I’ve shared with you in the past how my family has a tradition of creating care packages for our community on Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition that has become a cherished part of our family’s Thanksgiving day activities. Many years we create care packages for the homeless just like this homeless gift bag. Creating these gift bags is a special way to express our thankfulness by paying it forward.
Our Thanksgiving day starts with getting the turkey ready and into the oven. Then there’s a 3-4 hour lull until the final busy hour before the meal is served. It’s during that lull that we take about an hour to put together our care kits. When the kids were younger we set up stations with each item and had the kids “trick or treat” and fill each kit up. It’s a great time for us to talk about caring for others in our community and to talk about what each of us are grateful for. It’s such a warm, wonderful family time together and we’re able to care for others in our community at the same time.
Act of Kindness Homeless Gift Bag
For this act of kindness homeless care bag we started with a string backpack. I try to gather small backpacks and tote bags to hold the gift bag contents. This way the recipient also receives a new bag to hold their belongings.
Then we added individually packaged snacks. I try to focus on filling snacks and look for ones that include some protein. Individually wrapped snacks are important since often the recipients don’t always have a way to keep opened packages of food.
We also added some personal care items. Items we’ve included in our care kits are: soap, a razor, shaving cream, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, individually packaged wipes and a comb. Since often the recipients are mobile and carrying their belonging with them, smaller sized items are more practical than larger sized ones.
Since it’s winter time and life on the streets is tough on your health, we often add some hard candy or cough drops. I don’t want to supply other medication because I don’t know the recipient’s health condition and don’t want to inadvertently harm them. But hard candy and tissues are helpful items.
I ask you to join me this year in taking time on Thanksgiving to create your own act of kindness homeless gift bag with your family. Helping others in your community is a wonderful way to express your gratefulness during the season of Thanksgiving.
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