Tender Mercies

I know that we are supposed to be a blog about saving money, and we still are, but lately we have been pivoting into a blog about paying it forward.

Tonight I can not sleep because the thoughts about the tender mercies of this sale are running through my mind. I wanted to share a few of the sweet little miracles I experienced these last few days.

At 6pm Saturday evening after spending 13 hours in the hot sun on my feet on an almost 100° day, I thought to myself. Was this all worth it? Did we really raise enough money to justify all of the work put into the sale? Then I thought well maybe there were some little miracles experienced by people we will never know.

Here are a few that I did notice…..

Two little girls age 9 and 11 witnessed their mom talking about baking items for the bake sale and then decided on their own to go through their own toys and fill a huge bag to donate.

A woman who just had knee surgery only a few weeks ago, spent hours on not one but THREE days helping us tag, sort and set up the sale. At the end of the sale all she said was she wished she could have done more.

A woman came up and bought a few items and then with tears in her eyes handed us a $100 grocery gift card for a family. This made me cry and I am not usually a cry-er.

A woman who bought $3.50 worth of yard sale and bake sale items and then handed me a $10 bill telling me to keep the change and with tears in her eyes said she wished she could do more.

A woman who handed Cathy a wad of cash and said I don’t need to buy anything I just want to make a donation.

There were numerous people who overpaid for items in order to make a donation.

Many of these people, including most of us, have never even met the familes we are all trying to help. There were dozens more miracles these past few weeks but I’m going to leave the rest of the sharing up to you.

I hope that the spirit of paying it forward has touched your heart these past few weeks. Feel free to share any of the tender mercies you may have experienced.


  • just reading this post makes me tear up. what a great community we live in!

  • In the end, obviously the point of the sale is to help these families with their financial struggle through these trying times. But from all the donations of goods, time, money, and love that went into this sale, it was clearly more than money that we all wanted to give these families. We wanted to show them that we care about them. We want to support them with strength from all of our efforts. Hopefully these families can really take more away than just a bit of financial help from the sale and really know how many people care about them. Hopefully that gives them a bit of hope and extra love in a darker time in life.

    I think it is amazing to see people come together to help others they have never met before. Sometimes we doubt or completely forget about our faith in humanity and community and others. A showing like this just helps you remember how good people really are.

  • Sat. morning about 6:30 a woman came up to where I was frantically trying to make the 10+ garbage bags bulging with baby girl clothes fit and look presentable on 1 single table (luckily we scrounged up another one!) and said, “sorry I’m late.” No apology necessary, start folding! Just kidding, but I thought, seriously, no apology necessary. THANK YOU for coming!

    At the very end of the sale, all clothes were marked down to $.25. A man brought up a coat for his daughter originally marked $3 and handed me $3. I said, “Oh, all clothes are $.25” and he said, “I’d like to pay $3.” I don’t know why that particular one touched me more than the others, because as you said Monica, MANY people overpaid in the name of donating, but I could tell his heart was truly in it.

    And to the angel who went and bought us Deli Sandwiches for lunch, I can’t even believe what a relief that was! It truly was so busy, and we just couldn’t get away. I was wondering how I was going to survive another 3 or 4 hours without eating (7.5 months prego here people!). I seriously wanted to cry when she showed up with lunch. Thank you angel from heaven.

    I’d also like to give a MAJOR shout out to the 5 husbands and 18 children who were virtually wife and mother -less last week. And all the babysitters who pitched in. And to Popsicle, Krispy Kreme, Quaker Dipps, Fruit Roll-Ups, and McDonald’s for keeping the kids manageable ;). Without their support, there’s no way this could have happened. We love ALL of you!

  • Monica- thanks for sharing. we are blessed to live amongst a community of such wonderful people. and i think you are absolutely correct in thinking that there were probably many unseen miracles that occurred through this event. you frugals are AWESOME!!!!!

  • I think you are all amazing! I’m so happy for you–that it went so well, that so many people helped, that it was such an amazing experience of seeing so many people give so much. What a wonderful thing to witness–the abundance of goodness in our community, in humanity. I’m so glad I could contribute just a little to your amazing-ness!

  • Dying to yourself is always worth it in the end. You all did an amazing job and you are inspiring others to do the same. We will now continue with prayer in that sweet family you picked.

  • It reminds me of that cell phone commercial were one stranger witnesses someone giving an act of kindness and it becomes like a virus that is spread by the person who witnessed each event. Talking about it spawns more acts of kindness and hopefully even more. humanity is all we have left in the “tough times” it’s one of the things that makes me proud to be an American.

  • {sniffle} such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • we live in CA and are so inspired by your efforts! Thank You for what you did, and continue to do. We have done fundraisers for our daughters disability “Rett Syndrome” and then 2 years later for my sister who had Melanoma. It always amazed me what a community does to rally around those in need that we can help.
    tearful hugs from Corning , CA.

  • I have been couponing for about a year now. As a way to pay it forward I help people get started in couponing. I help them get organized, help them go to sites like fabulessly frugal and I also shop with them the first time so they dont feel so overwhelmed. I also have a small facebook group that I share tips on saving money.
    Also, as wedding gifts I will gift to the new couple a shopping spree of 10-15 items from my stockpile room. What costs me litlle to nothing or free can save them hundreds. I love to see their excitement as they shop. It is a rewarding thing to know I can help them get started. I then tell them about couponing and how to get started.

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