Thank You All!

I want to offer a very sincere THANK YOU to those of you who helped me with my Paying it Forward promotion this last month.  Thank you for spreading the word about this opportunity.  Thank you for purchasing supplies through my THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) store and therefore helping to donate supplies to others.  Thank you for donating through paypal to help cover shipping costs.  Thank you!

Most of all, thank you all for the fabulous nominations you sent in this last month!   There are so many good people in this world!  So many people who are doing the best they can and then doing a little more to help others.

Have some tips?

The only thing I didn’t get were any tips of what you do to prepare on a budget.  If you have some tips you’d like to share, I would love to post them here in a week or two!  Send them in to me at [email protected]

Paying it Forward

Since becoming a THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) Consultant in November of 2010, I’ve earned a lot of free product which has helped our family become more self reliant.  In addition, the income I’m earning is helping us pay down debt and build up savings.  In other words, I’ve been blessed!  And where “much is given, much is required.”   I’m excited to step it up a notch this month, and “pay it forward” to some great families.

Three Families:

I received many nominations and earned about $1500 in free product from the purchases made at my THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) store.  I have chosen three families based on three things:

  1. These families are working toward self-reliance,
  2. These families find ways to give to others, and
  3. These families have a need for some additional support / help.

In other words, these families have inspired me!  They work hard.  They give of their means and of themselves to others.  They trust and have faith in God.  They work to be self reliant.  I am grateful for their examples and the motivation they have providing for me to be a bit more like them.  I hope that the efforts we have all made this month to provide some preparedness supplies for them will enable them to continue in their incredible efforts.

Here is a bit about them in the words of those who nominated them:

“Family R”: $1000

How “Family R” works toward Self-Reliance:

They do not carry any debt other than their house. Both of their cars were purchased used and with cash.  They refuse to use a credit card to avoid accumulating unwanted debt. They have used their tax return on occasion to purchase food storage supplies.

They found some farmers who would allow them to glean in their fields after harvest was over and were able to get some free potatoes and corn.  They father of this family stops by the local Food 2 Store shop on his way home from work on payday and picks up something for their storage, even if it’s just one can of wheat…he feels something is better than nothing. The mother of this family has learned how to can food to help add foods to their food storage that can be acquired in-season at less cost.

How “Family R” helps others.

They are always willing to help whenever they can. The father is handy with tools and helps others with projects. They both serve countless hours in their at church without pay.  They share the free food they get from the farmers with others.  They have loaned money to siblings a few times.  They are always willing to help as much as their circumstances allows.

Why these free supplies will help “Family R”

They had to move to Idaho from California to find a home they could afford.  They father got a job there that made enough to keep the bills paid and secure health insurance for his children. Unfortunately, with the economy tanking and insurance costs on the rise, the job was one he wasn’t thrilled about taking, but it met their needs.

They are willing to sacrifice some creature comforts others won’t get rid of, to keep the household afloat financially. They don’t have cable, they shop the clearance racks and second-hand stores, they don’t have texting on their cell phones. But even with their small budget, they are also slowly, yet surely trying to build up food storage when many others are spending that money elsewhere.  These free supplies will help them greatly in that effort.


“Family H”: $250

How “Family H” works toward Self-Reliance:

The mother in this family raises a garden and very diligently saves every scrap from it for the table. She cans religiously to cut down on grocery store bills and practices every money saving strategy possible like rain barrels and composting to reduce costs. She also is a very avid couponer that stockpiles in her basement so that she never spends more than the rock bottom prices. They do everything they can to be prepared within their budget.

Through frugal practices, couponing, and gardening they have been able to pay off almost all of the medical bills they have from a terrible weather related accident that the father was in recently.  The newest venture is the addition of a small chicken coop in their backyard to provide fresh eggs daily, a small amount of food that doesn’t require a store.

How “Family H” helps others.

The father of this family volunteers regularly with kids at the local 4H. And the mother spends a lot of time volunteering at a local senior center. She is also a volunteer for Red Cross. Even with a limited budget, they donate food and supplies around town, happy to share the bounty of their garden and small stockpile.

Why these free supplies will help “Family H”

Just months after returning home from a tour in Iraq the father of this family was involved in a terrible weather related accident that left him in a coma for a short period of time.  This was followed by months of stays rehabilitation centers learning to walk and talk and simply function again. His new wife stuck by his side faithfully threw it all. They have struggled tremendously to pay off bills and keep their little family.  However they worry about other tragedies happening again; they just don’t have the funds to prepare.

They are doing everything on the mother’s wages right now. With a traumatic brain injury like the one the father had, he can’t work a full work week like he used to, and he couldn’t return to the army. He does work a few ours a week at a local store in town, but the mother of this family is the main provider. Their house is currently in a a major flood plain so natural disaster is a worry every spring in their area. They are also near a major fault line. So preparing is something that is on their mind often. These supplies will help them be more prepared themselves which will take the nervous edge off themselves and allow them to better help others in times of need.


“Family W”: $250

How “Family W” works toward Self-Reliance:

Being missionaries, they depend on the gifts of God’s people and unlike most missionaries, they did not wait until they could see that they would have enough money to make it through every month before going to do what God has laid upon their hearts to do. This family believes that if we truly believe God has a plan for our lives, then we must believe our Father will provide our needs, just as He said He would. And this family believes that with enough faith to walk truly in faith.

Yet, the father of this family feels the responsibility of properly caring for his family, and he uses the resources that God has given him to do what he can.  They don’t walk around with their hands out, expecting handouts from everyone.

They have purchased some water purifying products, a rocket stove, and a few things like that both for our hurricane season as well as for unforeseen circumstances to come.

How “Family W” helps others.

If we had a hurricane hit (and we did get quite a bit of water from a Tropical Storm recently), they would not just take care of themselves. If other things happened, they will still be looking to help others. They truly are real people who love a real God and do trust Him to supply, whether through others or His own unique ways.

They truly care for teenagers and work so hard to show these kids, many of whom are basically on their own anyway, the love of a Holy and Almighty God. Some of the ways they do this are they hold meetings in their homes every week and feed often up to 35 teenagers (including sports teams!) without ever charging them a dime. And they are trusting God for supplying all of this every single week. The food is homemade and as healthy as they can make it — no multi-hundred-dollar trips to McDonalds!

Why these free supplies will help “Family W”

This couple has two small children and both quit lucrative jobs to help open the eyes of teenagers to their need of a Holy God.  They do not have enough cash to purchase an appropriate amount of food, etc., that is such a major part of being self reliant.

Several times a year, in an effort to show these kids how special they are, they prepare a banquet-type meal and serve these kids a sit-down meal. Obviously, if they were to receive any of these pay-it-forward goods, they would just keep helping, and thank God Himself for providing once again.



These families will be notified of our gift in the next day or two.  If I receive their permission, I will let you know what they choose to use their free product on and how this helps them.  Thank you again for your support and help!  I’m excited to do this again in October!  Start thinking of who you’d like to nominate now!