Thursday, July 29, 2010

Helping Bags

Good afternoon everyone!  I hope your week is going well.

I don't know what it's like where you live, but where we live it's not uncommon to see people begging on corners with their cardboard signs and for people to come up to you in parking lots asking for change.  I was shocked by this when we first moved here, but now we've become accustomed to it.  It's kinda sad.  Sad in the fact that we're use to seeing it.  We always keep extra bottles of water and granola bars in the car.  And we rarely give money.  We give things.  I could tell you tale after tale of heart-warming helping stories and heart-breaking stories of people obviously lying.  If someone refuses to have us pay for their child's prescription and just wants the cash to pay for it themselves....I don't believe their story.  So we give things.  Fill up gas tanks, give gallons of milk, a loaf of bread, and those bottles of water. 

We're very blessed to have what we have and want our children to think of others and give heart-warmingly to those in need. 

The other day we made "Helping Bags" or as Chewy told her Daddy when he got home from work, "We stuffed bags with suckers for people who don't have anything."  Yep...the kids insisted on putting lollipops in the Helping Bags, because a lollipop always makes them happy. 

First we collected things from around the house to put in paper bags.  We had our usual bottles of water and granola bars.  We also added fruit strips, lollipops, hand wipes, and a quarter (just in case there's a pay phone.)  I'm also thinking of adding the addresses and numbers of local shelters. 

The kids decorated the bags.  They were pretty quick at it because they just wanted to stuff the bags full.

After the quick markering of the bags, they stuffed.  And stuffed.  And stuffed. 

It's not a lot, but it's something. 
Then we closed the bags shut with a little message.

Then we put the bags in a location where the kids can hand them to me if we happen to meet someone on a corner that we go by.  Or if someone comes up to us in a parking lot, we can give them a bag. 

I'm sure we'll use the bags.  We just gave someone a water bottle and a granola bar when we were last at the grocery store.  They were very happy to have the water on a hot day.  We also offered to give someone a ride home the last time we were at REI and this person was asking for money to get a taxi home.  They refused....Biker Boy had a feeling they would...they just wanted the cash.  And probably not for a taxi.  Sad.

Heart-warming and Heart-breaking.  I hope there's more heart-warming in your future.  I know I want that in my kids' future.

What things have you done lately to help others?  How do you teach and show kids to think of others?  How can kids help the homeless or those who are in need?

Feel free to check out these other sites:
How to Make a Hospitality Bag to Help The Homeless at eHow.
Hand Out Snack Bags to the Homeless at Thrifty Fun.
Help Your Kids Help the Homeless from MomSense at Christianity Today.
Help the Homeless Splash page for kids from HUD.

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