Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Homeless Care Packs

on August 5, 2017

Hello all.

I know it has been far too long! I’ll do a more personal update later but I wanted to take a minute to share something awesome in which we participated.

We’ve been attending our new church for just over a year now. We’ve also been doing homeless ministry as a family over the past couple of years. We decided it was time to introduce the two to each other.

For our packs we set a number of 24 and asked each family to bring 24 of the item they signed up for. We have a huge Sunday School class with even bigger hearts. Many signed up to bring multiple items.

We gave everyone a month or so to get their items to the church. Then we set an assembly day to put our packs together. Today we had a few people take packs out along with cold water and sack lunches to pass out.

The great thing about these is that any not immediately passed out can be kept handy in your car for when you see a need. (Just don’t keep them too long.)

What was in our packs:

The actual packs are drawstring bags from Dollar Tree. We designated pink and purple packs for women and added pads and tampons to those. Our men’s packs were identicle but without those items.

We included:

  • Laundry Kit- detergent tabs, unscented dryer sheets, quarters
  • First Aid Kit- Purchased on Amazon and we added individual packets of antibacterial ointment, Tylenol, and aspirin.
  • Socks
  • Flip Flops- purchased at Old Navy
  • Cotonelle Wipes
  • Tissues
  • Sturdy Nail Clippers
  • Razors
  • Comb
  • Toothbrush Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Flashlights- we put 2 and made sure all had batteries.
  • Journal and Pen
  • Drinks
  • Bag of Snacks- cracker packs, beef jerky, trail mix
  • Bag of Mints, Candy, and Gum
  • Personal Note- written by members
  • Feminine Hygene Products
  • Cooling Neck Wrap

Items that were also recommended but not in our packs:

  • Pudding, Fruit, or Veggie Cups
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Travel Cups- especially good if they come with discounted refils at a local gas station
  • Bug Spray- we had a few cans to pass out but they were not in all packs
  • Ball Caps/Hats
  • Other Personal Care Items

Keep in mind that our list is catered to a more rural area of Texas in the summer. The list could easily be altered to fit your area and season. These can also be made by individuals instead of groups.

Tips:

  • Keep things with heavy scents separate from food items. We put all minty treats in one bag. We also chose unscented laundry products.
  • If you are with a religous group consider forgoing bible tracts. They can seem trite and inauthentic. We opted for little handwritten notes instead.
  • Plan to get out of your car and really meet people if possible. Sometimes the greatest gift you can offer is your time. Standing out in the heat taking time to get to know them and their needs is so much more meaningful.
  • Plan to go back and check on people if you are doing outreach in your area. Occasionally our regular people request needed items and we do our best to find them when we can.
  • Donate soap based toiletries to a shelter or mission. They are more likely to have shower facilities for the homeless. Opt for on the go toiletries for care packs. Things like baby/toilet wipes or face wipes are more useful for those camping or sleeping on the street.
  • You can call local missions and shelters for ideas of where to go to pass out packs. Local police and emergency responders may also have good info on areas.
  • Keep an open mind. Some may be homeless because of poor choices, but many more are trying and still struggling. We’ve met veterans, disabled individuals, people who have been laid off, people who’ve lost their family… They are all just people doing the best they can through terrible circumstances.

I hope you found this useful and that it inspires more homeless outreach. You can’t completely change the circumstances of everyone you meet, but you can do something to meet their current needs.

Love,

Mama Miller

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