The idea for care packs came a while back when we were discussing our shared feeling that we need to be more actively giving of our time and resources. One of the clearest areas we have failed many times over is giving to the needy when we encounter them directly. It is pretty easy to write a check to a charity (and a very good thing to do), but when walking through the streets of New York City, or while driving in almost any downtown area, we’ve encountered people who really looked to be in serious need of help (or are very impressive actors!).
Almost every time we have walked or driven by the person in need we would try hard to not to make eye contact. I would justify this with the argument that we don't have food to give, and you hear it's not a good idea to give money. It was while pondering how we could do better, that the idea came to my wife, Jaimee (though I’m pretty sure it was actually my idea ;) to put together a backpack with a few essentials that would really help someone who is homeless or in serious need.
Our next thought was that we could share this idea, and even put bags together to distribute to get as many people actively giving as well! So that is what we did. Now you can purchase a care pack to keep in your car incase you encounter someone who may need it. This is our first concrete step in trying to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy, and we know it is a small one. Our hope and long-term plan is for this to be the foundation for establishing a non-profit organization centered on living out and promoting the Corporal Works of Mercy. To that end, we want to be very clear that we will not use a single cent from the sale of these bags for our personal use. The bags are priced at $2 over cost for the purpose of purchasing more inventory and for growing the funds necessary to start our non-profit organization in the future.
In our Care Pack you will find:
- (3) Z Bars (we wanted something healthy, full of protein, that tastes good and can be easily chewed)
- Beef Jerky (meat that will last)
- Size Medium Winter Socks
- Hand & Foot warmers
- A Package of Wipes
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste and a Toothbrush Cover (in a carrying case)
- Fleece Blanket
- Blank Card and Envelope (for YOU to write a message to put in the bag for whomever may receive it, this is also where you could add money or gift cards)
Upon researching we found we were certainly not the first to think of this, as such, since our goal is not to make money we want to encourage you to put together your own bags to give away if that's easier for you! There are several great resources out there on doing this, or you can use ours as an example.
The important part is just to give.
Our intention with these care packs is to have a few of these in our cars not only to give away, but also to encourage us to seek opportunities to be more generous even if it’s not in giving these bags… (and it’s probably not a bad idea to have these in our trunk in an case of an emergency anyways.)
To our personal care packs, we have also added liquids (Gatorade and water (which are just not cost effective to ship to you)) and money. In the end, we don’t know what the people we encounter really need, and maybe someone will use the money to buy cigarettes, but hey, even Mother Teresa was happy to give a very sick man cigarettes when he asked. Our plan while giving out these bags is to try and spend a few minutes talking with whoever we are trying to help, to share our time (or at least a smile) as well as the care pack. And when it comes down to it for us, it's not just about the backpack. It's about noticing people, acknowledging them, taking the time out of our day to approach them and offer them help if they ask us or look like they may need it. We will likely come across people who already have a toothbrush or may not need food and are really just looking for money, but if that's what it takes to make ourselves available to the people who really do need what we have to offer, well then, it's worth it.
We’re more than happy to send you a Care Pack. We have included for you the cost breakdown of the items in the bags so you know where your money is going – we simply wanted to make them available to you since some of the items are cheaper to us because we purchase in bulk:
If you are interested in purchasing a bag, you can do so here.
If you have suggestions or want to donate items to the bags, please contact us