In Austin, Texas it is difficult to explore East Austin without noticing the prevalence of the homeless population in the area. I have started to frequent that part of town and realized that although the holidays are hard for many of us, that it must be even harder for people without a home.
I decided to make homeless bags filled with snacks and hygiene products to keep in my car. Hopefully, it will prepare and allow me to make someone’s day.
In case you also want to spread some cheer and love this holiday season, in this blog I will go through my process for creating blessings bags for the homeless. I have done research into what homeless people need the most and will have a list of additional items in case you want to go above and beyond.
In 1 large Ziploc bag I included
-1 mini water bottle
-1 mini gatorade
-2 different granola bars
-2 bags of snacks (Variety pack of mini bags of chips, popcorn, pretzels)
-1 sealed chapstick
-1 travel size container of lotion
-1 travel size mouthwash
-1 pack of Kleenex wet wipes
-1 stick of travel deodorant
Total I made 6 bags and the price came to about $8 a bag
I bought all of my supplies at either Target or the Dollar Tree
When choosing what to put in the bag, I tried to choose items that would not require direct access to water (like shampoo/conditioner) to use and that was not perishable (I have read that Jerky, Nuts, and soft granola bars work best. Hard granola bars can be difficult to consume for people with teeth problems.)
But having done more research there are some additional things the homeless are in desperate need of, the following items were compiled from homeless advocacy websites.
Additional things to consider putting in your bags
-Tuna kits *not requiring a can opener
-Single packaged nuts and trail mix
-Hand lotion/ Lip balm
-Socks *Preferably Wool
-Gift Certificate to Fast Food/ Pre-paid bus ticket
-Feminine Products/Pads (In high demand for women on the streets)
-Gloves (Preferably water proof)
-Umbrella or Rain Poncho
Almost all of these items can be found for a dollar or less. You can alter what you put in the bag based off of what is most needed for the season. In winter, socks and hand-warmers could make a huge difference.
This is something I have wanted to do for awhile but I wanted to make sure I put things in the bag that are things that are actually needed in our community.
I did the research so you don’t have to! So let’s make a difference!