November 21, 2021

How Gratitude Can Lead to Generosity (a project by my friend Erin)

I am super full and tired--we just had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house because it worked into everyones schedules better than Thursday. I didn't eat anything all day, knowing I was going to be having a big dinner, and I definitely splurged. I limited myself to one plate of food, however, so I didn't go too crazy.

As always, my favorite thing was sweet potato casserole. When I asked Luke what his favorite food on his plate was, he said, "this orange stuff" (meaning the sweet potato casserole). That's all he wanted to eat! ;) (Here is my mom's recipe for it--it is SO SO SO good.)

Anyway, a blog reader-turned-friend of mine, Erin, posted something on Facebook recently asking for water bottles. Here is how she explained what she'd like to do...

"I've lived a pretty sheltered life, in the suburbs where homelessness isn't as obvious as it is in bigger cities. I now work in the downtown Indianapolis area and I see so many people that are homeless and it makes me uncomfortable to stop at a light and see them.

It reminds me of how fortunate I am and I've tried to get to the bottom of why I felt so uncomfortable seeing them. I think it was because I knew I could do something, even something small to help. Up until this point, it was easier to ignore them. I was thinking about it one night and saw a post on Pinterest and knew I wanted to use large-mouth water bottles to package the goodies; they can use it for water or to keep their things dry.

I will fill the water bottles with moisture wicking socks, hot hand warmers, a food gift card, and $5 cash. I hope to continue to hand these out all winter and give them to others to had out if they want to as well."

I absolutely love this idea! I sent her an Amazon gift card to buy a couple of water bottles, but then I wanted to share this to make it even bigger. Before I go on, I have to say that I adore Erin--you would, too, if you knew her. Remember when I had a reader meet-up for the Indy Mini in 2017? 

Well, I ended up walking with Erin for the whole race and her story just sounded more and more unbelievable. She's been through so much--including beating cancer. TWICE! And she's one of the most humble people I've ever met. If I didn't truly believe she was doing this out of the pure goodness of her heart, I wouldn't be sharing it.

So, if you're feeling generous and/or especially thankful this time of year, this is the perfect opportunity to help out someone who is in need! Erin is doing this on her own, with or without donations, but she could do a lot more with others' generosity.

Here is an Amazon Wish List that she created for this purpose. If you purchase something from her list, it gets sent to her and she'll package it up in the water bottles to hand out. Here is one of the bottles that she made:

This one has socks, hand warmers, a gift card for food, and $5 cash

With her Amazon Wish List, she can put a big variety of items in there. I am sure she will be happy to give updates on how it's going.

This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful that Noah and his friends weren't hurt in their car accident. I can't stop thinking about how bad that could have been, especially if they hadn't been wearing seatbelts. He was super sore for a couple of days afterward, but he's doing much better now. Mentally, it hit him the next morning; he couldn't stop thinking about how lucky they were. But he's not fearful of getting in a car, so I'm glad about that.

Well, if you're looking for a little something you can do to help someone in need this season, make sure you check out Erin's Wish List. I know that she will appreciate anything that she can get to supply these water bottles!


  1. I don't know how I missed your post about Noah's accident, but I'm very grateful that the kids were not seriously hurt.

    And thank you for sharing Erin's project -- what a great idea!

  2. Good morning. What a beautiful person Erin is! I know you are very proud to be her friend! She is lucky to have you too. I am trying to order items but it won't give me the option to mail to Erin. Any suggestions?

    1. Oh no! I'll talk to her and see if I can figure it out. If not, I'm sure she'd be happy to email you her address. (I don't want to post it here for privacy reasons, obviously!) That's so kind of you to want to help out <3

    2. Okay, she changed some settings, so it should be working now!

  3. In our area, we have an outreach program called In my Father's Kitchen.
    they want everyone to acknowledge the homeless by waving to them or smiling even if that is the only thing you can do. "We are not invisible" is one of their sayings.

  4. This is a fantastic idea! My church puts baggies together for the homeless, but I LOVE the water bottle idea because there is less chance for littering, AND it's just more practical! I'm totally bringing this up to our team!

  5. Thank you Erin for this great service. Headed over there now.

  6. Such a great idea, thank you Erin! Thanks Katie for sharing.


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