Gifting Your Guts Out (My Personal Ministry)

I get a LOT of questions all the time about my in-person gifting ministry and I wanted to take some time to answer all the questions in one convenient place.

But first, what am I referring to? What is it that I’m doing over here in my community that has so many people asking these questions in the first place? 

My gifting ministry – what is it?

I gift in various ways but one big part is a local Facebook group where many people give out of the abundance of their hearts, things that might be helpful or useful to others. That could be something like a chicken rotisserie or food. It could be a Sterilite 18-gallon storage tote. Sometimes it’s clothing. Whatever it is that someone has and they don’t need it anymore, they list it in the group for free. Nothing is paid for within the group, it’s a group that only gives free things away, no charge. 

When I first joined the group, I thought since it’s free stuff, it would all be junk, but there’s a lot of really cool things that people give away. One of my biggest scores to date is an entire surround sound system (!!!) and a Google mesh WIFI system with 5 routers. I’ve gotten a cool sherpa pullover hoodie that I wear daily in the winter, an area rug for my back patio, lots of cool clothes, a mattress/box springs, beauty supplies, things for my son, collagen supplements, light bulbs for my kitchen, a Calvin Klein tote, and so much more! 

It’s a really great way to provide for your family and be a Proverbs 31 woman, all the while, you’re sharing with your community the things that you have too. 

Other places I give within the community are to people I meet and if someone knows someone in need and they come to me needing help. It’s all about connections, making friends, and getting to know the people, so that you can help serve their needs. They know they can come to me and that the door is always open and that’s important. 

 

Who do you help?

I try to help all kinds of people from all different walks of life. That includes: 

  • Single moms who are starting over from a divorce
  • New and expectant moms who have nothing
  • People who lost everything in a tragedy (think: fire)
  • Ladies wanting to be the Proverbs 31 woman and gathering things to provide for their family’s needs
  • Women who lost their job or are financially struggling to make ends meet
  • Moms trying to save money on kids costs (from clothes to toys and everything in between)
  • and more!!

 

Why do you do all this?

Several reasons…

God has called me to. This is my purpose. This is what GOD has chosen for me to do with my time and He has put the desire in my heart to do it.

I love gifting and meeting people’s needs in the community. There are so many broken, hurting people out there and we don’t see it. They hide how they feel on the outside and need someone to come alongside of them and encourage them and restore their hope. Hope that this life isn’t all there is. That there is a God and that He deeply cares about them.

Watching someone’s hope restored is amazing. It never gets old. The joy I receive from watching them go from hopeless despair to feeling like they can get through whatever situation they are facing is an abundant blessing to my heart and soul. 

As Christians, we are called to serve. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). If I saw me suffering, I’d want someone to help me, so I need to be that for others. ❤️

 

How do the people find you that you gift to?

Right now, people find me through Facebook groups and word of mouth, however soon, it will include gifting to those in my church in need also. 

 

How do you have so much to give?

First, God wants to show His power. He wants to show people that He is here, amongst us, not far off in space and time, light years away. He wants to be known, seen, heard, discovered, so He partners with humans like me sometimes to show the world HIS power. They look at me and think, “Wow, she’s nothing special”, and so they know the power is not coming from me, but from Him. Everything I am is as of a result of Jesus Christ. Everything I do is for Him. My whole life is lived with His purposes in mind (I want to be about my Father’s business. Luke 2:49). 

Because of that great desire to be used by Him, I become an empty vessel, one He can use and shine His light through to this broken world. Everything I have to give is from Him and years of learning how to get great deals (which He allowed me to learn), in order to become the person I am today. I’ve worked HARD to earn His trust, in abundance and in meager times, to be able to do what I do.

Because I’ve earned His trust that I will spend whatever He gives to me, properly and in accordance with His will and because of His sheer love and adoration for the people, He gives abundantly to everyone through me. It is a great honor for me to be used in this way.

With all that said, I’m working hard to find stuff.

I scour the internet, looking for the items I know people will love and can use and I pray a lot that God would help me find stuff, both individual requests and as a whole, each time I run out of things to gift. 

Sometimes people will donate to me privately, knowing all that I’m doing and they maybe don’t have the time to list it. Just yesterday, I was buying something on Facebook for $20 to gift and I met someone who was helping her neighbor. He was going into a nursing home and she wanted to get rid of everything quick (his wife was there to approve everything). 

