More than 170 “blessing bags” were put together May 22 by a team of dedicated volunteers (and their families) from the current Saint John School sixth grade Faith in Action class, which organized the project. Now anyone from the school may fill out a permission slip to receive bags to distribute to people who would benefit from receiving one.
Members of the Saint John School community opened their hearts and sent in thousands of items to be placed in the bags, which will now be distributed by families and staff to homeless and struggling people in need. Each bag has healthy snacks, a treat, a water bottle, a utensil set, plastic bags, paper, and most have socks. Another donor offered toothbrushes, combs, soap, shampoo, and pens, which were added to most bags.
Mrs. Kathy Osborne, school business manager, and the Apalatea family donated shoestrings and material which was then sewn into the sturdy drawstring bags by sixth grade FIA students and several fifth grade seamstresses under Mrs. Osborne’s guidance. Some of the items were packed in bigger zip-lock bags once all the cloth bags had been filled.
Hundreds of extra snacks and water bottles that could not be used to complete bags, due to lack of other items, were donated to the parish food pantry.
“The pantry can really use any sort of ready-to-eat food as there are many people who do not have access to cooking facilities,” said Mrs. Teresa Roberts, the Faith in Action teacher. “Many people in great need will benefit from the vast generosity of the school community in providing these items.”
The bag drive was part of a competition among the school’s 35 Faith Families to complete the most bags. The four winners, which were Faith Families 5, 6, 21, and 35, will compete in a kickball tournament next Wednesday, May 30. The family who wins the tournament will get a free dress pass.
“This was a very ambitious project with lots of moving parts, and it has taken a lot of effort from every member of our community to be able to make so many bags to spread God’s love to people who need a boost,” said Mrs. Roberts. “It just goes to show that a simple idea from a student here can motivate the entire community to come together to perform Works of Mercy and grow closer to God and each other in the process. The next step is for our community members to experience the blessing of giving a bag directly to someone who can use it.”