Be a blessing in your community
As the holiday season approaches, we tend start thinking more about the less fortunate people in our communities who struggle to live lives of dignity while homeless or precariously housed. There are many ways to reach out to this segment of the population, but one of the simplest is to always be prepared to be a blessing in the life of someone who is struggling.
That’s where blessing bags come in! A blessing bag is a little kit filled with non-perishable food as well as comfort and hygiene items that you keep in your car so that you always have a little something to give to someone who may need it. The idea is to fill a large zip-top bag with a variety of items so that it can simply be handed to someone in need.
It’s important to approach people with caution and respect, but more often than not they will be very grateful that you reached out with love and care.
What to put in a blessing bag
It’s really up to you, but nutritious snacks and any items to help make someone feel clean and cared for are wonderful:
- granola bars
- energy bars
- tuna/cracker packs
- trail mix
- fruit cups and a plastic spoon
- juice boxes
- bottled water
- wrapped cookies
- 100% fruit snacks
- beef jerky
- instant oatmeal packages
- baby wipes
- hand warmers
- soap and a washcloth
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- personal hygiene items like tampons or pads if you’re making gender-specific bags
- lip balm
- gloves or mittens
- a grocery store gift card
- a small bag of quarters
- a note of love and encouragement
- a list of local resources
Foresters can help turn your individual blessing bag mission into a Care Package activity so that together you and a team of volunteers can reach even more people in need. As a Foresters member, you can apply for a Foresters Community Grant of up to $2000 that enables you to organize and lead a volunteer activity that’s meaningful to you and your community.
Imagine how many blessing bags you could create for the people in your community with the help of a Foresters Community Grant! At the end of your event your team of volunteers could divide up all the bags you’ve put together and take them home to give out individually, or you could donate all the bags to a local shelter so they can distribute them as needed. Either way you will be a true blessing to the people who receive each and every bag filled with love.
For more wonderful ways to spread love during the holidays – no matter what holiday you celebrate – check out our Spread goodwill to all article, and for a free, downloadable blessing bag checklist to make planning and purchasing items for your bags simple, click here.
415651C CAN/US (10/17)