Simple Service to Others: Make an Essentials Packet

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When was the last time you drove down the road and saw a person standing on the side with the piece of cardboard that said, “Will Work for Food?” What are the thoughts that flood your mind?

Poor thing.
Get a job.
I don’t trust them.
I’m not giving him any money.
I don’t have time.
I hear it’s a con game.

I have some of those thoughts fly through my brain at a moments notice when I see such a person. It’s one of those times when I know I should be taking every thought captive. And it’s SO easy to just drive on. But God doesn’t tell us to walk the easy road. He tells us to walk in His ways.

So here is an idea……

essentials packet2

The ladies group at my church met this past Friday night and we put together quite a few of these essentials packets. We took time to write a short, encouraging note on the card and then the packets were ready to stash away in each of our cars. The goal is to pray that God would lead us to those who are less fortunate so that we might show a little love to them and give them each a packet as we drive by.

These are simple to create. Any family, or small group, can do this.

Gallon ziplock bags
Toiletry articles {toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, shampoo, comb, hand sanitizer, deodorant, wet wipes}essential bagsSnack items {bottle of water, granola bars, package of crackers}
Note cards

All of the items were grouped on a table. Each lady took a ziplock bag and as we circled the table we dropped in each of the items. Wha-la. Simple.

None of these items are expensive, but to someone who is having a rough time of life right now, an essentials bag can bring encouragement and knowledge of the love of Jesus.

One of the reasons this activity excites me is the fact that my kids will be on the look out now. We are on a “Service Hunt” of sorts. I want my children to recognize the needs of others and then do what they can to help, even if it’s just a little thing.

Caring for others is the way of a Christian. We need to do it.


Simple Service to Others: Make an Essentials Packet — 14 Comments

  1. I have done this in the past with my kids. Here’s one thing you might consider adding to it: Go to a local Lifeway or Christian store and buy the cheapest paperback New Testaments that you can buy in bulk (not major bulk…). Then drop a New Testament into that gallon bag with the other essentials. You never know. They might read it!

  2. This is a great idea, and I am curious how your church ladies made it work. Who purchased the toiletries and snacks? Did every bag have the same items?

    • The budget for our ladies group paid for the items and the leader went to the dollar store and purchased everything. Each bag had the same items. Towards the end, a few of the bags had more of fewer of certain items as things ran out. (Two shampoos and no tissues, for example.) But every one had a personal hard written card in it. Thank you for your question!!

  3. This a great idea! We don’t get to big cities where we see that kind of stuff very often, but if we did, I would definitely want to do this! What a great way to teach your children about serving and loving others! Because of what you’re doing, I bet they’ll have an easier job of taking their own thoughts captive when they see someone like that 🙂 Good for you (and the other moms too)!

  4. Talked to several different people about this many years ago. Their advice was give a popcorn ball or an orange. Any pieces which are not consumable will end up in storm drains and then in our oceans. Be careful about where you roll down your window.

  5. Terrific idea – I will present this to our ladies group and youth group this will make a great local mission and keep us aware of the needs of others. We do not see this often in my area but every now and then we see someone in need – these items will last a long time – I will have to make a note to check expiration dates. But then God will indeed direct me to someone in need.

Thoughts? Please share!