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When my kids were little, we assembled blessing bags to hand out to anyone who seemed down on their luck. Not only did these bags seem to turn the recipient’s day around, but they also taught my kids the joys of giving to and helping others.
Now I am a grandma, and guess what? I still make blessing bags, only this time, it isn’t just with my kids, but their kids, too! Blessing bags are an excellent activity to do with the grandkids and one that I think you and your family will enjoy, too.
Here is what you need to know about blessing bags and how you and your grandkids can assemble them:
What is a blessing bag?
A blessing bag is an act of kindness that takes a tangible form, as it’s a carefully prepared package filled with essential items intended to provide immediate relief and comfort to those who are experiencing homelessness. Essentially, these bags become little parcels of hope, kindness, and humanity designed to ease the harsh realities of life on the streets. They serve as potent reminders that no matter our situation, someone out there cares, demonstrating in a practical way the adage that kindness can change lives.
How to make a blessing bag
Creating a blessing bag can be a personal and rewarding experience. Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose a Bag: Begin by choosing the right kind of bag, like a ziplock bag, a reusable grocery bag, or even a small backpack. Remember that the bag needs to be sturdy and weather-resistant, as it could be exposed to various elements.
2. Collect Essential Items: Next, gather essential items that could provide comfort and relief, including:
- Non-perishable food items: Think granola bars, crackers, canned food with pull-tab openings, bottled water, and trail mix.
- Hygiene items: Travel-sized toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, sanitary napkins, tissues, and hand sanitizer can be invaluable.
- Warm clothing: Hats, gloves, scarves, and socks, especially thermal ones, can help during cold months.
- Miscellaneous items: A reusable water bottle, a prepaid phone card, or a list of local shelter locations can also be included.
3. Organize the Bag: Once you have all the items, organize them neatly in the bag. Make sure to put fragile items like water bottles or canned foods at the bottom to avoid squashing softer items like bread or fruit.
4. Include a Personal Note: This is optional but could be a beautiful addition. A handwritten note offering encouragement can add a personal touch that could make the receiver feel acknowledged and valued. Your grandkids can even add some of their own arts and crafts into the bag!
5. Distribution: Keep a few blessing bags in your car so that you’re ready to hand them out when you see someone in need. Alternatively, you could reach out to local shelters or organizations that work with the homeless and ask them to distribute the bags on your behalf.
No matter how many bags you plan to make, I highly recommend buying everything in bulk! Trust me: It makes assembling the bags much easier and more affordable!
Paper bags are excellent for blessing bag packaging – especially when they have handles! If you like, you can even have your grandkids decorate the outside of the bags. (Mine LOVE to do this!)
Don’t forget to include personal care and hygiene items in your bags!
Creating a blessing bag is a small act of kindness that can have a significant impact, as it not only provides immediate aid to someone who is experiencing homelessness but it also sends a message of compassion and understanding that could mean the world to the person receiving it. Enjoy, my fellow Devoted Grandma!