As the weather gets colder and you see more homeless folks outside holding “please help” signs, you may want to respond by directly giving them a few basic necessities.
We were recently asked what items should be included in a “blessing bag.” I took this question directly to the homeless and ex-homeless people that Speak Up works with. Here is their list of things that they say would help them if they were still on the streets:
- Foot Powder (small container)
- Refillable Water bottle
- 16 oz water bottle(s)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Non-perishable snacks like crackers and nuts
- Hand sanitizer
ALSO CONSIDER INCLUDING
- Nail clippers
- Small Bible
- Comb or Brush
- Soap, wash cloth
- Toilet paper
Another option is mouthwash — but make sure it is a kind that doesn’t contain alcohol.
Once you’ve assembled some of these things (the local dollar store is a great place to find them), then put them in a sturdy plastic bag and give the bag to someone facing homelessness. I also suggest adding a handwritten note with a word of encouragement or hope.
If you want to add a little extra, consider a Walmart Gift card. Walmart has a special “restricted” card that can’t be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco, which we recommend.
(If in the Charlotte area, please include a slip of paper with Speak Up’s address and the encouragement for them to come by “Thursdays at 2PM” for the training and writing workshop.)
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