I have been doing some reading about Handbags for the Homeless. Some call them Blessing Bags. I saw the idea on my news feed one morning, and it intrigued me.
Some have criticized the idea calling it demeaning. Those critics advocate giving cash instead and complain that the benefactors are simply trying to feel “less guilty” and soothe their consciences. I think you should do what your own heart tells you to do.
My motivation is not guilt. Why would I feel guilty for having a home and food on the table? I’ve worked thousands of hours to have what we have. There’s no guilt involved. What I feel for people who are less fortunate is more complicated. I’m sad for them, angry that homelessness is even an issue in one of the best countries in the world, concerned that there are hungry children. One catastrophic event, and any of us could be in trouble. Everyone needs a break and a helping hand sometime! I’m not a rich woman, but I do care about humanity and want to take action.
Before I decided to take part and invite students to join me, I contacted the director of the closest homeless shelter and started asking questions. Beth, the lovely director, explained how things work and what items are always needed. Relying on her experience, I decided to proceed.