I piled up THREE car loads full (SUV) of stuff to gift that they wanted to donate to me to disperse! This happens quite often, and is the power of Christ working and moving in people’s hearts. But with that one $20 purchase, it led to SO much more. I helped her not have to run everything to a donation center and I’m helping my community all at the same time. That’s absolutely incredible. God uses situations like that and many more to get me the stuff to gift.

 

Do you purchase things to gift?

I rely heavily on donations and free stuff, however every day I’m scouring the internet for the best deals. I’m really good at saving money so it comes very naturally to me and I’m able to score things super cheap (and free). All in all, it’s a good mix: 95% free / 5% paid for.

 

You do all this AND you’re $60,000 negative on your mortgage right now? Wait…what? Why not sell the stuff instead?

It is true. Right now, as I am writing this, I am over $65k negative on my mortgage and they are going to foreclose on me any day. This is not a result of my own sin, but as a result of the sin of others.

As for why I don’t sell the things I get free to make money to pay my bill, I think that for each person going through something like this, the answer will be different. What I CAN say is that I feel like, for me personally, God wants me to trust Him completely with my bills and continue to gift and give things away, not expecting anything in return.

I can’t shirk my responsibilities and what God has called me to do because of something that’s written on paper. I need to keep my focus on the spiritual world and not get caught up in the physical world, keeping my eyes on Jesus and not on life’s situations. After all, He is bigger than ANYTHING we face and it’s never a surprise to Him. He WILL take care of this debt, how ever and whenever HE wants to. My job is to wait and trust Him while He does.

If God wants to help me pay my mortgage, He will. He is very clear to me, He got me here in this house and He doesn’t want me to move or to sell it. He has future plans for it (a Bible study or Christian gathering of some sort). Everything is in His hands and I wait patiently for Him to continue to provide and take care of my physical needs, while I take care of other’s physical needs. I admit, I look forward to seeing how He takes care of this bill and you’ll be the first to know when He does!

 

How do you organize it all?

The first step is gathering and bringing the treasures home. After that, I begin sorting things and listing the biggest (space-sucking) items that are not for the private ministry (word of mouth, people struggling greatly with disasters, etc.) in a Facebook group. This helps me save on space to find homes for those first priority. 

After that, I usually wait a day or two to see who responds and pick a winner for each of the items. I then correspond with the winner on Facebook and work out a way to get the item to them (either me delivering it or them picking it up). 

I keep a daily list of all pickups and cross off their name when they pick up the item. After that I update the post to say the item is gone and shade out their name on my paper list, so I always know what step I’m on. If someone doesn’t show up to pick up the item (and there’s been no communication on their part), after 2 days I message them reminding them it’s still out there. If they repeatedly flake or ghost me on pick ups, I block them from getting stuff from me in the future because at that point, it’s just disrespectful. One or two times, I can understand, things come up, emergencies happen, we forget, but after two times, it’s a pattern and not an emergency or just slipped their mind once. 

As for organizing the actual items, I have a section in one garage with all the stuff I haven’t gone through yet. This is where I put all the stuff I need to sort after taking it out of the car.

This is where I keep all my gift bags and bags to make the gifts I give look prettier.

This is all my baby furniture stuff. 

Then, in my other garage, I have several sections…

One part is the closet, where I keep baby stuff, backpacks, kitchen items, etc. So I always know where to find it when a need from someone arises. Those are for people I meet who are starting over or new/expecting moms. 

This section is for stuff I’ve already listed but I haven’t picked a winner yet. 

This section is for things that are ready for pickup/drop-off and my supplies (bags, vases to deliver flowers to someone, etc.).

In the corner, I keep a pile of things that no one’s claimed (unwanted items).

On the metal shelves are clothes. All the clothes have been frozen for 48 hours to kill any potential germs or dust mites in my freezer in the garage. Not all clothes are frozen but that section is. Same with everything in the closet that can be frozen. 

When someone needs a particular size of clothing, I can look at the buckets to find the size quickly. I don’t have all sizes in stock, but many times, I’m able to meet the need. ❤️

 

How do you have time for it all?

First, it’s about family dynamics. If you have toddlers running around or a newborn baby, or maybe you’re taking care of your husband who is injured, it’s probably not the right season for you to take on such a huge responsibility. Your days are more filled with trying to get through the day, making memories with your family, and investing in the hearts, souls, and minds of these precious souls the Lord has entrusted to you. 

My son is a bit older; he doesn’t need watched every second and he’s old enough to help. 

