Can an Empty Box Make a Difference?

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, Donald Miller explores the idea of life as story.  Miller describes talking with a friend who's teenage daughter has gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd and is spending time with a boyfriend who's a bad influence.  After listening Miller suggests that maybe this daughter is seeking excitement because her family's life story doesn't offer any.  The father takes Miller's comments to heart and decides to write a more exciting story for his family by challenging them to raise money to build a school in a third world country.  Within a few weeks the daughter drops the boyfriend and is fully invested in her family's new mission. 

I know the years when my children will allow me to write or even participate in their stories are limited so I decided to try my hand at it this summer by challenging us to embark on an adventure.  So, here it is . . .

Corrugated Cardboard Collection

 (exciting isn't it??! it gets better . . .)

Did you know that Project Share feeds over 3000 individuals per month?  (Click here to read more about Project Share, our local foodbank.)  One way they do this is by collecting corrugated cardboard and recycling it to help raise funds for their programs.  Their website explains that the cost of corrugated cardboard is particularly high right now, making it worth collecting.      

Here’s the plan:  Sophia and Solomon are hoping to collect enough cardboard this summer to fill our back porch room from floor to ceiling.  Here’s a picture of them with the little bit of cardboard we’re starting with. 

We’ll start on July 1 and continue through mid-August.  We’re asking friends, neighbors and local businesses to help us meet our goal.  Our friends at the South Side Deli have already agreed to donate! 
I'm so proud of my kids who went door to door on our street yesterday in the heat to invite our neighbors to donate.  One elderly neighbor came to the door asking, "Now what are these kids selling?"  I was pleased to reply, "Nothing!"  Several neighbors commented on their respect for Project Share.  Another elderly neighbor, who works installing furnaces and AC units, said he had a ton of boxes to get rid of and dropped them off this morning while we were out at church:

For the next month every Sunday evening (when trash and recycling go out on our street) we’ll go around to pick up any donations left out by our neighbors.  Here's Sophia with tonight's haul:

If you’re local, please get involved either by adding to our collection or starting one of your own.  Stay tuned for updates (will we make our goal??) and feel free to leave a word of encouragement here for all of us! 


  1. What a fantastic project with so much positive potential. The kids will never forget this and it will have positive results that none of us could possibly anticipate!

  2. This is AWESOME. I've worked with Project SHARE a lot during my years at Messiah, and they have such huge hearts for those in need in the Carlisle community. Thanks for setting such a great example for your kids of what it means to serve and be involved where you live - and I bet this is so fun for them too!