Smiling Donors

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When I finally committed to this crazy idea of leaving our everyday life for a few months and dragging my sweet hubby and 6 kids down to Central America, I realized that I was going to have to do a lot of work and spend a lot of time on the Internet, phone, and in the car. This past month has really taught me a lesson in how many compassionate strangers surround me as I walk through this life. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE people. I am kind of a friendly gal and I can talk with just about anyone about just about anything. I have enjoyed getting to know a few new people, and especially seeing them smile as they are able to give to our cause.

Nephi in West Bountiful, UT was our first donor and I didn’t have the guts to ask him if I could take his picture. He donated quite a few cabinets and drawers (though I did pay $9 for one of them). These will most likely be dismantled to be used in the master bedroom and front room/kitchen area. Thanks, Nephi!

Kristan in Sugarhouse, UT was the first person I asked to photograph with her donation….and she willingly let me. What a sport! When I told her about our plans, she told me that she had a few friends in Alaska who had done bus conversions….awesome! And the slate….love the slate. It will either be used in the bathroom or kitchen as a back splash or for the flooring, depending upon what we end up with when we begin that phase. Thanks, Kristan!

Scott in Sandy, UT had an ad for 25 cent tile and I kept setting up appointments with him to come and see it, but kept missing him due to having way too many places to get to in such little time. He told me, the first time that I shared our story with him, that he worked at Atwood in Salt Lake City, UT and that he might be able to get me a scratch or dent stove or furnace. I assumed that he was a salesman and that he was looking to make a sale. Boy, was I wrong about Scott. By the time I actually met him face to face, he had heard quite a bit of my story and had already found me a brand new stove/oven (no scratch or dent, just last year’s model), a brand new furnace (with a little dent we will easily hammer out), co detector, lp detector, and he wanted to know if I would like to buy a new water heater he had that was worth near $600 for $200 (which I did, of course). When I asked him how much he wanted for the stove, furnace, and detectors, he told me that they were being donated…..What was that? Yeah, he told his boss about our family’s crazy notion to take off a few months from life and serve our brothers and sisters down in Central America….and Atwood DONATED these items to our cause. This was such a shock to me. I must have looked pretty silly, smiling so much over a stove and furnace, but I was feeling pretty blessed right about then. It was all I could do to not start dancing a little jig right there in his garage….that could have been really embarrassing. I had been really worried that I would get a used stove/oven that might have issues while we were on our adventure. With a family of 8, that could be a disaster. And I didn’t even know that there was a company here in UT that makes RV furnaces from start to finish. Atwood also carries stoves/ovens that are manufactured here in the USA. I like Atwood a lot…and Scott. Thanks, Scott from Atwood! I see that my smile was kind of contagious. (and I never did purchase the tile…funny how things work out that way)

Diana in Layton, UT donated 2 stools that I am planning on cutting down to fit up to our kitchen table and hopefully slide underneath the table/bed at night. Thanks, Diana (and your adorable son who demonstrated so well that they do indeed spin…and spin…and spin)!

Amy in South Jordan, UT had quite a few partially used cans of paint just sitting around in her garage collecting dust…she was going to sell them for a couple of dollars each, but when she heard about our cause, she donated all of these with some buckets for mixing the paint. And they are even Behr….my favorite paint brand. Thanks, Amy! These will definitely come in handy as we will have a lot of painting to do once everything is put together.

Sidney in Sugarhouse, UT just laughed when I asked if I could take her picture with the bright green paint she donated…finally, someone actually realized how crazy I am. No, seriously, Sidney was one of the donors who had originally asked for money for her item and, once she heard our plans, she decided to donate the paint. She had a beautiful orange door that looked a little bit hobbitish, so I took a photo with it instead of the giggling Sidney. Thanks, Sid! Good luck with your move and your mil. 😉

Ben and his beautiful family in Smithfield, UT donated a TON of their leftover brand new carpet to our cause. They were awesome! We drove up through the canyon during a snow storm…at night…to meet up with these guys. So worth the trip, this family was a joy to meet and get to know for the few moments that we were there. I can totally see them taking a trip to far away places to serve those in need someday. Thanks, guys! We plan on carpeting both the master and the bunkroom in our RV, so this will be very nice to have. Notice they are all in their PJs (not only will the crazy lady take your picture, she will take it when you least expect it).

Rachel in West Jordan, UT wanted to donate their queen headboard. She was such a sweetie. My 11 month old baby, Simon, was with me and awoke crying. She asked if he was okay and offered her home for me to nurse the baby….yeah, this crazy lady nurses wherever and whenever needed…thanks, Rachel. Good luck with the sale of your home and with your plans. 😉

Brandon (and his big doggies) in Herriman, UT donated this beautiful headboard with a mirror and a single mattress. The mattress was a little small for where it will be going, so we will be putting it back online…for free. I am excited to figure out where this headboard ends up…it is a nice piece of furniture. Thanks, Brandon (and all of your super friendly canines)!

And last, but not least, this is Matthew in Provo, UT. He had 50 screens that he wanted to sell for $15 listed online. I was stoked because I know how much it has cost us to replace screens on our home (not that our kids would ever damage a screen just to see if they could). We are definitely going to want to open the windows in the bus, and have the flying insects staying outside sounds pretty nice to me. Anyways, I drove to the warehouse Matthew is clearing out and he started offering me all sorts of items. Before I left on the first trip I had 2 vents for an RV (free), a few pieces of slate tile (free), a cold air return cover (free), and around 120 sf of Brazilian cherry tongue and groove floor slats ($5….and that looks like free to anyone who knows how much it would cost for me to get that nice of wood for the floor of our RV entryway). As I watched Matthew giving to others who had come to pick up the items he had, I began to realize that he gets it. He gets that stuff is stuff, and you can always get stuff. It is not the stuff that makes the world go round….it is the love that we somehow attach to all of that stuff. Once I was loaded up, he offered to let me come and load up again….
So I drove back down there with Mr. C and picked up all of this framing wood, particle board, press board, and sheet metal…all donated for free….and Matthew offered to let me pick up more (we were limited this time due to the weight of it all)….


So I drove back down and got more framing wood, some beautiful moulding/trim, some oak veneer, a counter top…

and some beautiful miscellaneous pieces of travertine, marble, and granite….all free….


…thanks to another smiling donor. 🙂

Gracias, mi amigos.

Pura Vida!

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