I hesitated to share this, but it’s a great concept worth sharing, so here goes…
I was with Caroline the other day when we encountered an unsheltered person. It was upsetting to her and she had a lot of questions that I answered honestly. We had nothing on us that could be of any help, but Caroline noticed that the woman was very sunburned. We were on our way to a friend’s pool and had sunscreen, so we handed that over to her. The woman was delighted.
Delighted. Over sunscreen. (Though as a fellow very pale person, I empathize.)
That led to Caroline’s “helpful bags” project. After we handed over the sunscreen, she started talking about other things that could help people without homes. It was almost like a coping mechanism for her to process the encounter. She couldn’t help this person much, but she was determined to help the next.
She came up with some items on her own, and we asked a friend from Harmony House about what else could help and added a few items based on her advice. What we ended up with was the following in her twenty helpful bags:
– granola bars
– reusable, collapsible water bottle
– Gatorade mixes
– beef sticks
– toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb kit
All wrapped up in a bright bag with reflective properties for safety. We will carry these in our car when we are out and about and hand them to people in need if we encounter them.
This generation… They’ll be the ones to save this world. We just need to give them the space to do it.
These cost about $12 each to put together, and I realize we are fortunate this is within our reach. This concept doesn’t need to be to this scale. A baggie with a couple granola bars helps. A bottle of water helps. Sunscreen helps. Literally – just about anything helps. It’s not enabling; it’s human.
Some may roll their eyes at this; fine. It was 100% her idea and effort (though the funding was provided by the Bank of Mom & Dad). The intent is definitely not to seek any kind of praise or recognition at all, but rather to share this great little thought from this great little person. Like MLK said, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” This is her small thing, and Jeremy and I were happy to oblige her.
She may have a BIG attitude at times, but luckily her heart is even bigger.