Some time ago, I did a blog post on packing a blessing bag…… It is something I wanted to do but just never seemed to get to. This post inspired someone to make it her mission.
I met Maxine through this “purse gig”. She was on my team for a little bit. She and I stayed in touch over the last few years by praying for each other and just being there for moral support. She reached out to me to ask for some suggestions on growing a ministry which is near and dear to her heart. Here is Maxine’s story in her own words…..
Awhile back I decided to do bags for homeless people. Nothing elaborate just simple items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, small soaps, a pen, a little note pad, a pair of socks, a razor, a pack of Kleenex, a granola bar, some cheese crackers, small snacks, hand sanitizer, and a rain poncho. I was working as a home health care aide and traveled on the bus every day. I always carried a couple with me and if I came across someone in need I would give them one . I don’t put cash in them simply because you just never know. Many people hustle for money for other things. Fast forward to now. I’m driving for Lyft and I come across a good number of people so I started doing it again. Handing bags out to those who are in need – usually when I stop at a traffic light. You can kind of tell who’s legit and who’s not when you hand it to them. But regardless, I try to help everyone I can. I use ziplock bags to hold the items. I want to continue this ministry but I am struggling. I come across a great number of people every day while I’m out driving. I’ve been doing this all out of pocket! The time has come when I can no longer afford to do it and it is breaking my heart . We are ourselves are living in a hotel. God has blessed up and we get through day by day. He makes a way! Even when I cannot see it, He makes a way. I am reaching out to others for donations – monetary and for items to fill the bags.
The hotel where we are staying has offered to do some extra soaps and shampoos to help. I am reaching out to churches and other organizations to see if they can help with individually packaged snacks and things. But there is still a gap. The need is so great….
I am reaching out to my readers and my friends. Won’t you consider helping? Maxine has set up a PayPal account to collect monetary donations (https://paypal.me/maxineniemeier?locale.x=en_US). Every little bit helps. She lives in Chicago, so if you have any suggestions or contacts please let us know. I’m trying to help her keep her ministry alive….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!