Hello, Welcome to

Blessing Bags

Helping People Grow... Overseas... One Bag at a time... #HelpingPeopleGrow Homeleness Those in poverty Faith Based Supported by YOU

Helping People Grow...

Our Humanitarian Fund| Please Help Support Phil and his Efforts in the Middle East $3,456 of $12,000 Goal



Hello and

Welcome to Blessing Bags

Joshua Gabrielson | Director and Founder

The Blessing Bag Program is a 501c3 non-profit that provides bags filled with hygiene and related items to those that are homeless, families living below the poverty level and children that are in need in the Middle East. Our program grows just about every week as we work with churches and other organizations to help pass out our bags to those in need.

What We Do

Homeless

We want to be able to connect with homeless and help succeed with being able to help them each month.

Global Needs

Many Iraq citizens live in poverty and our missionary is on the ground helping by providing bags and support.

Families in Need

We also create and pass out bags for families with kids, living below the poverty line of $15,000 annually, within 24 states.

We Collect Items

We have a collection drive the first of each week and ask our community and corporate leaders to help donate small items in need.

We Collect Donations

We also collect funding both great and small in order to help cover our expenses. Our goal is to eventually 20,000 people annually if possible.

100% Volunteer

Unlike many non-profits, our's IS different. 100% of what is donated stays in the program and everyone is a volunteer that helps.

Just Some of Our Corporate Sponsorships

Become a Corporate Sponsor

In the News

Helping a Local Aid Worker in Iraq


A Little Girl with Kidney Failure Gets Some Help


Phil met a family with a little girl named Hamdya. She had been going to the doctors for some time and they found out that her kidneys have been failing her.

The family asked Phil to see what he could do in order to help Hamdya and so Phil stepped in and started seeking different doctors in the country that would help. Below are some of Phils messages about her condition.


Can't begin to tell you what it does for me to see this Angel smiling again. Doctor said her condition is stable ( kidneys are functioning at 13%) still needs transplant.
She said she didn't have any pain tonight!!!!
Thank you all so much for your prays, please continue.



Phil sent me pictures of her lab results and ultrasound of the abdomen. So it appears that she has severe Hydronephrosis (enlargement of the kidneys due to fluids backing up into them) along with a possible infection.

I was most concerned about her BUN and Creatnine levels, which evaluate the kidneys ability to clear toxins. Both of these levels were very high, which means that her kidneys are not working well at all. She was given a prescription for antibiotics, but I have not heard when she will be able to see the specialist. 


Asking for prayers for Hamdiya again. She was sent home from the Hospital Tuesday evening, the Doctors said there is nothing more they can do for her. She needs a kidney transplant.
This morning my translator called me and said that Hamdiya was unable to stop vomiting and her neighbor took her to the Hospital. 


We are currently at the hospital with her, I was able to contact a kidney Specialist and he is going to come see us at 4:00 today, praying that something can be done to relieve her pain.


Terri Truitt daughter Kristian D'Ana Kazim Truitt was able to contact a politician in Germany that is willing to help us get a medical Visa for Hamdiya. He is coming to our location next week to assess the situation. 


The cost is great but we are trusting God to meet all of our needs.







Your financial donations help girls such as Hamdiya with a better chance of getting the help that they need. 100% of your tax deductible donations goes directly to Phil and his ongoing work that he does there. Please consider giving a gift to help his efforts in Iraq. 

https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/83e65516-54db-4cea-9285-5cb50060af10


Meet Fatin - Woman with Foot Issues

Phil with Fatin (Center) and Donna, another humanitarianin Iraq.

Phil Helps a Woman with a Foot Problem

Recently, Phil met a woman named Fatin, a 21 year old who had a foot problem, the heel of her foot bad become eatan away with rot and diesase.

Just a few months ago her family came to me asking for $10,000 dollars to get her foot cut off. They had been to the best Dr's in Iraq and the best recommendation they could give her was to have the foot amputated.

