Redeeming the Excess, Transforming the World

How Garage Sales are Changing the Lives of the Poor

The children no longer had orange hair. That’s the first thing Stephanie Maass noticed about the orphans on a recent trip to Haiti. “[These are] children who would typically have black curly hair; when they are malnourished, it has an orange hue to it,” she explains. “So [you can tell] when the kids have a healthy diet.”

Stephanie Maass, left, with fellow volunteer Marianne Pohl

The Maass family has been investing in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti since 2010. Determined to see the good news made manifest among the least of these, they have partnered with Help One Now (HON), a nonprofit that partners with local leaders in developing countries who are fighting extreme poverty. Or, as Maass puts it, “It’s a crazy tribe of people who actually believe that we can change the world one person at a time.”

And it turns out changing the world doesn’t require monumental effort. “Something as simple as a garage sale,” she says, “can actually impact somebody’s life.” Garage Sales for Orphans is an HON initiative in which people sell their excess stuff and donate the profits. After six events, the Maass family has built something of a reputation in their neighborhood. But more than that, they’ve built homes, schools, and playgrounds for children in need.

“It’s not hard to help and serve, and to be a part of the solution,” Maass says. Practicing true religion can be as easy as selling some unneeded items. You don’t have to leave your front yard to change the world.

Related Topics:  Stewardship

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