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Blessing Bags

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Friday, February 2

Blessing Bags for Families in Poverty

Blessing Bags for Families in Poverty

While people tend to think of Blessing Bags as being mainly for homeless there is a entirely different and much larger category of people that can use them too, families in poverty. According to the Federal Safety Net, roughly 12.7% of Americans currently live in poverty, below the federal limits on income each year. 

That shouldn't surprise you by any means. It's estimated that 5.6 million families in the United Stated live at or far below the poverty level depending on the family size. 

If an average family size of 4 lives below $24,600, they are considered below the poverty line. 

How Blessing Bags Can Help

One of the biggest questions that I get with the non profit program is how can a small Blessing Bag help someone? 

Truth be told it will not make you rich, it will not pay the bills and it won't turn you into a millionaire....let a lone $10. 

BUT what it does do it provide small amount of relief when it comes to buying hygiene related products such as toothpaste, deodorant and a razor. For many, it provides a way to clean themselves up for an upcoming job interview, maybe it helps keep the status quote at work, sometimes it just helps people to feel good to be able to clean and care for themselves. 

Usually Blessing Bags are valued under $10 and they need to be. 

The main point of providing a blessing bag to anyone is to help them with items that other larger organizations sometimes forget. In just about every major city in the United States we have missions of some sort. Many provide food and shelter, some provide clothing and job skills, teaching people how to manage money and to help get them back on their feet. 

Think of a Blessing Bag as the mortar that holds everything together. Things such as soap, shampoo and toothbrushes are inexpensive but those are things that some families often do without if they're on a very tight budget. 

Do you buy cheap ramen noodles to eat this week or shampoo to wash your hair? a single dollar isn't much to most, but to the families living in poverty is literally means eating or just hanging on by a sheer thread. 

What it Takes to Make a Blessing Bag

The process is pretty simple and somewhat affordable. For every 100 bags that you create, you will need a good budget, a Blessing Bag checklist and time to create these bags. 

Cost is definitely something to consider when making bags for families and the amount of family members can also effect what goes into each bag or the size of each one too.

Blessing Bags has found that a family bag costs about $8-12 more per bag than it does for the smaller ones we create for homeless and seniors too.

If you take an average family of 4, purchasing items at a dollar store is more cost effective for the family. We usually put full sized bottles of shampoo, toothpaste and even bulk toothbrushes. 

Although the family can get more use from the use of full sized items, our organization benefits more from the travel sized packaging. We recommend sticking with travel sized items in the family bags and consider putting more than one species item in each for the families. For example, instead of one travel shampoo/conditioner put three or four in the family bag. Unless you have buying power with some major organizations you can expect to pay about $400-500 for every 50 bags. Programs like ours are able to work with national corporations on a regular basis and because of our relationships are able to get the cost of a blessing bag to about $2.60 per bag, sometimes less depending on the products we squire.

For 50 Family Blessing bags consider the following items: 

  • 100 Travel Sized Shampoo/Conditioner bottles
  • 100 Razors
  • 100 travel shaving creams
  • 100 travel tissues
  • 50 feminine products (for the ladies)
  • 100 Lip balms or Chapsticks
  • 100 Soaps
  • 100 SPF lotions (travel size)
  • 100 Ziplock Style Quart Bags

Blessing Bags Non Profit

While many churches and organizations help with creating Blessing Bags, there are actually only a handful of 501c3 non-profit organizations that carry the name and operate full-time creating and distributing these bags. 

As one of the 4 non-profits in the United States that solely provides Blessing Bags, ours is a little unique in the sense that we work with churches and other non-profits in the US to help get our bags out to those that need them. 

We currently have these churches and non profit organizations in 24 states and we grow just about every month with new locations in the United States. Each of our distribution points offers at least put homeless blessing bags, others carry our fa!ily and senior bags as well.

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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Roanoke | Virginia