Birthday Bags for Homeless

We had a great activity today for my ward.   It was a valentines date night which would normally make me sick inside but it was combined with an awesome service project so that made it more palatable to a single person like me.  We collected donations for little presents or bags that the local homeless shelters could give to residents on their birthday.  These included bags for men, women, teens and children.

bags

I was a little nervous that we wouldn’t get much stuff or that we’d get lots of the same kind of stuff.  I could just see 20 people bringing toothbrushes or only having enough for 2 bags.  Fortunately none of that happened in fact we filled up at least 50 bags for all sexes and ages and then had enough to fill up at least double that number.  It was so cool!

women getting bags ready bags2

The nice thing is I actually felt like we were helping people, not just going through the motions.  It seemed like everyone was pushing themselves and giving as much as they could.  I remember a few years ago at a ward sub-4-santa I left feeling depressed.  It seemed to me we were giving the family a bunch of junk and I felt a nagging sense of regret at an opportunity lost when more could have been done.  Not so this time.  I was blown away at everybody’s generosity and creativity.

Even the idea for the bags was creative.  It was the idea of a woman in the ward who was speaking with her neighbor Tammi  who is completely awesome leader in our community.  A few years ago she moved to Draper and decided she wanted to contribute.  She didn’t have much money but figured she could make peanut butter sandwiches, which she did. After bagging them up she took them to give out to the homeless.  Since then she’s become more involved with area needy.  Isn’t that cool!

Well, they were talking and the idea for a birthday bag was developed.  Nobody had done it at these shelters before so it was uncharted ground and we really had no idea how it would all turn out.  However, it certainly exceeded my expectations.  What a neat opportunity to serve.

I’m so worn out and tired from this week but I can’t sleep.  Sigh…I need a break!

Oh well, at least I had an opportunity to serve.  I’m glad of that.

7 thoughts on “Birthday Bags for Homeless

  1. That is an awesome idea. My family yearly goes and volunteers at the homeless shelter and we have often been told that the major donations are at Christmas and then the rest of the year is really sparse. What a great thing to do on a day that celebrates love

  2. Would love to know what type of things were in the bags so that we can do that here in Myrtle Beach at the homeless shelters.

    1. We had them organized by sex and age group so the items depended on that. For kids there were toys and a treat, adults more like toiletries and socks. I cant remember everything but it was a great project

  3. Another Idea is to create Birthday bags that include cake mix, Frosting, candles, wrapping paper, bow, etc. maybe a small gift item. You could include all in gift bag. Give them to Pantries to give out to low income clients, when requested. Sometimes low income parents want to put together a birthday celebration for their child etc and have no money to do this.

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