Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Trip to The Dollar Store as Missional - What you can Do!

I was inspired today by John Lunt over at In the Way, to write a short piece on how a trip to your local Dollar Store can turn into a missional adventure.

My wife and I work with a program each Christmas time that we founded called Philly Hope. You can read about this years project here. It works similar to that other bigoutreach. Only we do for urban kids in Philadelphia.

You can modify this program for any city and for any age group.

Here goes:

Steps to making the Dollar Store Missional.

(Childs Version)

1. Go to the Dollar Store!
2. Pick up 10 plastic shoe boxes with Lids. $10.00
3. 2 5 packs of tooth brushes. $2.00
4. 3 4 packs of soap. $3.00
5. 4 3 packs of hand towels. $4.00
6. 10 winter hats $10.00
7. 5 2 packs pairs gloves $5.00
8. 10 stuffed animals $10.00
9. 5 boys toys $5.00
10. 5 girls toys $5.00
11. 10 puzzle books $10.00
12. 2 - 20 pencil pack $2.00
13. 2 boxes erasers $2.00
14. 10 pack sharpeners $1.00
15. 4 bags assorted hard candy $4.00
16. 2 assorted sticker packages $2.00
17. 10 devotional books (most stores we've been too have them) $10.00
18. 3 rolls wrapping paper $3.00
19. 2 packages of combs $2.00

$90.00 spent and 10 boxes to assemble. Write cards for 5 boys and 5 girls. Wrap your boxes and your ready to go.

If you doing it for homeless folks here's some substitution items.
Socks, cough drops, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, instant heat packs thanks John, scarf, chewable vitamins etc.

You see it doesn't take much and you can make a difference in the lives of 10 people this Christmas.

It's not to late to do it. There's a month to do it and month to find out where to distribute it.

If this has inspired you to do something more, please let us know.

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BlindBeggar said...

What a great idea Jerry. I wonder if one could do a "care box" for the homeless. I'm going to go off the the Dollar Store and look around. If John Lunt checks in here, I'd love to hear what he thinks and what should be included.

Makeesha said...

We have a gal in Revolution who LOVES the homeless...very much a mother teresa heart in a lot of ways. This is a fantastic idea and I'm going to talk to her about doing this as our outreach this winter. I'm thinking that since we live in CO where we have real winters (mild as they are relatively speaking), a "winter care kit" would be awesome. I'll get back to you on what we do :)

JDL said...

Hi, Jerry,... also you to Blind Beggar. Jerry, this is a great idea... I love the DIY approach. The thing about being missional is that it needs to be easily reproducable, and you've done it here.

For the homeless, at some Dollar stores you can get gloves, stocking or knit caps. Hey Wal Mart has them for 97 cents at least here in Texas.

Cough drops are great. Depending on the laws in your area, OTC aspirin or multi symptom cold medicine can work too. I found a man of God who is homeless, but full of the Spirit of God. I entrusted him with some OTC medicine to use his best judgment and folks are coming to him. Sometimes the homeless have access to a clinic, sometimes not.

If you're leery of medicine, then you can still do things like peppermint candy. The folks on the street can often use it to sooth sore throats.

The homeless often love fruit and ususally don't get enough of it. The vitamins I hadn't thought of, but I think that's a great idea since it can help them maintain their health, especially if they are not getting a lot of healthy food.

By the way, those hunter heating pads, worked great. They told me tonight they can really use more of those. On really cold nights, it helps keep the body temperature up.

Believe it or not bags, like totes or plastic bags are very helpful too.

George was telling me tonight one of the tricks on the street when it is really cold is to take a large garbage sack and pull it up over their legs. It keeps the wind out, and helps keep heat in.

Just a few ideas for you. Jerry, thanks for posting this. This is the kind of simple nuts and bolts approach that will help people see that they can do it too.

I'm passing along your information to my Pastor. God is really working on him to work with poor children. I think your Christmas box project is perfect for that and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point soon, AWAKENING CHURCH tackles a similar project.

Thanks again.

BlindBeggar said...

John: Thanks for the suggestions!