Family Faith Formation Resource:
Growing our compassion with Blessing Bags
I'm sure you've passed numerous folks standing at intersections with signs asking for help, or trudging through snow banks to get to a bus station buried in snow. We pass so many of them that sometimes we become desensitized to the overwhelming issue of housing insecurity in our city. This week I encourage you to lead your children in taking a compassionate posture toward these individuals by discussing how it must feel to be out in the cold without a place to go home to. And then put together a "Blessing Bag" to keep in your car so that the next time you can safely hand it to one of our neighbors on the street, you can move that compassion into action.
What to put in a blessing bag?
I like to use a drawstring backpack because they are versatile, reusable and easy to carry. Then inside the bag I put things like: socks, gloves, hand and foot warmers (hot hands), emergency foil blanket, plastic poncho, hygiene supplies, chapstick, lotion, protein bars, water bottle, single- use packets of laundry detergent, etc. You can also consider putting these items inside Ziploc bags, which can help protect their items from getting wet.
Handing out blessing bags with your children won't change the housing crisis, but it will help train you and your children to respond with compassion and see the world through an empathetic lens. And the items inside might help a person find some temporary relief or meet a need–like the ability to change into dry socks or wash a load of laundry.