Giving Back: Care Packages for the Homeless


One of the things I want to instill in my boys is the value of giving back. I want them to be generous. I have this (perhaps irrational) fear that my boys will grow up and not see this value. I have come across so many in this world who have a tendency to be stingy, greedy, and want to keep everything for themselves — people who feel like they deserve the best and don’t want to have to sacrifice any of their hard-earned time or money for anyone else. I try extra hard to combat these negative influences. I want my boys to see me being generous, so we talk about ways to help out those in need, especially when we feel we don’t have everything we want. (This is why I think it’s important to be thankful for even the small things we do have.)

The Bible, as well as many other religions around the world, teaches us to help those in need, to provide help to the poor. Something the pastor at my church recently said really spoke truth to me. He said,

“The only cure for our own greediness is to give a portion of what we have.”

But how can we model this for our kids? We sponsor a couple children from overseas, and they love to get updates and communicate with them. We participate each year in Operation Christmas Child. They know I donate to the church and other organizations. But I also know that sometimes that is not very tangible for them.

This month, my kids got an opportunity to give back in a way that was very meaningful to them. They are involved in a group at their school called the Kids Care Club, which is a part of a national organization called generationOn. For the month of November, their theme was citizenship with a focus on homelessness. The service project was to make care packages to hand out to the homeless in our community.

Giving Back: Care Packages for the Homeless | Des Moines Moms Blog

I loved how they organized everything for the kids at the meeting. First, a few students from Valley High School who have a publication about homelessness called Blank Tales and Kari Schulte from Joppa Outreach educated the members of the group about homelessness in the Des Moines area. Then they broke into groups and made handwritten cards to be placed in the care packages to give them a more personal touch.

Giving Back: Care Packages for the Homeless | Des Moines Moms Blog

Then, each of the kids got to fill a gallon-sized baggie with various items that would be useful to someone who is homeless. When their pack was complete, a note to the parents was put inside with instructions on what to do with the pack, how to make more care packages, and how to find out more about homelessness. They each got to take one home to pass out when the need arises.

Giving Back: Care Packages for the Homeless | Des Moines Moms Blog

We were lucky enough to get the chance to pass our care package out recently to a man who was standing on the off ramp of the interstate. His sign pleaded for help for him and his family. When we rolled down our window and passed him our bag full of goodies, he said, “God bless you and your family!” It was a very touching moment and one I am glad my children and I got to experience. And having that care package in my car ready to pass out was so much more satisfying than avoiding eye contact and just wishing there was something I could do.

So, if you are looking for a practical way for you and your family to give back, to share in the joy of giving, I highly encourage you to click on some of the links above and find out more information about making care packages for the homeless.

What are some of the ways you and your family give back?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here