Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blessing Bags

I spend a lot of my time on Pintrest.


However there are many wonderful "blessings" that come from such devotion to this wonderful world of pins.   At KWAV's (Kids with a Vision) blog Ali B. posted her idea for "Blessing Bags".

Have you ever been at a gas station just minding your own business when a stranger walks up to you asking for some change? Have you ever lied and told them you didn't have any change because you were afraid they would spend that money that you worked hard for and then graciously give away, to buy alcohol or cigarettes? Have you ever told the truth that you didn't have change but truly wished you could help them? Have you ever just been so full of love that you wish you could help anyone you crossed paths with that seemed to need a little pick me up?

I have......

SO when I ran into her blog via pintrest I was more than thrilled to be introduced to the loving blessing bags, because everyone in this world needs just a little something to brighten their day.

I was so excited to do these, I just needed to DO IT!

When I went shopping a few weeks ago I had the full intention of buying things for others. I went to the dollar store and loaded up my cart with TONS of items, being giddy the whole time. When I was ready to check out I let others with only a few things go in front of me. One of the girls I had a nice conversation with. She asked me questions and told me stories of her own: are you doing these through an organization of some sort? That's cool. When I lived XYZ my family did something like this. I think it's really awesome that you're doing this. I told her that I wasn't doing it through and organization I was just doing it because I wanted to because I love people and want to help them out. There were a few other people behind me that seemed a little grumpy and I couldn't blame them. It was a dollar store for cryin' out loud and here was this crazy lady with a cart full of stuff while they held one or two things. It made me realize that I shouldn't judge others on the amount of things they have in their carts because it might not even be for them and I need to be more patient also. When it was my turn I told the cashier that it might be awhile and that I had separate transactions (I was also buying things to do birthday bouquets  which I will do in a latter post- for a friend and the little boy I babysit.) She was super patient and bubbly and I was SO grateful. We also began talking and I explained to her that everything I was buying wasn't for me. I told her it was for some birthdays and the majority of it was for helping with the needs of others. Taking care of the basics for a few days. I thought she was going to cry. She thought that that was the coolest thing she had ever heard and she was even more caring while checking out my items. I was so blessed to have such a wonderful cashier! I walked out of that dollar store feeling like a million bucks and little did I know that my first opportunity would arise that very same day! I continued my grocery shopping, ending the long day at Wal-Mart. Soon it was time for me to go and pick up my sweet husband after his classes and there was a older women outside on the corner of the street with a sign saying something along the lines of "Any Help Appreciated". I thought about my unorganized blessing bags and felt that I needed to give one to her. "But I don't have it put together." "She needs one." "But I'm so tired from the day of shopping." "Why did you buy these things? To help." I pulled off on the side of the road after having driven past her and through together a Blessing Bag as quickly as I could. I then drove back to her pulled aside again to not cause an accident or anything and then I ran towards her feeling like a super hero. I was so full of love for this woman I never met that I had to give her a hug. I handed her the bag and asked for her permission to hug her. She didn't really respond, she just kept saying thank-you. I hugged her and told her I hoped it would help. Then I walked back to the car and got  in. On my way to pick up my husband I sobbed the whole way. I felt so much love surrounding me and I knew in that moment that I had done what my Father in Heaven wanted me to do. Even if it meant nothing to her, it meant a great deal for me. I got home and for awhile the bags of things just sat there and I knew from the moment I wanted to make them that I was going to do a blog post on my own blessing bags, I just haven't yet, I wanted my husband to help, <enter lame excuses here>. Finally I just took an hour or so and put them together and I LOVE the way they turned out! No more awkwardness, no more obligation; just lots and lots of LOVE. After I finished the bags I still didn't write the blog post, no excuse, I just didn't. And now I AM! YAY! I have already had three people come into my apartment and see and question the blessing bags. They loved them so much that they wanted all the details! So here you are! Dedicated to my good friend Liesl, my grandma Jones, and my grandma Gunnel! May you have as much fun as I did making these!
Blessing Bags:
*Note* I loved one of the comments on Ali B's Blog that said to think of food items that are soft. A lot of these people have little, rotting, or no teeth!
-Band-aids (I did band-aids that were weather proof and some that had antibiotic already on it)
-Cough drops
-Trail Mix
-Vienna Sausages
-Apple Sauce
-Toothbrush with cap
-Travel Toothpaste
-Soft Breakfast bars
-Chap-stick with SPF in it
-Expandable Washcloth
-Dried Apricots 
-Deodorant ( I did arm-n-hammer for the guys and Secret for the ladies)
-Lotion ( I did an unscented for the guys and a coco butter for the ladies) 
-Travel Tissues
-Water Bottle
-Breath Drops (or travel sized mouth wash and/or mints)
-Plastic Spoon
-To Go Wipes
-Light Pads (For the Ladies.) 
-A Plastic Sandwich bag (For their trash or dirty pads, etc.) 
-A bag to put them all in! ( I just did grocery bags! Or you could do gallon zip up bags)

Blessing Bags all wrapped up:
Since I put them all in grocery bags and I did some for guys and others for ladies I had the thought to tie the bags with pink or blue ribbon so I'd know which are which. Each bag came out to about $10 bucks for me (maybe a little bit more for the band-aids, toothpaste, and wipes that I didn't find at the dollar store) I also wrote a note of encouragement and the local food banks and shelter in case they needed more long term help and didn't know where to look because they were stranded from some other city or state or just because they didn't know.

Note of encouragement:
"Hello! We couldn't help but notice that you could use a little "pick-me-up". Inside are all the things we thought you could need or use such as food, water, and sanitary supplies. You ARE being looked out for and you're not alone. You are a child of God and he loves you. Don't get discouraged! Do not lose hope. Remember "you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem  and smarter than you think"-Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh. Have A Wonderful Day!"
Then underneath the message is the name of the food center, their address, and their phone number in case they have change or you wish to provide enough for a call in the bags. 

Have fun blessing and being blessed!