*Although my son is, in his sin, a great burden to me, continually provoking me, bullying me, and on occasion, getting physically violent with me, he does help a little bit in the ministry. He will sometimes do things like sort through clothes, separating them into sizes, measuring items, running a gift to someone’s door that I’m dropping off, etc. Whatever help he does provide me, is a great help and allows me to do more in the gifting ministry.

Secondly, I would say that I have spent years organizing my life to be able to be used by God in any way He wants to use me. This means closing out all non-important things and focusing on what’s really important (to GOD) in my day and having a willing spirit to go wherever He wants me to go and do whatever He wants me to do. Taking my time here on Earth absolutely seriously and running toward the upward call of Christ (Philippians 3:14).

Every day that starts with asking Him what HE wants me to focus on that day and letting Him have dominion over all of my life, every nook and cranny in it. When you live your life in such a way as that, you will find that you have PLENTY of time. Even though I am a single mom and run everything on my own, I can accomplish a lot because my focus is right. Things are NOT crazy and wild and out of control. I have systems in place, like my binders that I’ve created, to help me organize my entire life.

If you’re not familiar with binders or don’t know where to start, here’s how I personally started going from a crazy, chaotic life to a peaceful, streamlined life…

I started with the Household Binder. Got all my household organized and streamlined, then I worked on getting all my medical stuff organized with my Medical Binder. After that, I worked on all holidays with my Holiday Bundle (get $300 off my Holiday Bundle if you use discount code: STRESSFREEHOLIDAYS) because holidays seem to suck up a lot of time if not organized and then I just added in the binders I needed as I went after that.  

 

How do you choose who to gift to?

I love to mix things up and so I choose a winner by a lot of various means. First, I stay very close to God and pray a lot of who HE wants me to gift things to.

Sometimes I’ll go by who I know will pick up, sometimes by who is in the most financial need, who needs the gift the most or who does the gift fit the best to. Sometimes I’ll go by who commented first. One time I picked honoring military and so I chose them. Another time I chose based on whose family would have the most fun with the toy and who it would bring the family closest together with. Sometimes, I’ll use the Wheel of Names, which is a super cool thing to play around with.

Sometimes I choose a winner based on who I’ve never gifted to before. Sometimes I choose the winner based on admin status, meaning, the admins work SUPER hard in the background to give us all a safe, free place to connect, share, grow, learn, and gift and I want to honor them also, so when they want something, I try hard to make sure they get it. They don’t get everything, but I do try to give them many things they ask for as a thank-you for all that they do for us. Sometimes I choose based on who gives the most in the group and sometimes I give based on who I know will regift what doesn’t work for them back into the group so it can help more people. So, there are just a lot of different ways I love to pick a winner based on.

 

Who all helps you in this ministry?

Since I began this ministry, the only other person who helps me in it is my son. It’s just something I do to help others and my son sometimes helps in certain areas as mentioned above. 

 

It sounds like you love doing this and the ministry is so blessed, is there anything you don’t like about it?

I don’t like it when people lie. Sometimes people will say something like, “I’ll share this with…(insert the person’s name here)” but they never end up doing it. I get it that things come up, but if it’s a pattern, I block them. Follow-through is very important. I’ve talked to people asking for something and had all these comments of people offering stuff to meet their need but no one actually followed through and gave it to them. Honestly, that’s just mean and it’s all done for show to make themselves look good to the group, for vanity. 

One time, I had someone gift me the item and then come back to me and change her mind and give it to someone else. I needed the item real bad but didn’t say anything (we are called to live in peace) and let her do it, no problem. I let it go. A while after that, she said in the group how she’s been looking for the item for me to help me. Vanity. Deception. Falsehood. 

I know who’s really following through and who’s just trying to look good. I block the fakes. 

 

Is there a downside to doing this gifting ministry?

Any time we do ANYTHING for the Lord, we MUST expect opposition. Opposition from Satan, from a hostile world, from jealous people, from wolves in sheep’s clothing.

About a month ago, someone who didn’t like my gifting and wanted to get me in trouble called the cops on me. Believe it or not. The police came to my door and wanted to know about my gifting ministry. I showed them all my piles, everything I do and they knew it was legit. I’m not scamming anyone or doing anything shady. It’s all on the up and up and it’s part of my calling from God. I was able to get through it all pretty easily (the police were super nice to me), but it was a shock that someone would have such cruel intentions that they’d call the police on me to try to stop me from helping so many people and I do this all for FREE. I do not get paid to do any of this in any way. It’s all out of the abundance of the heart and obedience to the Lord. 

Some people are just jerks and you have to expect that. Still, I continue to gift from my heart and help as many people here locally as I possibly can!!!

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