By Kyrie Collins and Becky Samford, MK publishers January 22, 2024
Cold weather has arrived in Atlanta! But for some people, this is not good news. Cold weather can be miserable for those who are homeless. My heart aches for people standing on the side of the street holding a sign asking for help, especially during the bitter-cold winter months. For some, a warm pair of socks can be the best present they have ever received.

As a mom, I am always looking for ways to involve my family in community service, but many of the volunteer opportunities in our area are for teens and adults rather than families. Each winter, my family spends an afternoon creating dozens of Blessing Bags. We usually invite some friends to join us. I keep a few of the bags in my car all the time to share with homeless people I encounter during my normal weekly shopping trips and errands.  

Here are some of the things we will try to include:
  • Shampoo, lotion, and soap (we have tons of these from previous travels and Walmart sells travel sizes)
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste (check with your dentist for extras)
  • Lip balm and deodorant (watch for sales, or pick up a few from the trial-size section)
  • Hand warmers (wholesale club stores sells them in bulk this time of year)
  • Warm socks, gloves, caps or scarves (can be purchased at thrift stores for cheap)
  • Protein bars (buy in bulk)
  • Individual size instant oatmeal or soup and plastic spoons (buy in bulk; many places will give them a free cup of hot water.)
  • Bottles of water (buy in bulk
  • A list of shelters, warming stations and soup kitchens in our local area.
  • A small New Testament
This is a really simple project in which even toddlers can participate by placing an item in a zippered bag. By involving the whole family, we get to spend an afternoon with people we love, feeling grateful for what we have. And hopefully, the recipient of each bag is comforted by the fact that some people cared enough to share their blessings. 

Please consider keeping a few Blessing Bags in your car to give to the homeless also.

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