Baylor’s school had the privilege of listening to Sr. Adele O’Sullivan speak about our city’s homeless. And where their school is located, they see homelessness everywhere. She spoke about how it is our duty as Catholics to care for the least among us and how we can do that. Sr. Adele is the founder of Circle the City, a respite that delivers healthcare to the homeless. In anticipation of her visit, she asked all the students to bring in hygiene items, snack foods, waters and bags. Then each class created Kindness Kits that the Circle the City volunteers hand out to those that visit the facility.
We decided that this was a great way for us to continue this stewardship at home. With a quick trip the Dollar Store and $15 later, we were able to create 6 bags full of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, water, EmergenC packets, snacks and a few other small hygiene items. We keep them in the car and when we see a homeless person, we offer it to them. Sometimes I get worried that the person won’t want it, but we’ve yet to be turned down.
Creating the bags opened up A LOT of questions. How do people become homeless? Why are they homeless? Why do they need all this? It was a heavy conversation to have. But it opened up a lot of topics too about how blessed we are to have what we have and how we can share that with others.
2 thoughts on “Kindness Kits”
Beth, I am so glad that you posted this and opened the doorway for others to think of ways to help and be involved in this ever growing population among us. In Austin, our home church (Bannockburn Baptist), had a mission very similar to what you are doing. One portion of the mission prepared individual personal hygiene and self-care bags with similar items. I never thought to include the EmergenC packets to my donations, but it is a great addition. The other portion of the mission prepared what they call “Johnny Bags”, which I think has it root name from the Civil War era. Each Johhny Bag contained a protein item, juice or vegetable item or drink, water bottle and some carbohydrate item and a cookie, All items were easily opened, no utensils needed and individually sealed. We would offer the Johnny bags at the corner stop light locations where we saw homeless people asking for donations. The personal hygiene items could be included in the Johnny bag as well. I had some disposable wash cloths that I would place one in side each personal care kit.
One hot summer day in Austin, I was stopped at the intersection of Ben White and I-35 (before they put up the fly-over to immediately access the interstate). I had seen this young woman, about your age, and her dog there several days in a row. During the red light wait time, she was making her way up and down the lanes of stopped drivers. I jumped out of the car and place the bag by her backpack and drove on when the light changed. I stopped a few days later, she was there, and she asked if I had left the bag a few days earlier. I replied that I had but all I had that day was a bottle of water. I offered it to her and she thanked me for the caring about her and those who are living in that manner.
Please continue to share this lesson with your children and thank you again for helping to change the face of those who are needy.
May God bless the seeds that you have planted for HIs glory!
I love this! I think the next round is going to include some more food, like the ready to eat tuna. Such a great story, thank you for commenting!!