Ooooh to some within our country this is a touchy subject! Some people can become strongly offended if offered second-hand/pre-loved clothing! It can be interpreted by some that by offering such items it is being suggested that they are...poor!
Some may feel as though they had it tough growing up, perhaps the economic climate at that time was dire, perhaps their father was unable to provide fully for the growing family or perhaps there were just so many children that there just wasn't enough money to go around to ensure that everyone had brand new clothes and such people are determined never ever to be classed as poor in adulthood...
When I was a child (an only child for 12 years), my family were very often given second-hand clothing for me, which was graciously received. I always looked forward to receiving a large exciting bag full of treasures! I remember eagerly trying on several outfits from a bag of clothing given to us by my only older cousin...I was delighted as she frequently had the prettiest, most beautiful dresses bought for her whereas my usual attire was a little plainer and practical.
I too, when expecting Amy often gratefully received donated treasures and would scour the local charity stores with my mother looking for bargains for my little angel as she was born. I remember that my favourite outfit that Amy wore when she was approximately six months old was a pair of denim dungarees (overalls) that cost £0.50p and a pink and white shirt to go underneath that cost £0.25p! She looked so sweet in them! I simply could not afford to buy her new clothes at that time!
Both Brian's family and my own faced hard financial times when we were growing up. Brian grew up as one of 11 siblings in rural Southern Ireland in the 1970/80's. Whereas I grew up in a small English town in the 1980/90's and I was an only child for 12 years. Looking back upon our childhoods we both feel very blessed as adults, to know the difference between 'having' and 'not having' and we try our very hardest to be generous and sharing with what we do have, with others, and to not take for granted how very fortunate we are. These are some of the values we hope to instill in our children.
Recently we were generously asked did we wish to receive a large quantity of pre-loved clothing...which of course we did! Then several days later we were asked by a very good friend of ours the same question...again yes! I sat upon the floor going through and making mental notes of the clothing, according to age, gender and seasonal types. I always wash through, fold and pack away the too large items, or out of season and add the items to use immediately to the child's wardrobe. It was then that my water supply gave out! So I am slowly wading my way through the backlog (water is now back on!) of laundry and adding small amounts of the donated clothing to the washes. Hopefully in the not too distant future I will have it all done...hopefully?!
Brian and I both feel so blessed by these generous gifts. We believe that we are being led by the Lord to have a large family and by kind families giving us their pre-loved items we feel as though we are preparing for the children the Lord wants us to have!