Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
/ Ministries / Parish Development / Charitable Service
Charitable Service -- Resources
Blessing Bags
Blessing Bags
Blessing Bags
Blessing Bag Ministry

We think anyone who has faced the dilemma of assisting someone at (e.g.) the end of an expressway ramp or red light -- and being unsure if its prudent to give money can appreciate the idea of blessing bags --offered to us by Kenny Kidd, Executive Director of FOCUS NA.


Consider carrying 1 or 2 "Blessing Bags" (see photo) in your car and store them in a location that is easy to reach whenever you might encounter someone in need as you are on the road. The jury is out whether a paper or plastic bag is better…….a paper bag can be burned in a campfire, but is vulnerable to the rain; a plastic bag will protect items from the rain, but often ends up as litter.   There is no easy answer here.


Items to consider including in a Blessing Bag:

  • 1-2 pairs of socks;
  • 1-2 bottles of water;
  • Travel-size toothpaste/brush;
  • Travel-size soaps/wash cloths;
  • Breakfast/cereal bars;
  • Protein bars;
  • Peanut butter/cracker snacks;
  • Apple sauce cups; and
  • Fruit cups


There are many other non-perishable items that could be included…..these are the items that are often easy to find in bulk.


Parishes can easily create a ministry in which a service group "builds" these bags and makes them available to parishioners to carry in their car. When purchasing in bulk, supplies for 10 bags will cost close to $45.00-$50.00 making the cost per bag close to $4.50-$5.00.  Parishioners will often donate the costback to the ministry --making it self sustaining.