I have a soft spot in my heart for homeless people, and I think homeless care bags are an amazing and easy way to impact people’s lives while teaching children about service and generosity.
Loving the Homeless
Whenever I see a homeless person on the corner, it makes me realize that whatever I’m rushing to or worrying about pales in comparison to a day in that person’s life. I also often think of the Matthew 25:40, where Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” That scripture has always pressed on my heart more than most others.
I like to have something I can hand to a homeless person to help their day, and I always keep a few non-perishable snacks in my car console just for this purpose. When caught with an empty console in the past, I may have even given away kid granola bars from my diaper bag. Not sure how appreciated that was, so I try to stay prepared – ha!
Making Homeless Care Bags
I keep my care bags small and simple so I can easily store a couple in my car at a time. My current care bags include a few items – wet wipes (from Dollar Tree), peanut butter crackers, and trail mix. Because the bags sit in my car through hot Houston weather until I see someone to hand it to, I want to be sure that nothing will melt (no chocolate, lip balm, etc.)
A resealable sandwich bag keeps it all together. Have your kids help you choose the items and/or stuff the bags.
And here are the bags ready to go in my car’s center console! [You should know that I cleaned out the console just for this photo, so it wasn’t quite this organized earlier today!] I hope that having our children watch us hand these bags to homeless people with a smile makes a lasting impact on their hearts and minds.
More Homeless Care Bag Ideas
Here are some other great ideas to include in a homeless care bag. I may be up-sizing my bags in the future to include more of these items!
- Canned fruits and vegetables with an easy-open tab top (plastic utensils are great for this too!)
- Bottled water
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Packets of pain relievers (like Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
- Gift card for grocery store or restaurant
If including hand sanitizer, soap, mouthwash, or other liquid / scented hygiene items, package it in a separate resealable bag to avoid the food smelling like the hygiene products.
I’d love to see what you hand out to help the homeless or the bags you create! Please share your photos and ideas!