The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


August 19, 2005

Little things really do mean a lot

That's what my ELCA colleague, Sharon Robinson, reminded all of us who went to Orlando for the Chruchwide Assembly. The "little things" she had in mind are the daily bottles of shampoo and conditioner, bath gel, body lotion, and mouth wash—you know what a collection you have at the end of a week-long hotel stay, as there seems to be a rule that new bottles are delivered daily even though you haven't used up the original. And often they are premium brands. Really good stuff.

I just deposited my stash, eight assorted bottles, and learned that Sharon's been collecting these unused personal care items for more than a year as part of her ministry, called Earth Angels. She brings most to a shelter, some to a nursing home.

It all saves a little money, sure. But I suspect that the real value is that it reminds the women who receive these that another woman somewhere else knows of their situation and cares—even in a small and anonymous way—that a bit of luxury come into their daily life during the days when their daily life is tough.

Isn't this something more of us could do? So simple to tote home those extras and drop them off at the shelter in your town. Or take it a step further, like Sharon, and enlist your own band of angels to bring home the products from their trips.

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Embracing diversity