The infection come from a surgery she had 5 years ago. We ask if we could pray for her and have a little time to figure out what we could do. The family agreed. I posted this on FB and friends begin to pray. Then some friends in N.C and V.A. provided some natural supplements for us to try out.



We were able to take Fatin to a Samaritans purse Dr today. Doctor didn't give us any hope but we are trusting in a higher power. — with Donna
Now after 6 weeks we are seeing a world of difference. Fatin still has a long ways to go but I was beyond encouraged after meeting with her tonight. 

She now has hope and is full of life. (Here in Iraq, woman with disabilities have no hope in life)

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and support in helping this girl and for bringing some hope back into her life. Please continue praying for Fatin's full recovery.
One of the pics was taken when she first come to me.



Little by little we are seeing improvements but we still haven’t been able to diagnose the condition.

Donations that people provide to the program go directly to Phil so that he can help people just like Fatin live a better life than she currently does. It's amazing that just a single $1 (which is 1,900 Dinar there) can make a huge impact in peoples lives there.

Please consider giving a monthly donation to help Phil and for him to be able to help others across the other side of the world.

https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/83e65516-54db-4cea-9285-5cb50060af10


Some of the images may be distubring below.









Blessing Bag Secrets No One Tells You

Secrets to Blessing Bags that No One Tells You

When it comes to creating and handing out Blessing Bags, no one tells you those little secret that can help with your bottom line. Your bottom line, the amount of funding that you spend on making these bags can vary greatly from organization to organization, how often you create them and ultimately what goes inside of them too.

Well, today I want to share with you a few secrets that you can use to help maximize your return on investment and stretch those dollars even further with making your blessing bags.


Buy In Bulk


As you already know, you should buy in bulk when you can. But did you know that when you contact store managers many times they will help discount some items if you ask them?

Give it a try. Head into your local department store and ask to speak with a manager. Explain to them that you are in the process of creating blessing bags and you are looking for generic items to place inside the bags at discounted prices. Ask if they have any overstocked items that you could purchase at a small discount and see if you can take them off their hands.

Many times, stores will have something extra they could part with for a deep discount. Recently, when I was in my local Target store for example, I was able to score a couple of boxes of toothpaste for our program at 80% off.

Amazon Basics

One of the best secrets out there on the market is purchasing Amazon Basics in bulk. I bet you didn't know that Amazon has a complete line of bulk travel items at huge discount prices. They have a product line of travel items that I recommend that you purchase called Eco Amenities.

Their generic brand of travel sized items is a perfect solution when you are looking to acquire at very affordable pricing. Blessing Bags purchases a majority of our items through them and because we purchase so many, we get a deeper discount than even what's listed.

You can get everything from shampoo, soaps, lotions, SPF lotion, conditioner, toothpaste, brushes and much more.


Dollar General Penny Sales

Also, I would recommend that you check out the Dollar General Penny Sales. There is a Facebook group that works with others in providing these great deals and yes they do exist. 

This is how it works. When the good folks at DG stop carrying an item in stock they are supposed to take it off the shelves and return it to the warehouse. Many times they forget to do this within the allotted time-frame and if the stock is on the shelf after the discontinued date, their computer systems mark them down to literally, one penny. 

Here at Blessing Bags, we've only been able to discover one personal account of this, when we were looking for more deodorants for our bags we noticed that local DG stores discontinued a select scent of Speed Stick and we were able to gab about 150 of them for literally a few bucks. Granted, we had to travel to 6 local DG stores to achieve this but we did save quite a lot in the process. 

Work with Other Groups

Making bags is one thing, handing them out to people who need them is another. While your intent is to work with homeless people, you can also work with other demographics in the process as well, senior citizens, veterans, adoption centers, families in dire need are just a handful of other groups in need that you can focus on.

