thing.  As I said earlier, it’s a human thing and we’re all part of it.

It’s a Human Thing

If you want to serve God, then you MUST serve others. My job isn’t to “judge” WHY they need assistance (I don’t want to get into a discussion about enabling others); we are called to simply give.

Like I said before, this isn’t just some “Christian” thing, though I believe we ARE doing what Jesus instructed. It’s a human thing–humans connecting to other humans to provide warmth, happiness, and a sense of belonging by sharing beauty.

Here’s why it’s a “Christian” thing, too:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”–Matthew 25: 34-40

SB’s Very First Project

Since I created this blog/project, A LOT has happened in my life. For instance, I bought and moved into my first house, which gives me a lot more space, including my very own craft room.  Think of all the beauty I can create there!

Recently, I’ve experienced a lot of losses and to fill the grief I started couponing.  My friends, you can get some really great deals out there!  Coupons can be like gold if you know how to use them.  I started getting so much stuff at great prices, I decided to put together donations for those less fortunate than me, which led to this…Hope Bags.

See, there are kids in foster care all across the United States and sometimes when they move from placement to placement they put their belongings in trash bags.  Can you imagine what that would feel like?  There are teenagers aging out of the foster care system or going into independent living situations who own very little.  What if we handed them a bag of hygiene products to give them a fresh start?

I put together some products and my friend donated a beautiful bag and here’s what we made…

The person who received this bag was overjoyed!  I can’t wait to do it again!  I hope you’ll do it with me.

Group think = fresh start!

I posed a question to my Facebook friends: how do I continue to craft and pay for supplies if I give everything away?  The suggestions were great–for every two items you sell, give one away or sell one, give one away!  Friends shared stories about knitting groups leaving scarves with “free” tags on them for homeless people, crocheting hats for cancer patients, and so much more!

My selfish heart tugged at this for few minutes.  If I made money, I could use it to buy myself more…stuff.  As I look around my apartment, I hard need more stuff.  I’m stuffed out.  The opportunity to bless others with beauty won out (and there could be a fundraiser idea in here).

This is a way to spread love–to literally spread God’s love with my hands and my feet.  This is a way to cloth with ruffles, to bless with loveliness, to even be Christ to those suffering.

Perhaps it’s a frivolous pursuit.  Maybe I’ll abandon it in two weeks…or two days.

But maybe, just maybe, we’re on to something here.