Reaching Out to the Homeless: Care Packages

February 11, 2015

Rescue Mission of Salt Lake
Chris Croswhite, the executive director at the Rescue Mission stated in their last newsletter, "We teach about who God is and how He loves us. God not only created us, but also made a way for us to be with him in Heaven. He gave up his Son for us when we were completely uninterested in Him. We were lost, and He came and found us. That is His love for us. When we understand how much God sacrificed just to have a relationship with us, we can begin to realize what love really is. This love can help when other people let us down or treat us poorly. And when we experience love from God, we are better able to forgive and show love to others.
Please continue to pray for the rescue mission as they reach out to the homeless of Salt Lake City. They also recommended we create personal care packages and hand them to a homeless person, or you can take them to the mission and they will distribute them along with the Gospel. Here are their suggestions:
Care Packages for the Homeless
Many people enjoy putting together care packs for the homeless, and they have become one of the most popular items we give to our homeless friends. Some people call them "blessing bags," and there are several websites that walk through the process of putting these homeless survival packs together. And while, in general, we can provide for most basic needs--food, shelter, clothing, hygiene items--below are some creative items we often don't have in stock that homeless people love to receive in blessing bags.
If you decide to put together a care pack, remember that you don't always have to buy new. You can recycle or upcycle items from your house if you have things available. Also, collecting items and putting them together can be a great team-building project for coworkers, youth groups or even families. Keep in mind that here at the Rescue Mission, we don't give things away to make homelessness more comfortable, but rather to show love and help keep people alive. Our goal is for this love to be the catalyst for someone to join our New Life Program and want a changed life. If you do decide to put together some care packs, you can drop them off at the Rescue Mission any time. If you call ahead, you can even arrange for a quick tour of our facility. It's a good way to learn more about homelessness and how you can help.
→ Backpack: A durable backpack is an essential item for homeless individuals.
→ Hand warmers: Cheap and instant warmth is always welcome.
→ Thermal cup: This keeps liquids warm longer and doubles as a hand warmer!
→ Flashlight: Any kind of flashlight is helpful. Also, consider providing extra batteries.
→ Warm socks: Keeping feet warm and dry can save a life.
→ Wool blanket: This is one of the most essential items because even when wool is wet, it can still keep you warm.
→ Water bottle: Dehydration is a big problem among the homeless.
→ Poncho/Umbrella: This is a smart and affordable item that is especially important in wet weather.
→ Handwritten card: A handwritten note (no personal information) of encouragement can brighten someone's day.
→ Lotion: This can give relief from Utah's dry weather.
→ Ziplock® bags: These keep items organized and waterproof.
→ Pad of paper & pen: A handy-dandy notebook is helpful to write down addresses and phone numbers.
→ Duct-Tape: Is there really anything duct-tape can't fix?