When the holidays dawn on the horizon, my heart gets warm and toasty even as the temperature dips. It gets hard for me to concentrate on traditional school lessons because I want to be doing… something… anything… holiday-oriented.
So, over the next several weeks, I will be detailing our projects and lessons but they will not be our usual workbox lessons. Those can wait until after the New Year.
One of the topics that stays close to the surface of my brain during this season is all the ways God has blessed our family. As I meditate on His goodness, I want to share that with others. I also want our children to learn to be givers and doers, changers of their world. I want them to do as instructed in Galatians 5:13 and to “…serve one another in love.”
Our first project will be to make Homeless Blessing Bags. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a gallon-sized, zip top bag is filled with personal toiletries and snacks. The bags can be distributed to a homeless community (with adult supervision, please), donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter, or given to the homeless people you pass on the street.
Here are some of the items that work well in a blessing bag:
- granola bars
- cereal bars
- snack crackers/cheese
- peanut butter
- beef jerky
- applesauce cup
- fruit cups
- Capri suns/juice boxes
- trail mix
- hard candy
- bottled water
- hot cocoa mix
- pop-top meat or sausages
- hand sanitizer
- baby wipes
- wash cloth
- hand towel
- nail clippers
- sun screen
- foot powder
- flip flops (depending on the region)
- gloves (depending on the region)
- travel-sized tissues
We plan on giving most of our bags to the Community Missions ministry of our church but will keep some in the car. If we spot someone who might have a need, I plan to ask, “Excuse me, but do you know someone who might be able to use this?” It gives them the opportunity to decline or accept while giving me an escape hatch if I have made a mistake and the person is not homeless.
In some cases, a homeless person might ask you for something you that you do not want to give. In that case, you can politely reply, “I’m sorry but this is all I have to offer today.” Always be confident and firm.
Slightly off-topic: I never give money to someone oin the street. I might give them a gift card to a restaurant but I will not give them money.
I am trying to think up other projects for us to do in December so please share your ideas. Your comments make my day!
What service projects are you planning with your children?
You might want to see the update to this post, Giving to the Homeless.