One key ingredient that you should look for is to find other organizations that deal with these demographics and offer your blessing bags to them. Often times it can be difficult to connect with the types of people that you want to have your bags int he first place and usually, some other organization is helping them in other ways. So it's best to connect with organizations that already deal with the people you are seeking. For example, if you have a local food bank that works with families in need, offer to place your bags with them as they will be able to hand out your bags for free and many times faster than you could as well.

Our team here works mostly with churches that have some sort of mission or food bank program. You can find our bags in 24 states across 98 different churches.


If you found our article valuable, please take a moment to help us out by clicking on an advertisement found on the page. It helps put a few cents into our account so we can purchase more items for our bags! Thank you for your support!

Blessing Bag Missionary for 2019


Blessing Bags has Gone Global


Hello friends!

2019 will be our 4th year doing Blessing Bags and I'm happy to announce that we will be supporting our friend Phil all throughout the 2019 year.

Phil is a retired serviceman turned missionary who lives here in the Roanoke Valley and I first met him in early 2016 when I was selling some things from my video production company, Roanoke Video.

Through a Craigslist ad, I first met Phil, learned what he was planning to do and then literally that next week, he went to Iraq to help orphans, families with literally nothing more than homes made of mud and to help those in need.

Over the last couple of years, I've focused all our attention on those here in the United States, our homeless, families in poverty and seniors in need. As Phil would come back for a month or two after being there nearly a year each time, I felt like I wanted to help.

Through the last couple of years, I became more and more impressed with what Phil was doing there and I wanted to help his efforts.

We are still going to collect items to create Blessing Bags and we will continue to collect financial donations. Everything raised will go to Phil, supporting his missionary work while he is living there as well as supporting others within the communities that he visits.

We will also be giving regular updates on our webpage about what Phil is doing, who he is helping and show you where the donations go and what good they are doing.


Please help support Phil by making a monthly, quarterly or annual donation. Everything the program collects now goes directly to Phil and his work. Click this link to make your donation. 


Below are some images of Phil working with children, families and those in poor parts of the country. 








2018 Children's Christmas4Kids



Our 2018 Christmas4Kids program will be starting on November 15th, 2018 until December 20th, 2018. A huge thank you to our corporate sponsors, Growing Up in the Valley Magazine, Bill Meador Insurance, Wisteria Ridge Corporate & Wedding Venue and Promos, Pageant and Pretty Things.

Each year, we help raise funding for a limited amount of children that are part of our program here in South Western Virginia. Last year, we raised over $1,750 to help over 87 kids here in our area.

100% of our Goal this Christmas!!!


Thanks to These Corporate Sponsors this Year: 


FAQS:


How can I apply to have my child or children on the list? 

You can start by filling out the online form if you are a current or former Blessing Bag client. You can find the application here, which can be filled out each October for the current year.



How you determine which kids will be on your list each year? 

Each October, families that use our blessing bags each month must apply to the Christmas4Kids program. In addition to applying, each family must provide pay-stubs and checking account statement proving they are at or below the poverty line. Applications for this year care currently closed. 

Can I put my kids on this years Christmas4Kids program? 

Unfortunately, no, but you can apply next October when we open our enrollment to families that we support. The families that we work with use our blessing bags on a regular basis and those that apply must meet our financial requirements. Additionally, you must be a family that uses our normal Blessing Bags on a regular basis.


Many families that use our Blessing Bag Program have been waiting to get into the Christmas4Kids Program.



Where are these children located? 

Christmas4Kids is local to Southwestern Virginia, home of the Blessing Bag Program. Children live within our DMA, Demographic Marketing Area, also known as the Roanoke-Lynchburg Metro area.

I'm one of the parents of a child from the list, how do I receive my gifts for the kids? 

You should have received your letter in the mail in late October 2018. Inside, you will find instructions on the meeting points for Roanoke, Lynchburg, Franklin County, Floyd County and the New River Valley. if you need further help, contact us and please include your BBPID number.

