Five days ago, a friend of mine posted a picture he took on Facebook of a homeless man with this caption:
I have special place in my heart for the homeless. I pray for them ever chance I get. This gentlemen is Jimmy…not his real name at his request. I asked him what his trade was. He said ” I’m just a homeless man.” I told him no sir you’re more than that my friend. God made you to be more. Don’t lose faith! He is there for you. I asked him why he didn’t go to the shelters and his answer floored me. He told me” I have had my things stolen from those places and I feel safer on the street.” That’s a real shame that there is homeless people that will not accept help because of incidents like his. I will be gathering clothes and necessities for him. Not cause he asked but he seems to be a man that has a bit of pride. He not once asked for anything. Just conversation. This was taken last Thursday.
I had seen pins on Pinterest before about homeless “care package” and thought it was a good idea. But I rarely see a homeless person in the areas I frequent. I felt compelled to make up an awesome care package for this guy and pass it on to my friend to give to him.
I went a little overboard, and as I was picking out the items, all I could think was, “What will he do when these items run out?” Or, “I wonder how long this will last him before it’s all gone?”
Everything you see pictured costs me a total of $54.55, counting the $3 worth of quarters I put in a small Ziploc bag. I know that might be a little pricey for some, but it was something I was able to do right now. 90% of the items you see in the picture were purchased either from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. I had no idea just how much great stuff the Dollar Tree had for so cheap! I went to get these items after seeing a few pins on Pinterest about getting things from a dollar store. I know, it’s sad that I didn’t know just how much they carried.
For food items, I kept in mind a lot of suggestions I’d read about on other blog posts: crackers, canned meat, applesauce, peanut butter, cereal bars, and hard candy. I purchased all of the above items at dollar stores. $16.81 with tax for these items.
And then I grabbed a lot of the necessity items from the dollar stores as well. I used a small bag to put the Q-tips in because we already had a lot, and we already had extra Chapsticks lying around, so I included one of those. These items were $19.32 total with tax, and that includes the $3 worth of quarters.
My friend on Facebook mentioned that the man wore small to medium-sized clothing, so I went to a local thrift store and grabbed 2 thick, warm shirts (each just $3.99) since it’s cold outside right now. I got the socks at Dollar Tree, and the beanie and gloves came from Wal-Mart. I looked in all the dollar stores and the thrift store for gloves and couldn’t find any. So the clothing items came out to be $14.43 with tax.
I looked everywhere in the thrift store for a backpack to put all of the items in, but this blue bag was the closest thing I could find. It was just $3.99. I already had extra large Ziploc bags, so I used one to put the toilet paper, gloves, beanie, and socks in to keep them dry, and I used another to put the 2 shirts in. I put all the other items in 3 gallon-sized Ziploc bags for convenience and to keep the items dry as well.
Overall, I went to x stores for the items (and they were fairly close to each other): Dollar Tree, Big Lots, thrift store, Dollar General, Wal-Mart, and Piggly Wiggly (because I thought I already had plastic spoons and didn’t). This is a great way to help someone in need. Even if you can’t purchase this much stuff, you can get what you can. $10 goes a long way in a dollar store when it comes to food. I’ll be meeting my friend today so he can give this to the homeless guy, and it warms my heart to know I’ve helped him in some way.