one letter at a time

I thought about postponing this post, especially after reading Time for a Time-Out which is oh-my-word-exactly what I would’ve written had I not been so overwhelmed. And un-eloquent. (Seriously, if you’re looking for some substance today, click on that link, because you’re certainly not going to find any here.)

And as I told a friend tonight (who asked me why I was in a funk), “Oh, it’s nothing really. I’m just trying to change the world, and I can’t even be nice to the people who live in my house.”

So, I really shouldn’t be posting about What-Else-Can-I-Sell-To-Single-Handedly-Rescue-The-World-From-Poverty-and-Oppression. But I promised. And my girls are excited to be playing a part in this. So here we go.

So (apparently my favorite word), you know how I’ve been looking around at my stuff and trying to “loosen my attachments” so to speak. And well, one thing I’m slightly attached to/obsessed with is my collection of Scrabble letters. And then “The Idea” came to me. So the four of us sorted through all my Scrabble tiles the other night and formed a bunch of different names (without using C, H, J, K, M, or Y since I’m clean out of those letters) and stuck magnets on the back of them. And here’s what we’re thinking:

We’re going to sell first names, last names, words, phrases, your alma mater’s initials/mascot, the not-for-little-ears nickname you’ve given your husband (please no) for 50 cents a letter. Then for $2 shipping/handling, we’ll mail your special word to the person of your choice with a cute (or manly) little card that says whatever you’d like (within reason).

So, let’s say you have a friend named Eliza who has really been going through a rough time and you’d like to encourage her. E-L-I-Z-A will cost you $2.50 + $2.00 (s/h) for a total of $4.50. Not bad for encouraging a friend.

50% of the proceeds will go around the world, and 50% will stay in our backyard (for our new pool). :) No, actually:

50% will go to a school and orphanage in Kenya (Gabe’s mom leaves October 11th to spend a month there).

50% will go to people in need in our own neighborhood via a sweet teacher friend of mine who is being Jesus to the needy kiddos in her school and their families (she’s going to let me know how we can best serve them with the gifts we have and the resources God provides).

So, here’s what you do: You e-mail me with the name/word/whatever that you’d like to purchase, and I’ll tell you if it’s available. Then you’ll tell me where to send it, which note card you want, what to write, and we’ll discuss payment options. (And it’s okay if you want to buy letters for yourself. I’ll just write YOU a little thank you note.) Cool?

Oh, and you don’t have to choose a name we’ve already made. This is just to give you an idea. Remember–no C, H, J, K, M or Y. And some of the other letters are running low too (B, N, S, V, W).

So hey, thanks so, so much for helping us help orphans in Kenya and needy families in our neighborhood. What a blessing!

Care to share anything God has prompted you to do for someone else lately?

37 thoughts on “one letter at a time

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » my new normal

  2. sandee

    Oh, sorry for posting twice…but I thought of a second one, that was actually happening first….and got my kids involved.

    A little change jar, where we are throwing our spare change for the month of October, to help this young lady Gabi, get back to Uganda and her orphan children there.

    We will never miss it…but she will enjoy the help and prayers and coming alongside as she is giving all to go.

  3. sandee

    love it. I was looking around my sewing room and the piles and piles of fabric. and I thought of the little bags I made for my daughter and for her friends birthday and thought…hmmmm. I should make bags of all of my fabric and then give them away.

    Which I think I will do some of, but maybe I will sell some too and give all the money to Drawn from Water and to Gabi…Racham Ministries….One in Ethiopia and One in Uganda.

    Now. I have to figure out which tiles I want from you! :)

  4. Bethany Peters

    Hey Marla–
    I have a bunch of Scrabble magnets I made for myself a few years ago. I haven’t put them on my fridge since we moved into our house. If you want, I can mail them to people and give you the money for your funds! My email is: and I can check and see if I can make people’s words and try to get them sent out tomorrow. What were you mailing them in? Just an idea.

  5. Megan@SortaCrunchy


    I absolutely treasure our Scrabble tiles you created with our last name. I think of you when I notice them, smile, and whisper thanks for you. I am so glad you are selling them. HOORAY for working with what you’ve got to SAVE THE WORLD!

  6. Erin R

    Cute idea, Marla! I wondered what those were for when we were over the other day. :) One question…how quickly would you get these out?

  7. Anna


    I love your creativity and heart. You got me with the Aggies! How about an Aggies?! But can you please tack on the $5 I was supposed to send you BEFORE Cambodia?! PLEASE! Oh. Duh. I was supposed to email you this information.

    I’ll do that, too.

    Oh, no. It’ll be a little while. Baby’s up…ummm, PTL my mom’s coming for a week, starting this afternoon!!! MAYBE I’LL GET CAUGHT UP?!!!

    Let’s hope!

    P.S. I MISS YOU.

  8. Melissa Irwin

    Well, you can’t spell Asher, Shawn or Joe. That’s a bummer! Ha. I love your idea. Think it is beautiful and hope it is very popular and successful. Lately God has been prompting me to sell a gorgeous diamond ring. I am currently in the process of starting a non-profit organization to first help out the orphans I have been serving in Zimbabwe since 2008. I have been helping them anyway…and have done a lot of fundraising….but doing it more officially now with being able to offer tax deductions, etc. Every time I look at this ring I see what could be a tremendous amount of help to them. I tried to sell it last year just to some diamond dealers…but they were not offering a fair price. I’m hoping to find a safe way to offer it to the general public and sell it for a deal…but more than the diamond brokers were offering. All proceeds would go to the non-profit. It was a 5th year wedding anniversary gift because I never had an engagement ring. My husband fully supports the idea. :-)

    1. Jennifer

      Melissa, there’s a site called (seriously!) where you can sell diamond rings online. I’m never sold/bought from there myself, but they seem to be secure in how they deal with jewelry and it looks like rings go for a better price than they would just regular resale. (And I’m guessing that if you wrote a little blurb to go along with your ad about what you’re planning on doing with the money, you might get more offers.)

      Anyway, maybe that will give you another option when you’re looking at places to sell. Good luck!

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