In February 2020, the idea of the Blessing Bags 4 SA charity took shape. It came to life based on the effort and inspiration of Weston Centre tenants and the management team. The idea behind this charitable effort was to gift Blessing Bags filled with daily essential items like socks, toothbrush/toothpaste, water, dried foods, and a Bible to the less fortunate in San Antonio. Since then, thousands of bags have been distributed.
Today, we want to share more with you about Blessing Bags 4 SA. We’ll cover more about the beginning of this idea, where it is now, and what the future has in store for Blessing Bags 4 SA.
The idea to start the Blessing Bag 4 SA charity began at a volunteer workshop with tenants of Weston Centre and the building management team. At the workshop, one of the tenants said she would like to help the homeless but was unsure of the most effective way to help them. Another tenant suggested making Blessing Bags.
As the idea took shape, the final concept included setting up a “pickup station” where building tenants and guests could grab a Blessing Bag at their convenience. They could take it with them as they leave Weston Centre and walk around downtown San Antonio or keep it in their car to hand out at the right opportunity.
The plan was for dedicated volunteers to take charge of collecting donations and funds to purchase products needed to make the bags. Unfortunately, in March of 2020, COVID forced a lot of businesses to set up remote working options for their employees. Because of this, the tenant building count dropped by 80%. There were no tenants to start the program or keep it going.
But that didn’t stop the charity from moving forward!
Thanks to a dedicated team, led by Mona Mitchell, President of Weston Properties, the program was kept alive! (Learn more about Mona and Blessing Bags 4 SA in this video)
Here are a few stories from the incredible volunteers who worked tirelessly to keep this program going.
Since March of 2020, on Monday mornings, volunteers have walked to Travis Park or Main Plaza to give Blessing Bags.
Rise Church: During a donation drive, they prepared 110 bags and brought over 20 volunteers to gift them in Travis Park.
Aeris and Florencia: A 10 year old girl and her mother donated over 100 Blessing Bags that were contained inside purses and tote bags. Their generous donation filled up the entire back area of their car, including the trunk. On several occasions, they have returned to help give Blessing Bags.
All of our GoFundMe donors: We had 32 donors and surpassed our original $5,000 fundraising goal. We now have a new GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000. On average each bag cost around $10 to make.
The volunteers and donors who found us on Facebook: Several volunteers and donors located the charity on Facebook and joined us on Monday mornings. One volunteer, Melissa, frequently brought her homemade tamales. Others donated bags. One donor brought in 100 boxes of deodorant sticks (in total it was around 2000 sticks of deodorant).
Lifeshare Church – Pastor Ted and the church’s Youth Group volunteered weekly and helped the charity by preparing and raising Blessing Bags along with walking to the park to give bags.
Local Media: Max Massey with KSAT 12 interview
Newcomers of San Antonio: Margret Kidd and other group members donate 50 Blessing Bags each month.
Girl Scout Troop 336: This group of young ladies prepared and donated 20 Blessing Bags.
Weston Centre Tenants: Tenants have graciously donated bags, money and volunteered.
Future of Blessing Bags 4 SA
Now that more tenants are returning to the building from working at home, Weston Centre management team has set up an on-site Blessing Bag donation station. You’ll find it conveniently located at the Courtesy Desk in the Main Lobby of the building.
After 16 months, we have stopped Monday morning distribution and encourage Weston Centre tenants to form their own groups to distribute Blessing Bags. With the help of our on-site donation station, we hope the charity shares more Blessing Bags than ever before!
Interested in Donating to The Blessing Bags 4 SA Charity?
Each blessing bag costs on average $10 to make. The Blessing Bag 4 SA GoFundMe page will continue to accept donations, and use those funds to create more Blessing Bags for the charity.