Recycle for a Reason

The outreach mission of our church known as Recycle for a Reason (R4R) has now been in operation for one year and one month.  Many have supported this effort with prayers, being present, and gifts of many kinds.  The prayers lifted up to God,  the hard work that has been performed during donation and sale days, the gifts of surplus items, skills of box moving, welcoming, and patience have all resulted in success month after month for the past year.

People who haven’t been physically present at any of the donation or sale days, might not be aware of the many great gifts God gives to the people of this church during R4R events.  The following are just a few of the stories that have occurred:

Generous donations from the public have been made and many praises received in regards to the R4R concept. The community has also expressed their appreciation for the friendliness and hard working habits of the volunteer staff.  Praises have been given for the huge assortment of items to shop from, the orderliness of the items displayed, and the generosity of the “pay by what is fair” donation policy.

Numerous young people have had their first apartments furnished by parents and grandparents shopping at one of the monthly sales events. Grandparents have outfitted new grand babies and acquired needed furnishings and toys for the child’s first visit to Alaska.

A young mom and her six month old came to the sale with a budget to buy craft items so she could supplement her family’s income by making and selling something.  Her budget was small and she had scrounged coins from drawers, pockets, and the car floor to pay for her supplies. She was able to find items that she needed for her project at a price that she could afford.

Another shopper found an Alaskan book with autographed photos of friends, co-workers, and family members from 20 years ago.  He was excited to show the book to his family.

For some unknown reason, a small plastic bag with a few rings and a loose gem stone were found among the donated items for the sale. The stone turned out to be a small diamond and the rings were gold. Uncertain of the story that goes along with the donation of the rings, all the committee knows for sure is that with God’s help, R4R was able to turn this donation into something to benefit the local neighbors.

As relationships have grown with the shoppers and donors, and as stories have been shared, people in the community have come to trust this project to take care of their special donations.  It has taught the community that UMCC, with God’s help, has shown people how to help those in need.

Join this exercise in trust and listening.  The R4R volunteer sign-up sheet is always on a table in the entryway, level two at the UMCC church or contact this committee at recycle4reason@umcchugiak.org.  Please consider trying a few of the many volunteer opportunities.

Jan Wachsmuth
Donation Days Coordinator