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Pinnable Me: Blessing Bag

I drive by the same homeless people every morning and every evening, filled with guilt if I don't give them something. Of course, most of the time I don't (mainly because I don't carry cash), but sometimes if I have a little in my wallet I'll give. Sure, they may buy cigarettes or wasteful things, but I don't judge. If I choose to give it to them, they can choose how to spend it. I think if they stand out in 100 degree weather all day long in the summers just to beg for a couple of dollars, then they've earned the right.

Last week I was in Walgreens and a couple I've seen on the side of the road begging for money were counting their change to buy deodorant, toothpaste and water. They didn't have enough for their items, so I offered to buy their items for them. As I walked to my car, carrying my bag of Diet Coke, gum and makeup, I realized how much I take for granted every day. It never ever occurred to me that some people don't even have the basics like deodorant or a toothbrush. I know that sounds so shallow - but it's just not something I typically think about. They've just always been there for me, or available at the store.

Ok, ok...I'm getting to the Pinterest part....just stick with me...

I was talking to Mike that night, telling him how I never thought about this before, and I said "What if I asked a homeless person to meet me every Tuesday at Walgreens and I'd buy them some essentials? I think I could do that." He looked at my like I was crazy of course. He said, "I don't know if you want to get into all that...it's a great idea, but you just never know."

But I kept thinking about it. How could I help?

As I was browsing Pinterest tonight, I found a solution. Something that makes so much sense, but yet it never occurred to me...but someone else was smart enough to think of this...


This was pinned as a "Blessing Bag" and the note under it reads "Blessing bags (keep in car to give to homeless). I think this is a lovely and thoughtful idea." I could totally see Walker (who always wants me to give money to the people on the side of the road) handing these to people. I think it would be a great way to show him how to help others and feel like I was giving these people something that just might make their day.

Of course, I'm not going to make 50 of these and hand them out like a crazy person, budget can't take that, but I think we may just run to the store and put a couple of these together to keep in our car.

What about you guys, any other ideas out there of how to help?

Comments

  1. Such a nice idea. I had a real estate agent once who kept a bag with bread, peanut butter and jelly and apples in her car. If she saw a homeless person and she got to a light, she would whip up a sandwich and hand that and the apple to them.

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  2. Much better than giving money. Also, please donate money to an agency in your community that helps the homeless. The people you're seeing on the side of the road are only a very few of those in need.

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  3. What a great idea! One of things I do every once in awhile is take a cooler of water down to the Salvation Army (at the S.A. in Tampa, the people have to leave the building during the daylight hours, they sit around the outside of the building with all of their belongings waiting to be allowed back inside) and pass out cold water. This is great on hot days! Also if one of the fast food chains is having a BOGO sale on sandwhiches, I'll buy a bunch and go hand them out. Its amazing how grateful the people are! And they almost want the napkins as much as the want the food! I, of course, always take someone with me to be safe.

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  4. i really love that idea. my little sister owns a clothing company and the other day on facebook her status said "I constantly see this one homeless guy on Everhart on my way home from school. Tomorrow I will give him a sandwich, water, and an 11:11 shirt since his is so dirty." I almost cried reading it just because it was SO sweet of her (she's only 18). The next day though, the man wasn't there. I know she'll keep looking for him, and I should tell her about the blessing bag too :)

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  5. Oh, Wendy, the more I get to know you via your blog and twitter, the more I realize that you are an exceptional young woman. I volunteer with Salvation Army and Operation Blessing and those two organizations really take care of those in need. It is refreshing to read a blog that does not center on expensive clothes, furniture, etc. but rather on the fullness of life......you are an inspiration. May you and Mike and Walker always be blessed with more than you need and most of what you want....LeighAnn

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  6. Wendy, what a great thing that is you are trying to do! We all take this stuff for granted far too much, myself included.

    Thank you for stopping by! It's nice to officially meet you. I just had lunch with Jill today & I mentioned that she had lunch recently with another blogger & it was you. So, ya'll talked about my blog & we talked about you. Anyway, great to meet you. Anyone who will do a video of themselves with no makeup & talking southern is a friend of mine. You talk normal to me! :)

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  7. hi wendy! i've been following your blog for awhile now after finding you from blue eyed bride and realizing you were also from durham.

    this post resonates with me, as based on the pictures and stories in your blog, i'm fairly certain we live very close to one another. i, too, see the same homeless people every day out and about town, particularly at the entrance to the ht shopping center. there is one in particular who is always so kind and funny -- "too ugly to prostitute, too stupid to steal." i always stop to give him a bottle of water, some spare change. he always has a nice smile, a warm thanks.

    this blessing bag is a wonderful idea. i was at a JLDOC board retreat this summer and a friend, who did Leadership Durham, spoke on how blessing bags of this nature are the BEST thing you can do to help the homeless. she also recommended slipping a piece of paper with the durham rescue mission's phone number on it. it's the little things that can make a big difference.

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  8. Awesome idea. I live in a rural area, but it's on the interstate so four or five of these would last a good while. I am definitely hitting up Dollar Tree this weekend to get started :)

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  9. This is brilliant! I've been thinking about this a lot as well as I see more & more folks on the corners of major intersections... I even have a name for it ... OPERATION DRIVE BY. I thought about making a logo & promoting on my blog in hopes to get more people onboard. My thoughts were collecting non-perishable foods, blankets, gloves ... anything really but love the toiletry idea. Putting them in bags & keeping them handy to hand out as you are "driving by". What do you think??

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  10. We've done this project with our Sunday school class it we love it! Always a positive experience and the receivers seem so thankful!

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  11. What a great idea! I may have to make some bags of my own!

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  12. I absolutely love this idea... If I had more expendable resources this is something I would love to drive around Chicago and do. I once read a story about a man who carried extra sandwich's to give to homeless people who beg for money... sometimes it's not about the money, it's about the essentials. You seem to have such a kind heart and I hope you continue to do amazing things!

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