There’s a movement in the world toward helping the homeless in a very practical way. Many of us know the uncomfortable feeling of encountering a homeless person and wanting to help, but often, we aren’t sure how. Giving money is an option, although that’s discouraged by some mental health professionals and addiction counselors. Walking by and ignoring their plight doesn’t feel right.
Someone along the way created a solution that I can embrace: the Blessing Bag. The idea is to take a extra large ziplock bag and fill it with essentials, then keep it in your car in the event that you encounter someone in need. It’s such a simple idea.
Items that you might put inside are basic tolietries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shavers and shaving cream, soap, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, and deodorant.
Other welcome items are gloves, hats, scarves, and socks–maybe a few pair–always top of the list of requested clothing in charity drives! (Imagine having wet feet and not having warm, dry socks to change into.) You may also consider tampons and sanitary pads for women, diapers for babies, cleaning wipes, and even condoms.
Adding small food items such as crackers, peanut butter, fruit, nuts and other non-perishables will be helpful. Some people add some cash for bus fares or to pay for necessities they haven’t covered.
Since some street people have pets, a small bag of dog food or treats might be appreciated, too. You can donate to organizations that help, for example, the National Coalition for the Homeless. But this is one way to help the person in need before you, especially at Christmas.
“It is only with true love and compassion that we can begin to mend what is broken in this world.” –Steve Maraboli