25 August 2012

Blessing Bags


We have truly enjoyed putting together these couple of blessing bags. Spud and I went for a walk downtown today, bringing one with us, in case we came across someone looking like they needed a little protein with a little love. It gave us the opportunity to talk about homelessness and teenage runaways. Today, the right person in the right circumstance just didn't present itself but we will try again this coming week. Our targets? Young people usually found in sleeping bags in the alcoves of store fronts in the early morning. And old guys, grungy and usually found in the throes of who-knows-what mental anguish. Our hope is that they will be received in the spirit they were assembled.

· Flushable wipes
· Tissue pack
· Lip balm
· Hand cream
· Soap
· Toothbrush kit with toothpaste and toothpicks
· Pair of socks
· Nuts
· Granola bars
· Gum
· Root beer sucker
· 4 quarters

We have more room! What would you put inside a Blessing Bag? Things we want to add to either these ones or our next round:
· Pen and mini notepad
· More granola bars
· Apple sauce with spoon
· Juice box

For the winter months:
· Hot pockets
· Fleece gloves / hat

Need more inspiration?
See other Blessing Bags here, here, here and here; all found on Pinterest.

We took the Summer Bucket List Challenge. Our working list is here.


Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

In our city, the shelters were asking for sunscreen & hats for the hot weather. It's too bad companies don't make sample size sun screen.

In the winter, I would include gift cards for coffee or hot chocolate at a local fast food chain or coffee house. It would give the homeless a chance to get something warm and come in from the cold.

Jackie said...

Good ones Lelainia! Thank you.
: )

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I think a good add in would be the new "squeezable" applesauces and baby foods.

Anonymous said...

A lot of homeless people have dental issues, so nuts & hard granola bars may not be such a great idea for everyone. "Squeezables" are a good idea; fruit, yogurt, baby foods (as said, thx!)......

Terry Rust said...

Thank you for inspiring me to share with the homeless this season in NYC.
Holiday Spirit
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
---Charles Dickens

On my daily commute, I’d see these homeless men lying on the cold cement sidewalk. A grey mixture of ratty old blankets, cardboard mats, plastic bags and and newspapers. Just outside the city’s busiest bus terminal, covered in soot and grime, with a constant lullaby of transit buses day and night. Lying there like forgotten heaps of rubbish.
My soul cried real tears. How could I help? Little, old me; a single individual, female, approach these characters on this dangerous side street, by myself???
But, the Holy Spirit heard, provided the inspiration, means, and fortitude to reach out to the homeless. And it went FULL CYCLE.
This is how God works in our lives:
My kids returned some soda cans.
I used that money to purchase items from a new, local Just A Buck (dollar store)
The store is staffed by these joyful, handicapped employees.
Got my daughters to help stuff the goodie bags (throwback to past birthday parties)
Then, I asked my dear friend Jeff Salguero, to join me in sharing our blessings by delivering the bags on Thursday, his final day at Colgate.
Each bag was stuffed with hat, scarf, gloves, socks, McDonald’s gift card, hand warmers, personal hygiene items like moistened wipes, hand sanitizer, soap, Colgate toothpaste, Wisps, mouthwash, comb, tissues, a flashlight, Chapstick, gum, peppermints.
Jeff and I put on our Santa hats, hauled our gift sacks, and hoofed it out and about the city streets and subways.
Believe it or not it was hard to find the homeless amid the holiday-rush-hour-subways-times square-shoppers-workers-commuters.
We approached gently, said we’d like to give them a Blessing Bag. Asked their name and wrote it on a gift tag specifically for them.
There was “Betty”, who said she had no spirit…Stephen, Estillo, Light, Daniel, Bob, Sargeant and his daughter, Deborah who was making little Christmas cards and John, who asked for a bag for his girlfriend Sheri.
We delivered our final Blessing Bag to the woman who took our picture across from Radio City.
With the Big Red Balls in the background, it was a fitting ending to commemorate our blessings, our friendship, and our careers on Big Red.
In giving, we were blessed.
The very next day, I saw one of the guys on the side street this wearing the hat & scarf!
Then I ran into Betty (the woman who said she had no spirit) inside Port Authority and went up and said 'Hello Betty'. She was surprised that I addressed her by name.
It may take a while, but I think, if we at least acknowledge these individuals with compassion, she’ll get her spirit back.
From A Christmas Carol-
I have always thought of Christmas time when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, where men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not race of creatures bound on other journeys. –Charles Dickens
Terry Rust's photo.
Terry Rust's photo.
Terry Rust's photo.
Like · · Share

Jackie Boucher said...

Squeezables! Great idea. Going shopping tomorrow to make up some blessing bags for Christmas Eve. I'll be sure to pick up some. : )

Jackie Boucher said...

Terry, a simply beautiful story. I am grateful for you sharing it.

Anonymous said...

We added calling cards, fruit/veggie smoothie squeeze bags, local shelter card and sample baby wipes.

Anonymous said...

Some neosporin and bandaids might help also.

Mar y Sol said...

I really love your idea for cofee/hot chocolate gc! <3

Anonymous said...

Such great idea! Thanks

Susanne said...

Thank You : ) I will share this with our outreach ministry and childrens church.

Related Posts with Thumbnails