The traffic at the resort slowed down and fall was in the air! We took as many walks were possible, making the trek around "the loop". It was a half hour walk, even going fast, so it was much needed for both the kids and me!
The boys got to watch the owners' sons clean some goose! They loved it! And they even offered Nathan the gizzards of one. He didn't know if he would like them but after frying it up, Nathan wished he would have taken all of them!
After seeing an idea on pinterest, I decided it would be a good idea to make 'blessing bags' for those in need! The kids and I went to the store and bought the required products. The kids (esp the older ones) had a great time trying to figure out what would be good to include in the bags...(bouncy balls didn't make the cut :)
After we made the bags, I heard on Dave Ramsey that they wanted to know of your giving story for the Holiday season. I decided this would be a great fit for his article and I sent in a few words about it. I got an email, followed by a phone interview from Dave's team and they wrote up an article about it and featured it on Dave's website!!!
Here is the article:
Dawn and her husband Nathan have four children, ages six, five, four and two—and one on the way. When she saw the idea of making bags of practical items for the homeless on the internet, she knew it would be a great fit for their family.
So, they headed to the store to pick up things like washcloths, toothbrushes, Chapstick, Kleenex, Band-Aids and soap to go in the Blessing Bags that they now keep on hand in the car— simple items that make a big difference, especially in the subzero Minnesota winters.
The Man With No Home
When Dawn told the kids what they were going to do, she made sure to put it in their terms: “We're going to go to the store and get stuff to put in bags for people who don't have homes.”
On one of the shopping trips, Dawn continued with family shopping after picking up stuff for the Blessing Bags. As she added an item to the cart, her five-year-old asked: “Is that for the man?”
She'd already switched gears and asked, “What man?”
“Is that for the man with no home?”
“They totally get it,” Dawn said. She's loved watching their selflessness come out as they help to pick out items , even though she had to explain that a bouncy ball may not be a necessity. She asks them, “What would you want if you were cold and didn't have a place to go to?”
The kids get to add items to the bags in a family assembly line, including pictures they've colored and notes of encouragement. Their oldest child is quick to remind the family to look for someone they could give a Blessing Bag to while they're on the road.
The Freedom of Baby Step 6
The Legatts are freer to experience the joy of giving than ever!
They took Financial Peace University in 2004, but it wasn't until 2007 that they got intense about applying the principles to their lives. But then, they sold nearly everything they owned and lived in a camper for seven (insert: it was really 9 :)months. It paid off in 2008 when they became completely debt-free! Now they are working to pay off their home early.
“Before, we made giving a priority, but it was a little harder,” Dawn said. Sometimes they had to decide whether to use money toward groceries or to give it away. “Now, we don't even really have to think about it because giving money is already saved up. There's no way we ever want to go back to being in debt!”
The family buys items like washcloths, toothbrushes, Chapstick, Kleenex, Band-Aids and soap to go in the Blessing Bags that they now keep on hand in the car.
A Family Affair: Molding Future Givers
The Legatts have a family goal of keeping giving in the forefront. “I want to raise my kids to be givers and servers,” she said.
Dawn knows that they will be more impacted by making and giving out the bags than seeing her write a donation check. She knows they'll remember seeing the look on people's faces of, Is this really for me? Why would you give me this stuff? “It's different than their reaction to getting a dollar,” she said. Plus, it gives the kids a way to use some of their giving money and see the results first-hand.
“In our culture, it's easy to have the mentality of 'throw some money at it and it will be fine,'” Dawn said. “But that doesn't always engage your heart. For us, it's really important to let our kids know that there are people who have less than we do, and there is something we can do about it—to get into their spirits that to give really is better than to receive!”