By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
In preparation for a recent trip to Peru to build houses and work with the people of Chimbote, I ￼was packing clothes, toys, and various donation items. In my house, I made a ridiculous discovery. I found more than two hundred fifty left-over colored pencils I’d somehow hoarded from my four grown kids’ school years. Purchasing a fresh clean box at the beginning of each year meant we accumulated oodles of left over, used, dull pencils. My son Sam and I assembled Ziploc bags filled with a rainbow of those colored pencils, freshly sharpened, along with a personal sharpener, a notepad, ink pens, and lead pencils. By the time we were done, we had made￼ twenty-four bags mostly from supplies that had been lying idle around our house for years. I have a feeling I’m not the only person who has lots of partially used pencils, notebooks, and pens accumulating around the house that could begin a new life with a child who doesn’t have any of those items.￼￼ I’m just sayin’. Here’s how you can help. Search in your area for organizations that do mission work. You might find them online or through churches, colleges, and other schools.
It feels awfully good to get things out of your house and￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ into the hands of people who might use them.￼￼￼
February 7, 2020 at 11:44 pm
This is an amazing post.
We did something similar on our 2 trips to Nicaragua. We donated school supplies and stuffed animals to a school that had 2 walls made of brick and the other 2 were chain link fence. The kids were so happy and a little taken a back by the 5 strangers from the US that brought them gifts.
February 7, 2020 at 11:54 pm
It is such an eye opening experience no matter how many times we go that there is so much need and gratefulness in the world. Thanks for sharing your experience.
February 8, 2020 at 2:31 am
It’s a great feeling. We try to donate items every two weeks, but sometimes we forget.
February 8, 2020 at 2:37 am
That’s such a good idea. To make it a routine and a habit. A good habit.
February 8, 2020 at 4:07 am
What a great idea!!!
February 8, 2020 at 12:53 pm
Isn’t it? Every now and then I have one. I need more. Ha
February 8, 2020 at 5:31 am
What a beautiful idea and heartwarming idea. Giving is always such a gift. It also puts things in perspective and reminds us to practice gratitude for the abundance so many of us have in comparison to others around the world.
February 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm
So true. Our excess lies dormant while someone out there needs it.
February 8, 2020 at 12:45 pm
This is wonderful, Lisa. Is it wrong that I’m salivating over all of these school supplies? It feels so good to donate to those in need.
February 8, 2020 at 12:57 pm
Hey Jill. I guess that’s why my kids got new boxes of colored pencils and notebooks every year. I think those things were very special to me as a young kid so I enjoyed going out shopping for that first day of school with them. I’m happy that our excess could meet some other people‘s needs. I hope to continue to purge and share. Congratulations on all those books it looks like you’re doing some fabulous writing.
February 8, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Thank you, Lisa. <3
February 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm
I love the close up shots of the pencils, now ready to be handed on to kids who will love them. I remember having left over crayons everywhere, but they were mostly little stubs.
February 8, 2020 at 9:56 pm
I didn’t even touch the crayons. That’s next time.
February 9, 2020 at 12:46 am
What a great idea! A twofer–it helps clear the clutter and puts useful supplies into the hands of people who will use and enjoy them. Thanks!
February 9, 2020 at 1:23 am
Thanks. Hope to keep clearing. And sharing.
February 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm
I admit I’m a stationery hoarder, but that is a LOT of colouring pencils! What a great idea too 🙂
February 9, 2020 at 6:47 pm
My only excuse is they were spread out between drawers and boxes and pencil cases and the kids rooms and… ok. There’s no excuse. 😳
March 11, 2020 at 2:25 pm
I did a similar thing. With 3 sons long outgrown their school supplies, I kept a bucket for grandchildren, then donated the rest (note books, pencils, pens, paper, construction paper etc) to a grateful friend that teaches in a not very affluent area of town.
March 11, 2020 at 2:27 pm
Great plan. My newest joy is filling a huge box with all kinds of cardboard and toilet paper rolls, yarn, ribbon, plastic medicine and food containers for an art teacher who wants to do recycle art. Yay. Love it.
March 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm
yes, I also collected all my “art” stuff in the same way, kept a bucket here for my grandchildren (they LOVE grandma’s art bucket) and gave the rest to the same friend
March 11, 2020 at 6:50 pm
It feels so good to organize and give and use stuff. Btw thanks for reading all these posts. 😊
March 11, 2020 at 9:45 pm
my pleasure, you too!