Give Help WITHOUT Giving Money

My week was incredibly impacted by an incident last week. A woman scammed me out of $5 and I was mad. Today, I wish I could thank her.

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Since this incident occurred, I made it my goal to find positive ways to help those in need {specifically, the homeless} without giving money. I wanted to figure out a way to help where I wouldn’t question HOW they were spending the money I just gave them.

Are they buying drugs? Did they go straight to a bar? Am I being taken advantage of?

After talking with some friends who have much more experience in this area than I do, I determined that Blessing Bags were the best option for me and my family. We made these today and I wanted to break down the costs for you and hopefully encourage you to consider doing something similar.

Thank you Dollar Tree for providing essential items that allowed me to complete five Blessing Bags for less than $7.50 each. For a total of $37.25, I purchased the following:

  • 5 – Wool & Fleece hats
  • 5 – Pairs of Wool Work Socks {Active Socks came in a 2-pack, but seemed thin for this purpose.}
  • 1 – 6 Pack of Water
  • 5 – Arm & Hammer Deodorants
  • 2 – 3 Packs Dial Bar Soap
  • 2 – 3 Pack Toothbrushes & Travel Carriers {Travel carriers a bonus! Fewer germs spread = less sickness.}
  • 5 – Crest Toothpastes
  • 1 – 12 Pack of Combs
  • 2 – 3 Pack of Hand Sanitizer
  • 1 – 8 Pack of Tissues
  • 1 – 25 Pack of Cough Drops
  • 2 – 4 Packs of Gum
  • 2 – 5 Pack Boxes of Granola Bars {2 flavors}
  • 1 – 14 Pack of Gallon-sized Freezer Bags

 items2

Once home, we divided them out to where there were five (5) of each item. In addition to the items above, I took some index cards and wrote shelter information on them to include in the Blessing Bag, placing Isaiah 41:10 on the back.

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After sorting all the items, I set up a step-by-step post at our dining room table and create an assembly line for the kids. Using our Whittle World people and road signs, I placed index cards with Homeless Q & A so that we could have a meaningful conversation about WHY we were creating these Blessing Bags. WHO is affected by homeless and HOW can we help?

items sign

Mind you, my minions are 2, 4, and 6… but they got it! They understood what you don’t have access to when you don’t have a house – no kitchen to cook in; no bathroom to bathe in; no bedroom to sleep in. Their solutions were more along the lines of building houses in the woods out of sticks and hunting for food; and I appreciate the fact that they were honestly thinking of solid solutions. This gave us a great opportunity to talk about charity and also how blessed we are to have the things we have.

assembly-line

Each kid then went up to their piggy banks and got four quarters out to give. This was something we talked about and they could choose if they wanted to do this. They did. In fact, they each wanted to give more! This opened an opportunity to talk about responsibility with money and how we can’t guarantee that everyone will be, so Mommy limited them.

helper2 helper

In total, each bag cost our family $8.45.

These five bags are in a large gift bag so that we are prepared for when we see someone holding a sign at an intersection.

full-bag bag-back

Looking back, I was so angry at that woman who saw me as a naive person who she knew she could take advantage of. Now, I truly want to thank her. She taught me a lesson, one that will hopefully benefit those who are in true need.

Have a blessed day!
Andrea-sig

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2 thoughts on “Give Help WITHOUT Giving Money

  1. Pingback: I Choose to Help in Spite of Liars & Cheats | Fun & Frugal Mama

  2. Pingback: Teaching Mercy to Kids | Fun & Frugal Mama

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