World Random Acts of Kindness Day Idea: Comfort Bags
To celebrate World Random Acts of Kindness Day, I’m talking about a comfort bags, a simple act of kindness that’s easy to do and can really make a big difference in someone’s life.
I know these “World Days” are all the rage right now. There’s a world day for everything…hot dogs, science fiction, bean throwing…seriously. But one day that I love and get behind is World Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Every year, we try to help our boys understand the real focus of the holidays by doing things for others. One activity we usually do is to make comfort bags, otherwise known as blessing bags.
The main idea is that you put items that those who may not have a home or are struggling financially may not be able to purchase for themselves into a bag and then you give the bag away.
This something we do all year round, not just a the holidays.
What is a Comfort Bag?
Also known as Care Kits or Blessing Bags, Comfort Bags are a collection of toiletries, food, and other necessities that you put together in an easily carried bag and hand out to help those may be struggling financially or with homelessness.
Why Make Comfort Bags?
Often times, when you’re struggling financially, what you’re able to purchase is very limited. Things like personal hygiene items, food, or basic over-the-counter medicine or medical supplies are the first to be eliminated when money is tight.
At the time I’m writing this, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that nearly 600,000 people are without a place to sleep at night. When you’re worried about finding a safe, warm place to sleep, things like dental floss and toothpaste can be far down on the priority list. And yet, we know that having those things are important to our overall health and sense of wellbeing.
Also, I find comfort bags to be a relatively simple thing to make and have on hand when I come across someone in need. We first started making these bags when we lived in DC, which had a very high homeless population. A large percentage of the homeless were veterans. We were often in a situation where we’d pull up to a light and there would be someone asking for help standing in the median. These bags were a quick way to make an impact in that person’s life at that moment and provide them with things they may not have much access to regularly.
What Do You Put in a Comfort Bag?
The main idea is to include things that can make a difference in a person’s day-t0-day life that they may not have easy access to.
Toiletries, food, basic clothing items, and cold weather items are all great ideas.
Items to Include in a Comfort Bag:
- shaving cream
- disposable cleansing cloths
- body wash
- dental floss
- shelf stable food high in protein
- tuna, protein bars, jerky, nuts
- bandaids and neosporin
- toilet paper or tissue packs
- ziplock bags
Tips for Making Comfort Bags:
You’ll want to keep in mind that these bags should be easily carried or small enough to tuck in a backpack. Travel sized items seem to be much easier to carry for obvious reasons.
Keep in mind where you’ll keep the bags and the season/weather where you live. It’s not so much an issue in the winter, unless you’re including items that can freeze and burst their containers. However, during hot summer months, food can spoil and items can melt in hot cars. You can either store the bags in a climate controlled environment or adjust what you include in the bags.
How to Take it One Step Further:
We sometimes have extra backpacks, clothes, shoes, blankets, and coats that we can donate or we come across these items in the store at a good discount. If you want to make an even bigger difference, you can give something larger that can carry multiple essentials and include some of those essentials in addition to a comfort bag. The main idea is to be cognizant of some of the realities someone may face and make this gift a blessing to them where they are at that moment in time. When you meet a person where they are with the needs they have at time, you can really bring significant comfort to them in a time of need.
I hope this post inspires you to do some random acts of kindness today, or any day you can. I know we’ve been able to bring at least a small amount of comfort to people in need, which can help make the world a little bit better.