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Make DIY “Blessing Bags” for People who are Homeless

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More Thanksgiving


If you’re looking for an easy way to give back this holiday season, consider collecting small personal care items and compiling “Blessing Bags” for those that are homeless. This is a fun family activity kids can help with, and a perfect way to donate extra free and inexpensive items acquired through couponing during the year.

You can make as many as you’d like using gallon sized plastic Ziploc bags and donate to a shelter or food bank. Also, consider keeping a few in the car for when you see someone in need.


Ideas for Items to Use in Blessing Bags:

  • toiletries {deodorant, toothbrushes, razors, soap, shampoo}
  • hand warmers, socks, wash cloths, gloves
  • bottled water, granola bars, tuna/cracker packs, beef jerky
  • lip balm, sunscreen, female personal hygiene
  • small denomination gift cards for coffee & food

Looking for more ways to spread kindness?

Don’t forget to print the 30 Days of Giving Back printable Acts of Kindness ideas we recently shared…


Join The Discussion

Comments 48

  1. Stacey

    Friends of mine are doing this but instead of a ziplock bag, they are putting everything inside a new pair of socks.

    • Suzanna

      I’d imagine a ziploc bag would be better- it gives them a place to keep the items even when they use the pair of socks, also to keep everything safe from the elements.

  2. Steph

    Nice! Also bandaids, antibiotic ointment, pain relieving meds, any first aid stuff!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great idea- thanks!

  3. Tonya

    Great idea Lina. You are always so creative. We love to do his as a family 😊😊

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Tonya!

  4. Judy

    Beautiful idea year round.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes for sure!

  5. Lory

    Thank you so much for these great ideas, tomorrow I’ll be hitting the dollar store to get a start on putting these together!!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s awesome Lory!

  6. Rachel

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for this post! My family is already planning on doing this! My husband and I set a goal of 200 bags this year! I’m so nervous but excited about the opportunity to bless! It would be amazing if any Hip2Save readers wanted to donate to our efforts!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      What an amazing thing to do!

  7. Ashley

    I love this idea and tried it a few years ago but ran into a couple of problems when I left them in the car (we live in a rural area and rarely see homeless people or people holding signs on the side of the road). In the summer the non-solid contents would get liquidy and make the containers leak or at least swell and warp, and in the winter they would freeze then separate and be clumpy once they thawed out. Any suggestions?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Hmm ya for car ones maybe adjust and use only things that won’t melt or freeze.

  8. Michelle

    This is such a great thing to do. We’ve done this as a family and always put everything in an inexpensive backpack that I find during back to school sales. Things we’ve included are flashlights, socks, hat, mittens, water bottle, small first aid kit, toothbrush and toothpaste, granola bars and other non-perishable snacks. All of these items can be found at dollar stores, purchased inexpensively with coupons or use free samples collected throughout the year. I love spreading a little cheer this way.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I love the idea of backpacks! How nice 👍

  9. Jodi

    Love this idea. May I offer one suggestion in your post? Rather than saying for “the homeless,” could you say for “people who are homeless?” A subtle difference that recognizes that homelessness is just one aspect of their lives and doesn’t define their entirety. Thank you.

    • Ash

      …really?? 🙄

      • Jamie

        Yes, really.

        It’s important to remember that people are human beings regardless of their circumstances.

        • Jennifer

          Jodie and Jamie, I hadn’t thought of my words in this way before but I think you have made an excellent point.

          • chris

            Love that the wording of this was changed.

        • zahra

          I agree

      • Maggie


    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Great suggestion! Just updated! 🙂

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Jodi!

    • Christie


  10. Katie

    Do you think the food would end up tasting badly being stored with soap?

    • Jennifer

      Maybe, I have had that happen in my purse before. Maybe if you make them right before you give them away it wouldn’t be a problem.

    • Cas

      You could put the food in a separate bag within the bag if you are concerned this could happen. Hope this helps!

  11. Jen

    What a great way to use our couponing to bless someone else in need 💜💜

  12. Bonnie Avery

    I have a friend who does homeless outreach for a living. She also suggests cheese sticks. Best for the cooler, cold months. I would think Individually packaged foods aren’t as likely to be affected by scents if they are well wrapped.. Gloves are something I carry around in the winter. I also suggest larger sizes as layering is important for warmth.

  13. Renea

    Similarly, there are families temporarily living in homeless shelters. Several of my middle school students keep it to themselves because they are embarrassed. Snacks are big hit since the parent(s) don’t always fill out the paperwork for free/reduced lunch at school.

  14. Kcmiami88

    I love this! I tried to share it on my fb but for some reason it won’t share. Awesome idea ❤️

  15. zahra

    Love this idea i am a field inspector i do this all year round. I learned from another field inspector who had been doing this for years. We see a lot of people in need. God bless us all.

  16. Laura

    Such a great thing for me to do with my children! Hoping to get it done this weekend! A great way to teach our kids how to reach out to those in need in a way they can see!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great Laura!

  17. Shelby

    I knew a lady who was dying of cancer and would do this on her way to chemo treatment in Dallas. I always think of her when I see people pass money out of their cars to beggars. I believe you give money like that to make yourself feel better about your lack of care. If you really want to help you can put a little effort in and do something that doesn’t just feed an addiction. Sorry if this seems cold but I live in Austin and we have a serious homeless problem. I pass at least 10 different people asking for money on each corner every time I drive anywhere. You get frustrated at the problem and try to figure out solutions but it’s such a huge, layered issue.

  18. sabrina

    My 8 year old has a goal of making 40 blessing bags for ladies at a shelter near us. She has been getting donations from friends and family and is about a fourth of the way there. I’m so proud of her!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That is so great Sabrina! How sweet.

      • sabrina

        Thanks! I’m a proud mommy!

  19. Nikki

    Love this!! Food and personal care items are a necessity for everyone! This is different than just handing people money…

  20. Marci

    My daughters girl scout troop came up with goodnight bags. They will be given to a domestic women’s shelter. The bags are for the womens kids: will have a tie pillow, coloring book, crayons, reading book, stuffed animal, small toy etc.. )

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Love this idea! Thanks Marci

  21. Katrice C.

    Such a great idea. Thank you for sharing. If you are passing these bags out in Philadelphia you can add these resource pamphlets via Project Home to the bags.

    If you are in a different city or town I’d recommend you contact an organization in your area that assists the homeless to see if they have these type of guides.

  22. Lisa Marqueling

    Wet wipes would be great to put in these bags as well!

  23. Laura

    I read an article about female homelessness and the need for feminine protection. Perhaps we can include some of these products as well.

  24. Patrice

    Beautiful idea and very thoughtful. Let’s not overlook the kind gesture by concentrated on the words. This is become a evil world, I am sure less fortunate people do not care about words. Just the idea that someone is thinking if them and trying to meet their need. I was homeless at one time. Didn’t care how I got things just happy that someone cared enough.

    • Nella Scher

      Well said Patrice.

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