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Blessing Bags

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

We ARE Making a Difference!

Hi friends!

Wow what a wonderful 2017 year we've had! Blessing Bags has been through so much and honestly I thought that I would have stopped creating and handing out bags back in the spring, but turning to the community and being showered with love, support, items as well as donations, the program has continued and a LOT of changes have taken place.

Today, I want to give you a quick re-cap of just a few of the things that we have done here in the Roanoke Valley and beyond!

We Became a 501(c)3

The BIGGEST thing that happened this year, our little tiny program became a IRS approved non-profit. We received our IRS 501c3 letter back in October and that has led to a world of opportunity for Blessing Bags.

We're able to give tax deductible receipts to those that give $50 or more worth of items or monetary
donations. We're also listed in GuideStar, which is an organization watchdog group if you will, that connects with places like Amazon Smile and Facebook to proud that we're legit.

The most awesome thing is that we're now able to work on getting grants from various foundations. Sure, theirs LOT's of paperwork but it gives us a fighting chance to raise some funds.

We raised over $2,500 This Year!

From May of this year we had both a Go Fund Me campaign as well as a bingo night which raised nearly $2,500 from the community. In 2016 and part of 2017 I was funding this venture myself to the tune of about $5,000.

Sure, the amounts are small potatoes compared to much larger non-profits, but the show of community support has been so amazing and I'm genuinely blessed YOU, the community has helped with keeping the program alive here in South Western Virginia.

Every penny raised this year has gone to the creation of these bags, which I'm happy to announce that we've made 1,200+ bags this year.

We Helped with Puerto Rico

One of the goals this year was to try and help with people in Puerto Rico and you came through! We
raised a little over $600 to create 427 bags and to cover the nearly $237 shipping to the island there.

That's 427 bags that will be passed out to people that haven't had power, water and other basics in weeks! We shipped out the bags on November 27th and they arrived in December and were passed out just before Christmas!

You Helped Rosie!

We decided to help Rosie, a homeless lady in dire need here in Roanoke. Working with The Least of These, apart of the Belmont Church here in Roanoke, we found out that she was extremely sick, she had pneumonia and no place to stay. Through a special Go Fund Me we created, we were able to raise just over $850 (minus those stupid fees) and help cover some housing, medical expenses and anything else that she needed while recovering.

At last word, she, Rosie, went to North Carolina and has been making a full recovery!



Christmas4Kids Program

During our second annual Christmas4Kids program, we helped 63 kids get a Christmas this year. While it wasn't 100%, it was by far the most impressive program that we've had to date, raising nearly $1,400 and we had several donations to cover the remaining kids on the list too.



You Helped Locally!

We helped more than 350 families in need this year and several homeless. We created 1200+ (give or take a few) bags this year and we gave out lots of supplies to those that needed it!

You helped us also by donating items that otherwise we'd have to purchase and through your support, MANY PEOPLE here in Roanoke have been able to take better care of themselves because of YOU!

That's MORE than I had ever thought I'd be able to help this year and we are hoping to greatly
expand in 2018 because we've outgrown our own need here. We actually have a small waiting list of people that are hoping to get a bag right after Christmas.

We're Working with Other Organizations

We're also working with a few other organizations here in the Roanoke Valley in distributing out our bags. This greatly helps us spend more time creating them when we can and several friends and family have helped create them when we set them up each month.

We're working with the following organizations:


  • New Lifescape Ministry
  • Helping Southeast East
  • ARCH
  • Lynchburg Health Services
  • God's Pit Crew

We're also taking single bags to those that ask for it online. Mostly friends and family of people they know that need a bag, you can make your request here.

We're READY to GROW with YOUR Help!

I have bigger plans for the Blessing Bag Program in 2018! I'm hoping to raise $13,000 this year, to double our bag production, find a small place to operate (other than my basement) and try to purchase a used vehicle for the program so we can make deliveries and not use my personal car.

Sure, these are big goals, but I'm hopeful with your continued community support, grants, financial support from area churches and corporate sponsors, we will be able to achieve this goal!

To learn more about our goals for 2018, click here.

We are also looking to work with even more organizations in 2018 and also get more people involved with helping us make these bags. We've gotten a LOT of requests for people to help with bags, making them or passing them out, BUT we can't do either without your continued support.

THANK YOU FOR 2017!


Thank you SO much for helping us start to change the face of our community this year. Yes, we have
a lot do to in the next few years, but we are much father along in helping our community than I thought.

Because of your support, no matter how great or small, it's making a positive difference in the lives of people! I'm hopeful that we sill be able to bring you more success stories in the next year to come!


Thanks friends~

Joshua

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 here in Southwestern Virginia.

Blessing Bag Program
1|540|798.0719
Roanoke | Virginia

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