Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Helping the Homeless

When I first started extreme couponing, one of my goals was to be able to share what God has blessed us with, and in doing so, instill in my children a love for serving others. God brought a verse to my attention today, the very day I had planned on having the kids make up our gift bags for the homeless.
All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Galatians 2:10 (NIV)
What a great verse for today! God wants us to remember the poor. It's easy in our busy lives to forget that there are people out there that need help. It's easy to think that someone else will do it. But God commands us to love one another. He doesn't command us to let someone else love them, He commands us. He also commands us to be a light unto the world. What better way to be a light than to show someone that because God loves them, we love them. We love them enough to take of our time and money to try and make a difference in their life.

The kids were so excited about this project! I asked them why we should give to the homeless and got various answers. Because they don't have food. They don't have a house. God wants us to. When I asked what the best gift we could give them was, Leanna shouted Jesus!! Of course she's right. They all agreed that even if a person is homeless, if they have Jesus in their heart then they'll be happier.

Our "gift bags" were inspired by my mother-in-law whose church does these. We had 20 gallon size ziploc bags to fill. My intentions were to leave some in the car to have to pass out if we saw someone on the side of the road asking for food or money. Today I read online that it's a good idea to go to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and pass them out there. I would like to find someplace close (and safe) that Tim and I can take the kids to and let them pass them out. They can experience the joy of sharing with those less fortunate and I think it will be more real to them. Below are pictures of each item we put in every bag and also an approximate cost that I spent. For about $7 (the bags cost about $2), we will be able to make a difference for 20 people. That's $.35 per person, but it could be priceless to someone.

Bottle of water
Free @ Walgreens
store coupon and RR

Free @ Publix
BOGO sale and BOGO coupons

$2.50 for a 12 pack @ Publix
BOGO sale and coupons

First Aid kit
Free @ CVS, Target

Cereal bar
less than $1 for a box of 8 @ Target
sale and coupons

given to us

Crystal Light drink mix singles
given to us

Tract sharing the plan of salvation and church info
Free @ church

As you can see, the kids had a blast doing this. They were so proud of themselves also, in a good way. I think it will have a deep impact on them when we get to actually hand them out. Hopefully, they will learn that homeless people are just that, people. Just like us.


  1. Oh Melissa, that is wonderful!! You are a wonderful mom and great citizen helping others.


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