Well, we did it! We made the care bags. We passed out the care bags.
It was…amazing. On so many levels it was amazing. I’m still processing it, and probably will be for a while. So these highlights are simply me wanting to answer the “how did it go” questions I’ve been receiving. This may just be the most jumbled reading you’ve done in a long time!
When we were in the store, there was something really special about filling our cart on behalf of someone else. We enjoyed talking about what we should put in. Even Jonah gave ideas.
I was at dinner with my girlfriends when Joel texted me this photo:
A toothbrush and toothpaste
a bar of soap
a first aid kit
a pair of socks
a bottle of water
a can of juice
a packet of tuna
some mints and lifesavers
We spent about $10 per bag. After how awesome today was, I will always carry a couple of these bags in our cars. We determined that in the future, we could make them a little bit different. We think we could easily make bags for around $6-7.
For the most part, we drove around the cities, giving the care bags to people on the side of the road who were holding out signs. For us newbies, it was just easier…there were a couple of situations where we walked around, but we didn’t know if the people near us were homeless or simply enjoying the lovely Minnesota Sunday afternoon outside. Man we didn’t want to assume that people were homeless because we were out looking for homeless people, you know?
Just off the top of my head, here are a couple of things that stood out as the most beautiful moments of the day:
First, I was touched by the sincere gratitude of people when we gave them a bag. I loved watching them look at the bag once we handed it to them. There was one man who was sitting on the side of the road. I handed him a bag. He looked at it, then looked at me. “God bless you” he said, as he looked me straight in the eye. “You too” I said. While I was waiting to cross the street to give a bag to the person in the median, I watched this man as he sat. I watched him look at contents of the bag. By the time I crossed the street again to head to the car, he had the bag of crackers out and almost finished. Oh how I wished that that bag was filled with more food.
My other favorite moment happened when we passed by a park. There were things on a park bench, sleeping bags, a backpack, but no people. Joel pulled the car over. Jonah and I got out of the car, each with a bag in hand. We walked up to that bench and put the care bags down by the items. After that, Jonah and I got distracted because there was a wedding party getting their pictures taken at the park (and I LOVE looking at wedding parties). When we got back to the car, Joel said “did you see that??” “What”, I said, “the bride? Yes I did. She was lovely!” “No. The guy.” Apparently, shortly after we left, the man returned to the bench. He picked up the care bag, studied it. Then he called over the woman that was with him and handed her the other bag. Joel watched as they opened the bag and took out the contents. As he was describing what he saw, I just knew: WE were blessed.
So this day was good. Really, really good.