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Blessing Bags

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

Saturday, July 22

Should You Care?

Most Americans don't really give it much thought, people in need that is. Many people see homeless as they venture off to work, pass by a senior citizen in need each day or see the children head into local schools as they start their day. Those and many more are ALL in need of some form of help.

Should You Care About Others? 

The simple answer is yes, you should care about those around you that REALLY need help.

Our program is able to take your donations and put them to valued products that are literally taken for granted each and everyday. Something as simple as a .99¢ toothbrush, perhaps deodorant, or a pair of new socks can make a world of difference for someone. 

According to a report at the new organization Reuters, there are approximately 3.5 million people in the United States that are homeless in 2015, with roughly 25% of those homeless being children. Now that's just their estimate, there is more like 6.4 million homeless according to a 2016 HUD report as Reuters is limited in the survey they put out. 

Now that number doesn't include those that live in their parents basement, sleep on their friends couch and the like, these are genuinely homeless people.

Can you believe that? Half a million right here in America, home of the free, have no place to live. And people say we need to help those overseas; don't get me wrong, I'm ALL for helping people, but can we help our own neighbors first, before we push billions in aid to other countries? 

What If...

Take a minute and think about your expenses each month, your rent or mortgage, power bill, credit cards, car payments, your entertainment budget, eating out, stuff you spend each month like coffee, fast food, movies, etc. 

If you took $10 a month out of your budget, that $10 would purchase 10 items for a homeless person. Each month, they would get 10 things to help them along the way. 

Why should you even want to give in the first place? 

Well, besides it being a biblical responsibility (which I wont get into because this is not a religious thing, yes I'm religious) it's a rightful and moral thing to do. 

If you saw your neighbor fall outside and they couldn't get up, would you go to their aid to help? What if they were your family, what about then? 

What if you saw someone stuck in a car and it started fire, would you try to get them out or drive past them? 

What if YOU were that person, would you want someone to help you? 

If 100 people donated $10 a month, that $1,000 would give roughly 250 blessing bags.

Meet Samantha

I recently met Samantha while working the streets and hanging out blessing bags to people. She, like many of the other homeless, got there by hard time, losing her job at a textile factory in a nearby Danville, VA. 

Samantha came to Roanoke, where the Blessing Bag Program is headquartered, and was at the local Rescue Mission, a facility to help homeless, those down on their luck and the needy here in the area. Like many shelters across the United States, they offer a hot meal, a place to sleep at night and assistance to get back on their feet through various programs they offer.

Sam, as she likes to be called is a mother of 1 and shes trying to get back on her feet. The blessing bag program helps her with some of the basics that she otherwise wouldn't get, a razor, some tampons, tooth brush and toothpaste, some lotion and a few other items that she could use.

After meeting with her and keeping tabs on her whereabouts, after 3 months of giving her blessing bags, she was able to get a new job working here in the area, she was able to save up and get a small one bedroom apartment and life for her is starting to slowly get back on track. 

While our program didn't save her life and it didn't get her our of the situation she was in, it did however help her along the way. It showed her that someone cared enough to get her a few things that helped get her through the month. 

And you see that's the point, what we do is about helping others in our community

How People Become Homeless

Homelessness is, in fact, caused by any number of life occurrences such as the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for a large portion of the homeless.

Many factors push people into living on the street. Acknowledging these can help facilitate the end of homelessness in America.

For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, an "everyday" life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. A broken down vehicle, a lack of vehicle insurance, or even unpaid tickets might be just enough to render someone homeless.

Divorce costs and the associated lowering of a family's total income can cause one or more family members to become homeless. For families that can hardly pay their bills, a serious illness or disabling accident may deplete their funds and push them out onto the street.

Today, the rapid, unexpected loss of jobs and resultant foreclosures has caused great dislocation among families and has dramatically added to the number of people without a roof over their heads.

Natural disasters often cause current housing situations to become untenable and costly repairs are often simply not possible. The results of Hurricane Katrina stand in bleak testimony to the power of nature to displace people.

The great challenge for the newly homeless is to figure out how to return to their normal lives.

Organizations that build emergency shelters and transitional housing typically work with a larger number of service providers around the country whose mission is to provide the services, such as job training, social skills training, and financial training, that enable these people to regain employment and return to mainstream lives.

The progression for these recently homeless is to first be housed in transitional residences where they can learn these skills, to graduate to assisted living in affordable housing while they build up economic reserves and rebuild their employment resume, and then to graduate to full, market rate housing.


Is the director of the Blessing Bag Program which started in 2016. From personally funding the program to becoming a small non-profit, Joshua not only oversee's the making of the bags ,but works with others in the community to make sure they get into the hands of the homeless and needy. Joshua runs the program in his spare time when not working fulltime.

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