Pinning it Down {2} Compassion Bags

We’re playing at Pam’s today– so make sure you head over and let us know what Pinterest projects you’ve been Pinning Down.


The kids and I are studying the virtue of Compassion as part of the character education program we’re using. Knowing that I wanted to integrate a hands-on project early into our learning, I remembered the Blessing Bags I pinned a couple of months ago.

The two main components of compassion are 1) sharing in the suffering of another, and 2) showing mercy. To meet this first goal of sharing the suffering of others, we discussed the folks we see so often by the side of the roadway, holding up signs and asking for money. We talked about what it would feel like not to have a warm, dry house or a hot dinner- not to have a bed or a car or even a regular bath. We talked about how such people may feel lonely or unloved, and how many of them want for the most basic needs that we take for granted.

Then we began considering how we could show mercy. We brainstormed a list of items to put in bags we could hand out to those we see by the roadways. We took a trip to the store to buy a variety of snacks and personal items, and got to work putting together what we are calling Compassion Bags.

The girls added simple handwritten messages to slip into each bag, and we loaded the bags into a box that we’ll keep in our car. Next time we see someone holding up a sign asking for money or help, we won’t just drive by. Instead, we’ll unroll the window and hand them a little bit of compassion.

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  1. says

    This is really a great idea – and a great lesson! I used to drive around Baltimore and see people all the time. I refuse to give money, but love it when I have something to eat to offer. This would be good to have in the car for those times we’re there.

  2. says

    These are super wonderful, Sarah! What a fabulous project to do with the kids – blessing those who will receive them and blessing your children with learning the corporal works of mercy. We keep cases of cracker packs and water bottles in the car, but your bags go so much further. Bless you all!

  3. says

    We’ve done the same thing! We also added (you probably thought of this already, but I can’t see them in your bags) were gift certificates to McD’s or Starbucks– enough for a hot cup of coffee or a meal in a warm place.

  4. says

    I hope you don’t mind… I shared the link to this post on my Facebook page.
    I think more people (myself included) could use a little reminder now and then about compassion…
    I love that you are my little cousin and that your kids are learning such amazing things!

  5. says

    How do I love this project? Let me count the ways…1) practical 2) kids are involved 3) so original 4) a corporal work of mercy…I could go on! Thank you, Sarah!!!

  6. says

    Absolutely fantastic, this is something I’ll do, thanks so much for sharing.

    Hope your little gal is going to turn, thinking of you and offering a prayer that all will be well.

    Hugs San xx

  7. says

    I have often handed one of these people with the signs a Cliff bar and a fruit rope from my bag which is always stocked with such things but I really like the idea of having a plan and some packets in the car for just such a purpose. I always hate it when I pass someone on the way home from an outing knowing I had just emptied out my bag and now have nothing to share.

  8. says

    I so LOVE this idea! My heart always goes out to those I see on corners. I have often thought, it doesn’t matter if they really do have a home & supplies or not. I’m sure some may, but most probably do not. It is not up to us to judge, but to love and give according to God’s mercy and what he has given us. We are definitley going to follow suit and make bags to have on hand. Such a wonderful idea!

  9. says

    Way to go! We did these back in December and it was such a heartwarming experience. It was the kind of thing we’d been saying for the longest time we should do. And we need to do it again, not wait until next Advent season!

  10. says

    Sarah, This is such a wonderful thing to do with your kids. I have other friends who do the same, but in different ways. The one part I haven’t seen anyone do is keeping them in their cars to give out. What wonderful acts of love you are teaching your children. Love, Sheelah

  11. says

    I pinned these too and hope to do it very soon. I’d love to hear more about the P.A.C.E program. I clicked on the link and I didn’t see any sample pages. I generally tend not to buy homeschool curriculum if I can’t ‘thumb’ through it first.

  12. says

    My favorite part is the handwritten notes :) Such a sweet thing to do. Our message at church last Sunday was all about recognizing Jesus in the hungry, the poor, and in strangers. I’d say you’re doing just that.

  13. says

    oh, my heart!

    those bags have the most thoughtful items in them. J & I were just beginning the parental convo about homelessness & the question of age-appropriate information as Ains has begun to ask about the homeless folk she sees around DC. Thank you for this.

  14. says

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