Monday, May 21, 2012

Blessing Bags!

Growing up, my parents always tried to teach me the valuable lesson of not taking what you have for granted, and that somewhere, someone always has it worse than you. I very distinctly remember every year right before Christmas, my parents making me go through all of my toys and fill a few trash bags full of stuff. I wont lie, I hated it. They were my toys. But every year, I did it, and we would take those bags of toys to the local battered women's shelter and give the toys to the kids staying there. Of course, now I understand why they made me do it, it was a great lesson, and it got rid of my extras. We will be doing the same thing with our daughter once she gets old enough to understand. She may not like it, but I know she'll someday be thankful we did it.

This lesson has obviously stuck with me, and while out and about with my family a few days ago, we came across a homeless man on the side of the road. I felt bad for him, and I knew I had a few dollars in my wallet. I tried to hand them to him, but traffic was about to start moving and he wouldnt have been able to retrieve the money without risking being hit by a car. Now, realize physics was not my favorite class in high school, I tossed the money towards him, fully believing it would reach him. Wrong. It barely made it out my window before floating and fluttering to the ground. I felt terrible. Terrible doesnt even describe it. I honestly felt like I looked like the biggest jerk on the face of the planet.

So I decided that night that my family and I would be putting together what we now call "blessing bags". I had seen a similar idea on pinterest last year and saved it away for something to do in the future. Well, it was finally time to use it!

We went to the Dollar Tree to get our supplies. You cant beat everything for $1! I didnt want this project to put a damper on us financially, and lets face it, that stuff (most of it) is as good as stuff you find at Walmart.

Lauryn was super excited to help mommy put the blessing bags together! Each bag was a reusable canvas tote, we figured that a reusable bag would be better for the environment and the homeless.

We used a large ziploc bag to put the basic hygiene items in. They included:
  - Tooth brush & tooth brush case
  - Tooth paste
  - A small bag of floss picks
  - 2 packs of tissues
  - A pack of baby wipes
  - A stick of deoderant
  - Small first aid kit
  - Razor
  - A comb
  - A box of feminine care products for the women

The "food bag" was filled with the following:
  - A bottle of water
  - A Small apple juice juice box
  - Cup of applesauce
  - 2 packs of peanuts
  - 4 granola bars
  - Breath mints and Gum
  - 2 of each: plastic fork, spoon, and knife

This was just a small bag of miscellaneous items. Including:
  - 2 pens
  - Some change in a coin roll
  - Reusable drinking cup

Once we put everything inside the bags, they ended up being about half full! Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

I knew I was going to need an easy way to tell the gender of the bags apart, and I also knew I wanted to provide them with a few resources. So I figured, what better way to do that than by printing the resources on pink or blue paper. I included the name and phone number of the 2 shelters in our area. On the backs of these resource cards, I also wrote a small note to them. Kind words and encouragement.

The 4 bags we made fit nicely behind the drivers side seat in my car. Perfect to easily grab and hand out the window!

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