In the Christian calendar, Lent is the 40 days leading to Easter and is seen as a period of reflection, a time for fasting from food and indulgences. In 2017 Lent began on Wednesday 1st March, the day after Steve died.
Lisa, my sister in law had arrived from America to say her final goodbyes to Steve. The following day she read a Facebook post about a new challenge for Lent, not to give things up but to give things away. Every day for 40 days you had to find something you didn’t want anymore, start a collection and at the end of 40 days take your stuff to your local Charity/Thrift store.
This idea immediately appealed to me. I thought it would be a practical thing to focus on for the next few weeks. Life felt unreal, I needed grounding and the structure and routine of this Lent challenge felt right. I’m also a huge fan of donating clothes to charity shops, I even have my own YouTube Channel all about my passion for second-hand fashion so it was a perfect fit.
On the 4th March, I made a public announcement on my YouTube Channel that I was taking the #40days#40items challenge and urging others to join me, lots of people did. I started with some of my husband’s ties and by the final day of the challenge, on the 7th April my red hot chilli pepper bag was packed full of clothes, belts and accessories ready to donate to the charity/thrift shop.
Here’s the link to my YouTube video. I can hardly believe I had the strength to record that video, there was so much emotion in my eyes but my voice was strong and determined.
Give it a Try
Find a charity challenge that inspires you and make a commitment to complete it. If you’re not ready for a public challenge, make a decision to do something consistently for 21 days, like walking around your local park every day. The main thing is to shift your focus.
You don’t have to climb Kilimanjaro, you could sign up for a 5 K run or try a parachute jump for those more adventurous types or simply volunteer at a local charity a few hours a week. When you shift your focus away from your grief to help others, amazing things can happen.
If the challenge you pick involves preparation and training, on completion you’ll feel satisfaction and a wonderful sense of achievement too.
I did a Google search for charity challenge companies. There’s plenty out there
Have you ever completed a charity challenge?
What did you do and how did you feel afterwards?