smiling girl with care package for homeless people

Care Packages for Homeless People

Do you want to help homeless people?  Do you feel conflicted just handing over cash?  Are you lacking time to volunteer in a soup kitchen or shelter?  We worked on a solution to these issues one day during our seven-day kindness challenge: care packages for homeless people.

I can’t take credit for this idea.  Jennifer Garner inspired me.  She did a reel on her Instagram feed, and it was brilliant and simple!  (You can check out an article about it and the see her reel here.) 

Jennifer Garner's care packages for homeless people
Jennifer Garner’s Care Packages for Homeless People

Care Packages That Work for Everyone

I immediately started looking online for ideas.  What I was surprised to find were very helpful do’s and don’ts.  For example, don’t put in snacks like nuts or anything hard to chew.  A lot of homeless people have dental problems.  Plus, it’s important to consider your environment.  Are they facing hot or cold weather?  I found this article particularly comprehensive.

My son, Max, our friend, Ronya, and I went to work.  We chose what would be most useful for people and fit in a compact, 1 quart bag.  Then, we bought all the supplies and made a stop at the bank for $5 bills.  (You may or may not want to include cash – just do what you feel is best.)  We laid it all out on the counter and started our assembly line.  In no time at all, we had 30 bags.  Check out our video below that shows how we did it.


Why is this such a great idea?

This idea is genius for many reasons.

  1. These care packages include items which are useful for all people.
  2. It’s a great family project.  I had a lot of fun doing this with my 15-year-old son and our 9-year-old friend.  It was easy for everyone to participate and gave us a platform to discuss this important problem and why we need to help.
  3. It’s flexible.  This is a project you can modify to suit you.  Want to get creative?  Decorate the bags or write notes.  Want to make a first aid or hot weather care package?  Go for it.  Regardless, they will be appreciated.
  4. It clarifies my conflicted feelings about how to help.  I live in New York City and encounter homeless people on a regular basis.  I often feel wary handing over cash or guilty if I have nothing to give.  Now, I just keep a couple of bags in my purse or backpack and never have to feel empty-handed or helpless.
  5. Don’t walk around a big city and encounter homeless people?  No problem.  We were in Florida when we made these.  I kept a couple in the car.  The very next day, I encountered a person at an intersection while waiting for a stoplight.  I called him over and handed him the bag.  It made him so happy.  I couldn’t stop smiling for hours.

Let me know if you make these care packages and how it works out for you.

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