Today I visited a very special place in my community. It's called the Garage of Blessings and it's located about a 45 minute drive from our house. I first read about this place online this weekend and really wanted to check it out. It's run entirely by volunteers and is only open a few hours a day during the week. But everything there is free! Yes, you read that right, free!
The Garage of Blessings was started in Oak Harbor, Wa in 2012 by one woman. She had collected a ton of donated items and put it all out on her front lawn for people to come take for free. It was a huge success and soon she needed to rent space to keep doing it! She has moved the operations a few more times since then, having outgrown each successive space. Now it is located in a 6000 sq ft warehouse and they receive more donations than they can keep up with.
In addition to providing free items such as clothes, shoes, toys, books, games, coats, food and housewares, they also provide free haircuts for anyone in need on the spot!
The following is from the Garage of Blessings Facebook page:
"The Garage of Blessings, a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization.
6000 sqft of FREE shopping for ANYONE in need. Donations always welcome & re-distributed free."
After I dropped the kids off at pre school I decided to make the drive and check out this amazing place. Of course, my inner anxiety tried to talk me out of it. I hate that particular drive, for one thing. In order to get to the town of Oak Harbor, first you must drive over Deception Pass Bridge. It looks like this:
It's really pretty, but it's 2 narrow lanes and this bridge has some serious bad juju you guys. This is a place of wonderous beauty, but it's also a place that desperate people very often come to jump. It's sad and it always makes me nervous to have to drive over it.
Beyond that, my anxiety was also telling me that if I had the money to put gas in my vehicle and drive 45 minutes to get some free stuff, then maybe we didn't really need the free stuff. I had almost talked myself out of it, until I realized that I had 2 perfectly good ride on trains that the twins never use anymore. I decided at the very least, I could go donate those toys and take a look at the place. I sternly told myself that it's more like trading if I find items we need, so quit being so stupid and just go already. I took these little trains...
The place was large and full of great useable items! I actually did find a few things we could use. A couple pairs of jeans for the kids and a hoodie. And a nice dress for me. The kids' pre-school is having a fundraiser auction with a plated dinner and all that at the beginning of next month. I don't have any nice dresses, or money to buy one. So for me, this was a blessing received. And I felt less conflicted about taking the items since I donated some also.
I'm so thankful that a resource like this exists in our community. We are lucky that we have so many caring and wonderful people living here and I'm happy to support as many of them as I can. I'm also greatful to be able to use these resources myself when it's necessary. I know where most of our future donations are going. The Garage of Blessings!
This isn't a traditional ophumanangels I guess. But I feel like I "angeled" myself, if that's possible. I needed a dress and couldn't afford one. Instead of letting my head stop me from receiving a blessing I needed, I went with it. And not only did I help some other families with our toy donation, but our family was helped as well. That feels good and I wanted to share it. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Love and light to you all!
gif by @skeptic