Almsgiving is one of the traditional Lenten practices. One way to give to the less fortunate is to make blessing bags for the homeless. These care packages can be given to a local homeless shelter or outreach program to be distributed to their clients.
You can also keep blessing bags in your car. If you encounter a homeless person, you are ready to give them package of practical items which help them in their daily life and also send the message that we do care about them.
Items can be packaged in ziploc bags or drawstring bags. Which items are best for a blessing bag? Here are some suggestions for your care package:
Individually wrapped non perishable food items:
- granola bars
- breakfast bars
- peanut butter crackers
- packages of trail mix
- bottled water
- individual sized packages of mixed nuts
- protein bars
- hard candy
- dried fruits
Hygiene and personal care items:
- hand lotion
- lip balm
- hand sanitizer
- insect repellent
It is also nice to include a note of encouragement, to let the recipient know that they are valued. A scripture verse is appropriate, but so is a drawing.
Another suggestion is to include a list of local support services, soup kitchens, and shelters.