Hi, I didn’t know where to put this, but Fr. Groechel mentioned something that helped me last year, in buying gifts for the poor when I’m not wealthy myself. If seems like the toy drives etc. come when so much is expected of you and he had a good tip.
A woman he knew had a toy box, toy closet, you can store things anywhere, but she shopped year round for sales. She would have so much more for the children in his area, just from picking up things off season or with coupons. I had just seen a really nice pop-up house for kids 80% off and thought “Wish mine were little or someone else I knew, that is such a good deal” and hadn’t thought of Christmas in May. After that show, I went back but it was gone.
Since that tip, I found most drugstores and retail stores cut toys deeply after each holiday and I have gotten so many 75% or more off…Chrismas, Easter, Valentine’s Day. Gloves I’ve passed on for 3.00 because it was February, I try now to think of the bargain and how useful they will be in December for someone else. I just picked up Candy Land for 4.99 and a huge playdoe set for under 7.00 at my grocery store on clearance. Boys sweatshirts were 5.00-10.00 with sport logos around June because no one wanted them in the heat.
We have a giving tree at our church and clothing for teens is always needed.
I don’t always remember, but now that I’m not focused on just “holiday” shopping, if I see a nice gift for someone, teen or child for a deeply discounted price, I try to store it away.
Just a thought, things are so tight, but sometimes opportunties come during the year that don’t happen around Christmas and you can brighten a child, teen or senior citizen’s holiday with a nice gift.
When I sent a donation to the Friars I told Fr. Groechel a thank you for telling about such a simple thing to do but I hadn’t thought of it outside my family.