BLUFFTON—During the pandemic shut-down in the spring of 2020, members at Bluffton United Methodist Church contacted local aid agencies to determine how they could help neighbors in need. From that research, the Blessing Bag Program was started as an outreach of the church.
Church members provided funds and a tote was placed outside of the church in which members could donate toiletry and hygiene items.
The first 25 blessing bags were packed in May 2020 and delivered to Self Help in Bluffton. Each bag was packed as a gift from the church to a family in a reusable or recyclable gift bag because everyone, no matter their means, deserves a gift. Each bag contains 15 full-sized hygiene items and a note of encouragement from the church.
Today, the church Missions Committee has expanded the project to include Deep Well on Hilton Head Island. Every month, 60 blessing bags are packed and delivered to the local charitable organizations for distribution. In November, blessing bag No. 1,000 was packed and delivered.
Bluffton UMC is the only group in the community that regularly provides this type of assistance to local neighbors and plans to continue this project on a monthly basis because they said they know in many homes struggling to secure food, these items may be considered a luxury. Many church members help with this project by shopping, packing, delivering and giving generously so this project can continue to provide neighbors with the dignity of having basic hygiene items.
The church members feel this is one way they can follow the Lord’s teachings to help all of his people.