I saw this idea on Facebook and thought I’d add a few of my ideas and pass the thought along. Somebody came up with the idea of making “Blessing Bags” for the purpose of giving them to people who are homeless/down on their luck. Each Blessing Bag consists of a gallon-size recloseable/zip plastic bag filled with practical items.
Here’s a list of things you can slip into the bag. These are just suggestions—you might come up with better ideas. If you do, please let me know! (By the way, making Blessing Bags could be a nice group project, and buying supplies in bulk is a good way to defray the cost of putting them together.)
Click here for some care package ideas from Dollar Tree.
When you have your Blessing Bags all arranged, consider adding a handwritten note with a positive statement like “Packed with love by the Smith family.”
Your next step is trying to figure out how to get your Blessing Bags to people in need. One idea is to keep them in the car in case you come across someone who looks like they could use a Blessing Bag—or maybe you want to drop them off at your house of worship. If your church/masjid/temple distributes food or clothes anyway, they probably won’t mind handing out Blessing Bags as well. Unlike the big cities, Durham’s homeless people are not easy to spot. Every now and then you might notice a tent encampment in the bushes or not too far from the expressway. If you don’t think it’s safe to call out to see if anyone’s around, it’s probably okay to leave a couple of Blessing Bags in the area (even though it might not be as satisfying to wish someone well face to face). If that doesn’t work for you, then feel free to drop them off at a shelter.
There’s a mobile app called ReadyNC, which is both iOs and Android–compatible. This free app can be used to get weather updates, track storms, find shelter, check street and highway conditions, and much more. You can find invaluable information on their website by clicking here. (Clique aquí para español.)
Check out the Durham County Department of Emergency Management’s new AlertDurham app by going to alertdurham.com. You can track the storms and sign up for emergency notifications (you can choose text or email, and you can also set a “do not notify” period for your sleeping hours). You can register your whereabouts, whether you’re in your home or somewhere else; be sure to register your elderly neighbors and family members, too, especially if they live alone.