by Margaret Hanoian
September 30 was a great day for our church! Twelve people gathered in Globe Hall to assemble 91 Blessing Bags. Blessing Bags are Ziploc bags filled with food, toiletries, and a blessing card. Anyone in the congregation may distribute to those in need. In the past, Blessing Bags have been given out in parks, on street corners, and in shelters. Giving out a Blessing Bag is a blessing for both the giver and the recipient.
After enjoying Gretchen’s delicious oatmeal muffins and pumpkin bread, the group started the bag assembly line. Everything had been set up earlier in the week by Missions Committee members Gretchen, Alison, and Teri. This made it easy — the supplies were organized into neat piles, along with instructions, such as “2 Granola Bars”. We started off slowly (except for speedy Martha!), but then got into a steady rhythm. We finished it all by 9:30!
Then we were off to Woonsocket to participate in the Community Care Alliance’s Annual Shelter Walk. For over three decades, this inspiring event has been a poignant declaration of community spirit and solidarity against homelessness. This year, our church was a sponsor of this event. There was a short speaking program, and then our group joined about 50 other people to “walk a mile in their shoes”.
“It was fun to work together and an easy way to help people who are less fortunate. We were relieved when it didn’t rain. Then there was the sobering reality that the homeless are outside in all kinds of weather”, said Ruth Mills.
Chris Bonas added, “Simply put … not only was the Blessing Bags/Shelter Walk a great cause to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, it gave me the opportunity to get connected with other members of the congregation!”