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Today, we are welcoming Lydi from Lydi Out Loud. She is sharing a story with us today that touched my heart. I hope that it touches yours, as well. She calls these her Blessing Bags.
I can remember when I first truly experienced the concept of charity. I was a small child who just finished my bountiful Thanksgiving dinner and my dad got up from the table and began to load up another plate. I probably made an oink sound or something of the sort, but my dad was actually filling a plate for a construction worker whom he had spotted working across the street. He explained how blessed we were to sit together around a table and enjoy each other (and our full bellies), and that this worker didn’t get to do the same since he had to work.
I watched from the window as he walked the plate across the street and saw the look of awe cross the construction worker’s face. As my dad walked back to the house, I recognized the look on his face as the one he has when he is fighting back tears.
I became filled with an unfamiliar feeling. I later came to realize that the feeling was a combination of extreme satisfaction and gratitude. There is a special kind of satisfaction that comes from helping others, don’t you agree?
So here’s the full circle moment: let’s introduce this powerful concept to our children NOW. And what better way to get children’s buy-in than with a party, right?!
I know what you’re thinking… an assembly line and a party go together how?? Well this is a special kind of assembly line. When we walk away from this one we will feel full of gratitude rather than aches and pains.
My husband Ryan first came up with this idea and I decided we should spread his amazing idea through a party.
Blessing bags are filled with what you and I might think of as simple things; snacks, hygiene items, toys… but to someone in need, these little items can make all of the difference in the world. They can either be delivered to a shelter, or kept in the car for when you see someone homeless on the street to offer them, or both! We got all of the supplies at Dollar Tree, so its easy to do this without spending a ton of money. Here are the supplies we stocked for our party:
1. The Blessing Bags
We set up a station to decorate the bags (the kids love that part). We marked the bags to reflect whether they were appropriate for kids, males or females and marked if they contained nuts. Our blessing bags decorating table had:
- Paper lunch bags
- Markers, crayons and pens
- Stapler (or brads if you have a little crafter in you like me 😉 )
- Note cards for words of encouragement
- Mixed nuts, peanuts, peanut butter filled pretzels, crackers and peanut butter, dippers (breadsticks or pretzels with cheese dip), dried fruit, nut-free trail mix, jerkey
- Freshening wipes, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues, hand wipes, feminine hygiene product
We got a variety of toys for a variety of ages.
We separated all of the blessing bag fillers, placed them in bins, labeled them and laid them out on the breakfast bar counter, assembly line style. After everyone decorates their bag and fills out a card, they go through the line and fill it up. It’s that easy!
At the end of the assembly line, I framed a picture that read “Thank you for being here! You make a difference!” In addition to being a fun time together with loved ones, it felt so good to spend our time helping others in need!
Once we completed all of the blessing bags, everyone took the bags they made to donate to their location of choice. I’ve got a stash in my car ready hand out.
A great way to get older kids involved is to have them take pictures and let them come up with a hashtag that you can all share on social media.
It was a pleasure to meet you here, thanks so much for having me Becky! I’d love you to visit me at Lydi Out Loud.com or on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook where I get into recipes, diy/crafts and other lifestyle fun.
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