This holiday season, we wanted to teach the kids in the Lego and Robotics Academy that it is a blessing to be a blessing. We decided to build blessing bags during our Christmas party to give away to those in need in our community. In this way we hoped to show the kids that Christmas is about giving. We want the kids to know that helping people in our community is important.
Lego and Robotics Academy is a 4H club made up of homeschool families in our community. We get together each month to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We are a fairly new club and have been meeting for 7 months now. Today is a big step in coming together to do something important for someone else.
Each family donated items for our bags and brought it to our Christmas party. The bags that we used to hold everything, were two gallon ziploc plastic bags. We wrote a blessing on the front of each bag with a permanent marker.
We set up the kids in an assembly line at long tables to fill the bags. This helped to maintain organization.
Each child had an item to be responsible for, a “job” as my daughter called it. We lined groups of items up on tables and had the kids stand in front of their special group of items.
Then each child placed the items that they were responsible for into the blessing bag. Finally they passed the bag onto the next person for the process to be repeated.
Items we put into the bag today were:
cheese crackers & peanut butter
Several of our club members were not able to attend today. But the kids still managed to build 24 blessing bags to hand out. Each family took several bags home to disperse on their own. Some carried the bags in their car and gave them out to people in need they met on the street. Some took their bags to a local shelter. Some took their bags to a church ministry that gave them to people in need.
Each family was welcome to add more items into their bags before delivering them. We left some extra room in the bags for this purpose and incase the person receiving the bag needed to add something of their own to it to keep it dry or protected. Our family also added more items that we wanted to give. The kids thought about it and chose a few additional items to make their bag complete.
Suggestions for additional items include:
soup in easy open cans
fruit in easy open cans
another bottle of water
gift cards for bus, coffee, meals, etc.
dehydrated vegetables and foods
jars of peanut butter
small pop-up tent
mini camp stove
paper and pens
rolls of quarters
salt and pepper
Card or note of encouragement
Suggestions for other types of bags to hold items are back packs, duffle bags, carts with wheels, suit case with wheels. Also bags of groceries are nice blessing bags too. If you are blessing a child with a bag, leave out the items such as matches or lighters and vitamins, and instead add a stuffed animal, coloring book, and school supplies. Trident gum would be nice to include too.
To further our learning and appreciation of this special opportunity, we also had a discussion about why folks might end up in need this holiday season.
The kids were asked to share their ideas about why folks were in need. Some of the reasons they shared were:
Loss of job
Weather Emergency (Tornado, Hurricane, etc.)
Poor Quality Housing
Lack Of Transportation (no car, no money to fix broken car, no money for gas or insurance).
No Money To Pay For Things
Crime In Neighborhood
Been A Victim
Death Of A Loved One
There were so many reasons folks could find themselves in need. We should not be judgemental or criticize people who have less or who have more than we have. We should bless others and give as we are able to. We prayed over our bags that they would be a blessing to whomever received them.
After our blessing bag activity, we enjoyed a fun time celebrating Christmas together with a party of refreshments and goodie bags for the kids.
All of the families pitched in to help make this party a fun time for the children. The children helped set up the tables and chairs before the meeting today. The food table was decorated with a lighted tree, red table cloth, and looked very festive.
One of the moms made these fun Lego heads for the kids to eat. These were made from marshmallows on a popcycle stick, dipped in white chocolate with yellow food coloring added, and faces piped onto them. She covered a box with wrapping paper to look like a present and stuck the popcycle sticks in to it to hold them upright.
There were a variety of sandwiches, chips, dips, vegies, and fun lego candy. The candy looks just like Lego bricks and was available at the local Ingles grocery stores. It tastes like sweet tarts, and it stacks together like legos.
The kids really enjoyed their Christmas party, building the blessing bags, and playing with their friends.
One of the families made goodie gift bags, and everyone had a Christmas goodie bag to take home and enjoy.
After the party, the kids helped clean up the room and put away all the tables and chairs. Then several kids enjoyed a game of tossing a football and playing tag outside.
It was a beautiful day even in December. We have not had snow and for the most part our winter weather has been very mild. The kids enjoy playing outside every chance they get.
1 Corinthians 9:23
“I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”