I just made a donation to Christmas4Kids online, is it tax deductible? 


Yes! Since Christmas4Kids is part of our non-profits mission, anything that you give, in the form of cash donations, checks or online giving is 100% tax deductible. If giving online, you will receive an email receipt, please notify us of the donation you made and whom you want it to go to, otherwise it will go into our general fund. If giving cash in person or mailing a check, we will generate one and email it to you so please include your email address.

What is your non-profit registered as? 

We are an IRS approved 501c3 public charity.  Our EIN is 82-2171108. You are able to write off your donations 100% during tax time if you so choose.















Blessing Bags to Wilmington and Myrtle Beach



Blessing Bags sent more than 400 Emergency Blessing Bags to the areas of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach Sunday, September 16th.

Thanks to you and your donations, we're able to help local citizens without power, running water and those in the wake of the flood damaged areas.  We took out $500 from our general fund to help create and pass out these bags and we hope that we were able to make a difference among those effected.





Hurricane Florence Prepareness



Seeking Donation Items ahead of Hurricane Florence 

Blessing Bags, the nations blessing bag program, is seeking item donations ahead of the hurricane that will impact the mid-Atlantic region as well as North and South Carolina. 

Based in Roanoke, VA, our 501c3 is preparing to send 700+ Blessing Bags to the areas hit the worst and we are seeking item donations that you can drop off at our corporate sponsor, Proms, Pageants & Pretty Things in Roanoke, Virginia. You can also ship your items to us, just email us to get that process started. 

Items that you can donate include travel sized, sometimes refereed to at hotel sized items such as:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash 
  • Dental Floss
  • Hand Lotion 
  • Lip Baum
  • SPF Sunblock
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Aspirin or equivalent
  • Vitamins
  • Travel soap
  • Travel shampoo/conditioner  
  • Deodorant
  • Eye drops
  • Disposable razor
  • Shaving Cream
  • Comb or hairbrush
  • Q-tips 
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream

Depending on where the heaviest damaged areas are, we will be heading into that area with our bags to be able to hand them out as needed to people that need them the most. 

We will be bringing you updates after the storm on where our bags wind up as well as volunteer help

You can also make a cash donation which is tax deductible by clicking the donate button below.  


Vacation Bible School Children Make Blessing Bags



Kids from a local Vacation Bible School program helped make several hundred Blessing Bags filled with items for those in need! The kids made bracelets, added candy and other items within each of the nearly 300 bags that they put together for us during vacation bible school week!

These bags will be passed out within the Southwestern Virginia region in the fall when our stock becomes somewhat low during that time of year.

The church also donated to us financially and helped us with delivering these bags to us.

We want to thank Rocky Mount Baptist Church for helping our such a great cause!









testimonial

We have had alot of people come by and they love the bags with tuna or snacks - they say its the only thing they have other than our food for them said to thank you so much for all you do!

Cindi Gibbons

Lumberton | North Carolina

Your bags have helepd saved us here in SE [South East]. As a mother of three, we havent been able to afford even the basics and your bags help get us through the month. Thank YOU guys for what you do.

Teresa Jonston

Roanoke | Virginia

As a single mother of 3 and struggling to find full time work here in the Charlotte NC area, I found your business card by chance when visiting a local church in the area. I reached out to you guys and you send us 4 of your blessing bags. Wow, what a God send. The kids needed new toothbrushes and we needed the basics such as the shampoo and soap that were in the bags too. Because of your program, you’re helping us here in small ways that truly mean the world.

Kathline West

Charlotte | North Carolina

I not only give when I can, I see the results for myself on the side of the streets. I've seen people from the [Rescue] Mission walk around with your bags. While many try to get back into the community, your bags seem to help them, espically when it comes to a job interview!

Sallie Commons

Richmond | Virginia

Blessing Bag Program
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1|540|798|0719
Roanoke | Virginia

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