blessing bags

If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of the underserved people in your area, here’s an idea worth keeping alive. Today seems an even more appropriate day to put it on our list of things to do:

Blessing Bags. (Stay with me, I have a different spin on it.)

Initiated by Children Helping Poor and Homeless People and popularized by the moms (and grandmas) of Kids with a Vision (KWAV), the idea of Blessing Bags have started to spread, popping up on Pinterest, blogs, and Facebook.

The gist:

Assemble a bag for someone less fortunate than you, filling it with useful items pertinent to daily life—stuff many of us take for granted. The KWAV gals recommend packing a plastic zipper bag with the basics: snacks, toiletries, first-aid items, and gift cards.

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Photo courtesy of KWAVS.blogspot.com

 

Lauren Wayne of Hobo Mama takes the idea a step further, suggesting the addition of a paperback, deck of cards, socks, a mini flashlight, notebook, pen … you get the idea.

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Photo courtesy of Hobomama.com

I propose putting a natural spin on the Blessing Bag, starting with a fabric bag that can be re-used for other purposes.

  • You could sew your own from reclaimed material (think old clothing), buy bags at second-hand stores, or spring for organic cotton produce bags.
  • Pack it with dry snacks that don’t contain artificial ingredients or empty calories—granola bars, nuts, cereal, and dried fruit.
  • Opt for healthy hygiene items like trial-sized Dr. Bronner’s soap, Tom’s toothpaste, and Burt’s Bees chapstick and lotion. You can tailor a bag to feminine needs by including organic cotton tampons.
  • Instead of plastic water bottles, consider equipping your bags with collapsible camping cups. Other useful doo-dads might include a multi-purpose tool or a small, packable reflective blanket.

This venture is good for groups, pooling resources, time, and effort—the perfect Sisterhood project. Kids can help, too, while learning the value of helping others.

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Photo by Joxemai via Wikimedia Commons

 

Leave a comment 2 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mary Jane, thanks for so many great ideas for these bags. What could be a better way to celebrate Easter than creating these bags for local homeless in your town? Your idea of a reusable cloth bag is perfect because it would give the person another resource for other personal needs. This was indeed the perfect post for Easter and celebrating!

    Happy Easter to you and your family and staff!

  2. Eileen V Widman says:

    Happy Easter to you Mary Jane! I like your spin on this idea. I have never been comfortable with the stuff that is recommended to fill these gift bags. If I would not consume or use the things in these bags I would also not give them to someone who needs help. Your list makes beautiful sense and is what I have done in the past.

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