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Hip2Save This Holiday: Giving Back…

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Tera B…

One of my favorite Christmas traditions involves one of my favorite charities. A local church hosts a Christmas celebration each year for a local shelter which provides safety services for women and children who are seeking shelter from relationship violence and substance abuse, as well as mental health issues. As part of the celebration, each family is given a gift basket assembled from donated items according to their needs and wishes. As you can imagine, having fled from abuse, many of these families have nothing, and the gifts mean so much to them.

I shop clearance sales and great Hip2Save deals year ’round to donate to the effort, and I usually end up donating quite a large pile of gifts for not very much spent out of pocket.

The best part for me, though, is each year when my preschool aged son and I help put together the gift baskets, “shopping” from the piles of donations to find the perfect gift for each person.

I love the way this activity opens up the door to conversation about compassion and mercy and reminds both of us how blessed we are to have a home and an intact, loving family.

Serving together and giving to others is the perfect–and hip 😉 –way for our family to celebrate the true meaning of this beautiful season.


For more information on my Hip2Save This Holiday series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!

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Comments 15

  1. Geena O

    beautiful tradition,I hope to do this some day when I ve children..

  2. Heather

    “compassion and mercy”-what wonderful behavior to model for your children.

    • Erica

      Seconded.

      What kind-hearted people we have in this community. God bless.

  3. Jodi

    We are more blessed than we deserve, thanks for living this out daily and influencing us to do the same!

  4. Wilma

    Kudos for teaching your children love and compassion….great job!

  5. Heather B.H

    As someone who fled domestic violence many years ago and was the recipient of one of these shelter welcome baskets I can tell you it means so much to those of us who have fled with just the clothes on our backs. I had young children with me and they also left everything behind and were provided everything from clothing to shoes to toys even a special blanket and stuffed animal for each. You never meet the people who do these acts of kindness for strangers like us but know words cannot describe just how much you are helping people like myself whose worlds were shattering around them. There are so many barriers victims feel when leaving an abusive situation and knowing that kind people are ready and willing to help you in your time of need seems to make you feel less alone and more empowered. Thank you from this survivor in NY.

    • Caroline

      Congratulations on SURVIVING and THRIVING. God Bless & Happy Christmas to your family

      • Heather B.

        Thank you Caroline for your kind words. God has truly blessed us and paved our path with many angels. Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family!

  6. Starla

    WOW, now that is the Hip2Save way! Thank you for sharing and reminding everyone what the true meaning of CHRISTmas is!

  7. Hazzy

    Along with my high PAID TAXES, I make sure I give to charity around December and throughout the year. 🙂

  8. Caroline

    I work at one of these shelters and cannot express how much value gifts such as yours give to the women and children we service. The holidays are a difficult time for victims of intimate partner violence – for those in shelter and those who are trying to re-establish their lives. For the last five or six years, I have run the Adopt A Family program that our shelter offers. Every year I am blown away by the generosity and love that our community shows to the shelter. I wanted to say not only a thank you to you but also to your entire church & community for their efforts. I love the fact that you are exposing your son to such a worthy cause and teaching him the value of respect and compassion to others. It is so important to teach our children that violence, in ANY form, is never acceptable. So, once again, Thank you. From our shelter, to your family, we wish you a blessed and happy Christmas.

  9. Cindy

    That is awesome! We had several boxes of gently used clothes and toys that my 5 year old and I just gave to GoodWill. He got to help and we also cleaned out the playroom before Christmas at the same time. 🙂

  10. Nicole Carney

    I was hoping to send you a picture of it..but my phone wasn’t working…At only 21 years old and living on a tight budget, I wanted to help donate in anyway I could to our local community…Using coupons to not only keep my grocery budget down to just $80 dollars a month for a family of three. I had an “ah-ha” moment last night, while going through my stockpile. I had tons of pens, paper, crayons, rulers, coffee and tea samples that I had paid little to nothing for… and realized it would be perfect to donate to our local Elementary School..especially in a time like this, with the tragedy of CT.. I wanted to make sure our local teachers knew how much we care and created adorable gift baskets..using holiday tins I’d bought from Walgreens for $1!! I wrote up a christmas card just asking that it be disbursed to every teacher and simply signed it a former (insert elementary school) student… I can’t wait to go drop it off tomorrow!! I highly recommend this idea to anyone else with extra school supplies!!!!! 🙂 🙂 Happy Holidays everyone!!

  11. bettyj

    This post comes at the perfect time for me to say thank you to Collin for all the work she does posting the deals because thanks to her tips, where to get the coupons, etc. I was able to take a huge amout of goodies including shampoos, body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, girlie goodies, diapers, makeup, toys and more to our local drive today for what we call the Safe House and Angel House. They couldn’t believe how much stuff I carried in and were very thankful.

  12. LILY

    I AM VERY HAPPY TO SAY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO DONATE. I MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME HAVE SEEN HOW A GIFT WILL MAKE A KID IN THE HOSPITAL FORGET ABOUT THE PAIN (MY SON). MY SON HAS BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL SINCE LAST MONDAY DUE TO APPENDIX RUPTURE HE HAS HAD 1 BIG SURGERY AND 2 SMALL ONES AND ON THIS PAST SUNDAY BIKE RIDERS TOOK PRESENTS TO THE KIDS AT THE HOSPITAL IN LOMA LINDA CA, AND MY SON WALK TO THE LOBBY OF THE HOSPITAL WITH HIS IV, Total parenteral nutrition (FOOD THAT HE GETS THRU IV), AND HIS ANTIBIOTICS. HE FORGOT ABOUT HIS PAIN FOR AN HOUR BUT HE WAS SO HAPPY TO RECEIVE A TOY AND SEE ALL THE BIKES. THANKS TO EVERYONE

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