Now onto the activity. The kids agreed that in lieu of presents shared with cousins this year they would make homeless packs. This was an activity I have wanted to do with my Bible Study, and it just hasn’t happened. When my sister’s and I were talking about how our kids don’t need any more stuff, and it seems crazy to spend so much money exchanging gifts, this idea was tossed around. As we celebrated Christmas on New Years Day with my family, we decided that each family would bring one or two things to contribute to our packs. The concept is that we don’t like just ignoring the people with the signs on the side of the road. However, we’re not comfortable just handing them money because we are suppose to be good stewards of our money. If you have a heart for the homeless, I would encourage you to volunteer with or donate to a homeless organization. I have also heard people say, “God doesn’t say give if…” The Bible tells us to give and be generous. We should be obedient and let God work out the rest. I have worked with homeless teens, and I do realize that some people are on the street by their own choice. In my experience, we gave the kids all sorts of job and housing opportunities to get off the street. They chose the freedom of no rules and accountability. This is not true for everyone, and I have definitely met individuals that come from some pretty bad circumstances that have led them there. You never know someone’s heart or situation. Therefore, we don’t want to ignore, but we want to offer something…if it’s not a dollar from our purse then there has to be another solution. So, we decided to make up a bag of helpful items for the homeless. We will keep these bags in our car, and as the opportunity presents itself, we have something homemade that took time, thought and care. Perhaps it could be more meaningful than some extra change from your car.
In each bag, we had hand warmers, granola bars, water, a personalized note or picture from the kids and the gospel of Mark with a little book called, “The Real Jesus.” We wanted to do socks too, but Costco was closed on New Years Day, and I wasn’t very prepared. Because of my past experience, I know socks get wet, worn through and are like gold to homeless.
The kids set to work stuffing the bags for the homeless – each kid in an assembly line station.
The final step was to create personalized cards to add to each bag.