Tonight I Made Karma Kits

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Awhile back while surfing on Pinterest, I came across a pin to "Blessings Bags" or "Karma Kits." These are Ziploc baggies of toiletries, food, and other comforts that would help a person living on the street.

Today I stopped at Target and made up some kits of my own. I got 12 of everything, so we can keep a few in each car, as well as bring some with us when we go downtown, as there is always a large homeless population down there.

Making Karma Kits

The first thing I did was separate out the toiletries from the food into a separate plastic bag. I didn't want the smell of the deodorant to get into the food. Everything I got was travel size and was lucky to find multi-packs of a lot of things. 

Making Karma Kits

Then I packaged up each kit, taking one of each item. Some things, like the granola bars didn't come in packs of 12, so I had to get two boxes of 8. So some kits have doubles, but I figured that was okay. Here's the list of things that I included in each of my kits:

Making Karma Kits


Toiletries
  • Wet Ones hand wipes
  • Deodorant
  • ChapStick
  • Tissues
  • Razor
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Listerine breath strips
  • Moisturizer

Rest of the Kit
  • Socks (I splurged and got the ones with thicker toes and heels)
  • Instand oatmeal
  • Oatmeal granola bars (these are soft and easier to chew than other granola bars)
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Raisins
  • Tea bag
  • Chocolate square (I found this super cheap and thought they might be a nice surprise)
  • Fruit cup
  • Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers (this is something I found at Target. It has meat, beans and rice all mixed together. It's just heat and serve. Figured it wouldn't be horrid just out of the bag either). 
  • Plastic spoon
I wanted to get a mix of basically healthy foods that have protein and staying power, that are easy to chew (as many homeless have teeth issues), and don't require any prep. I assumed that they can get access to hot water and a cup, which might be a big assumption, but hey. If they can't use something, hopefully they can trade it for something they can use. 

I also made a little label that says "Karma Kit" on one side and has a little message on the other. At first I thought about including an inspirational quote or the contact info for shelters and aid groups in the area, but I decided against that. I didn't want it to be taken as condescending, like I know more about their world than they do. So I opted for "A little bag of comforts to help you in this hard time. All items are brand new." Here's a link to a printable sheet of labels: karmakitlabels.pdf

This was really easy to do. It would be a great activity for a Scout troop or to get small kids to help with. I would love to know how the kits are received and used once I hand them out. Are there things that I missed? Were some things more appreciated than others? Ever the designer, I guess I want to improve on my next iteration. Heh. 

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