Blessings Overflowing Our Trashcans


This doesn’t have much to do with anything, except that it’s a ministry I am trying to start at my church and I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy.

The idea is simple: give something you don’t need to someone who does. But so many times life gets in the way, and those ‘somethings’ end up in the trash. Most times in our hectic lives the trashcan in the other room makes far more sense than the second hand store across town. It’s no one’s fault. It just seems to happen. But every day, countless resources happen to be wasted. This is just one idea of how we can capture one situation and turn that potential waste into real abundance.

Before the much-anticipated last day of school comes the highly dreaded locker clean-out day. The day when you have to dig through all the debris you’ve accumulated the past eight months. The day you find the granola bar smashed under that book you never read. And somehow you are supposed to throw away all the trash, return all the texts books, and put everything else—even the granola car—in your backpack. All in the twenty minutes allotted.

But your locker organizer can’t possibly fit into your backpack, and you don’t really want the binders full of Biology notes, so you take the stuff you want—the pictures, the cool pens—and the stuff your parents would make you replace—hello scientific calculator—and you pitch the rest. And so do all the other 800 students at your school.

Pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, rulers, all of it is thrown away. Sent off to take up space in a landfill. But what if it wasn’t thrown away? What if among the trash cans there were donation bins? Boxes where the kids can dump their unwanted binders, the protractors they never used. Now the kids have a choice to donate, and it’s a choice that costs them nothing. But by choosing the donation bin over the trash can they are making a very real difference.

The items in those donation bins will be sorted, and yes some of them will be trash. But a good portion of the supplies (about 50% in my experience) will be like-new. These items—which would otherwise be in a landfill—can now be redistributed to children for whom school supplies are an unattainable dream.

In Psalm 23:5 David writes of his cup overflowing with blessings from the Lord. We are in a unique position in that our blessings are so plentiful that they occasionally overflow into our trashcans. By implementing this project, we can redirect the flow of blessings and pour them into the lives of others. With this simple ministry, we will be able to help the cups of others to overflow.

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