As we enter into lent many of us struggle with what to give up for the next forty days. Now I myself am not Catholic, I was raised Lutheran, but I do try to observe lent as best I can.  While it’s easy to give up junk food, chocolate or soda the point of lent is to give up something important to you. It should be a sacrifice otherwise you aren’t really giving up anything.

Last year my mother proposed an amazing idea when I told her I was struggling to come up with what to give up. Instead of giving up a food or habit why not give up my possessions? She challenged me to look at my surroundings and find one thing each day that I didn’t need and donate it. Start a collection of items over the next forty days and bring them to the goodwill the Monday after Easter.


I accepted her challenge. At first, I was a little stingy with the items I was donating. A ripped shirt or an old textbook, but as time wore on I realized these were just things. Some clothing items I had bought on impulse years ago that still had the tags on them. As I continued to cleanse my closet of nicer items I also began to donate more than one item a day. By the end of my forty-day donation challenge, I had gotten rid of closer to sixty items.


I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted when I dropped the bags off at the Goodwill after Easter. I would recommend this challenge to any of you who are struggling with personal sacrifice or those of you who are looking for a way to kick start your spring cleaning. Whatever your reason it was an amazing experience and I look forward to doing it again this year.