" "

Bags of Grace

Bags of GraceI have been attending Women of Faith for five years now here in DC. About four-and-a-half years ago I came across an Upper Room devotion that talked about giving out “bags of grace” to people in need. I then felt called to start organizing these bags for the homeless, that we pass out while walking from the hotel we stay in to the Women of Faith conference.

It’s been an amazing mission. The first year after passing out the bags we were on our way back to the hotel and saw someone reading one of the Bibles [from] our bag. Each year it has gotten bigger and this year we were able to give out 151 bags, seven homemade afghans, and fifteen $5 McDonalds gift cards. Another church with us had 15 bags, so 166 total—TRULY AMAZING!

As I sat [at Celebrate What Matters] listening to Andy Andrews it made me wonder what my boys have learned from me doing [the bags]. For the past four years they have been shopping with me over and over and helping put the bags together. We have had many talks about who the bags are for and why I spend so much time working on them. But this year, my oldest asked me if he can come help hand them out. It was just confirmation that I am doing what I was called to be doing. Thanks to Andy for his talk because it gave me the feeling I might have planted a little seed in my boys…which could be one of the reasons I was led to organize these “bags of grace.”

Comments

  1. 2 years ago
    Myrna says

    As a mother of a young man who has been homeless on the streets I want you to know how touching it is to hear about people reaching out to the homeless. So many times rude comments are made and they are shunned. It’s encouraging to know that there are so many hearts being responsive to The Lords direction in this area. Thank you, each and every one of you for being obedient to this call. I wish someone in my community had done this for my son!

  2. 2 years ago
    Rita KLundt says

    I just finished a good book that you all might find interesting, titled, The Invisible Thread. Based on a true story, the writer does not focus on faith in God or obedience to Christ’s commands (I don’t even know if she is a believer), but her book will motivate any woman of faith you to keep this going. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 2 years ago
    Lorraine Cole says

    Very inspiring…….little acts of kindness that show that we walk like we beiieve.

  4. 2 years ago
    LaNell Leatherwood says

    I was inspired last year after Women of Faith and the NM Extension Asso. State Meeting to do this same idea for men, women and children going thru chemo. * months of planning and 2 communities gathering, sewing, knitting, (on Monday night) we made 125 bags to go out. They were delivered Wednesday afternoon after Bible Study and the workers at the center were so moved. It is truely a blessing to bless others. It will become a yearly event. Making plans for next year.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      That is awesome! We have had someone two years in a row now knit afghans that we have given out with our bags. They are SO wanted. I will hopefully be able to learn on to make them in the next few years so we can give out more!! God Bless!!

  5. 2 years ago
    Susan says

    Please include me in what you put in these bags. One of our members serves and works with counseling women who need to leave their homes in the middle of the night escaping domestic violence. I would love to know what you include in the bags. Thank you. Have a Blessed day.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      That is a great idea. It doesn’t have to just be for homeless. It would be a great thing to have for a situation as you described. If you can email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will send you all my info on the bags. Thanks!

  6. I love this idea. I attend HRock church and am the leader of a group called D.J. It’s an amazing idea that is based on Romans 12:10, where it says to honor others over yourself. Thank you for reaching out to others and teaching your sons to do the same. Blessings

  7. 2 years ago
    Lisa says

    I can tell you that the affect it has on your children is such a huge blessing.

  8. 2 years ago
    Crystal says

    Please email me with all the information about the Bags of Grace. My women’s Ministry at church is always looking for something like this do put together and give out to people.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      I would be glad to email you all my info, please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send all that I do and all that I know, ha! God Bless!

  9. 2 years ago
    Ginger Holliman says

    Hi! I love your idea as well! Your story truly touched my heart as well! I have 5 sons & I often wonder if I am doing enough to plant the seed with them! This would be a great project anywhere! I often visit my oldest son, who lives in New Orleans, LA. Any time that I visit, I always see homeless people on the streets! I always grin & smile but my son tells me not to look them in the eye or speak to them. He says this is for my safety. So, I’ve done as my son said, most of the time with an ache in my heart for those people whether their intentions are bad or good or how they got there! You never know the power of just one smile and the difference that can make in someone’s life! I’ve often wondered what I could do besides a smile to bless their day! I think this would be an excellent ministry each time I visit him. I have faith that God will protect me because those people on the street are God’s magnificence & are as precious to God as you or I despite their situation or how they got there!

    I would also like to know the contents of your bags, what kind of bag do you put the items in and what you say as you are handing them out!

    Thank you so much for sharing your “Bags of Grace” & God bless you & your family! I will say an extra prayer for you because God gifted you with precious little boys and that He continues to give you strength as their mother, wisdom & the power through God’s grace to lead them in to the service of the Lord! I will pray that your ministry grows! Good Job Mom!!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Awe, that was really sweet. Thank you for your kind words. I would love to hear that one day you are able to hand out bags to some of those you walk past. It is rewarding and while it can be intimidating at first it is worth it. If you would like the info please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send you all my info. Again, thanks for those kind words!! God Bless!

  10. 2 years ago
    Portia says

    Thank you for your Bags of Grace ministry. I just love how GOD shows us so plainly what he has for us to do. I think it is very important for us to keep our eyes open for opportunities to be of service,and you have obviously done that. May God continue to bless and guide you and your children in your ministry.

  11. 2 years ago
    Tw says

    I am interested in finding out what is placed in the “bags of grace” so that our church could develop the same. Thank you

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      I would be glad to tell everyone. Please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will email you all my info on the bags. Thanks!

  12. 2 years ago
    Debbie Powell says

    Christa!
    Our church is using this for outreach, revival and so much more! You do not know how honored I am that the idea came from YOU! What a wonderful amazing women you have grown into Christ! Your sons have to know how blessed they are! I am thrilled to have met you!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      WOOHOO! I feel the same about you!

  13. 2 years ago
    Diana says

    This is so inspiring! I have been wanting to do something similar…what did you put in your bags?

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send you all my info on the bags. I am glad you are interested in spreading HIS word. This is a rewarding way to do it!!!

  14. 2 years ago
    Barbara Simon says

    Great idea. Would be interested in knowing what items you put in these bags. This would be a wonderful ministry all over the USA. God bless you.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      I am hoping this spreads ALL OVER the US! I have heard from all parts so far which is truly a blessing. If you would like my info please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will forward all that i have to you!! God Bless!

  15. 2 years ago
    Susan says

    I would also love to learn more as my fellow employees and I are always looking for ways to serve our community. Please share what is in the bags, asking for donations….just everything!!!! Bless you and your beautiful children for making a difference and showing Jesus’ love to others.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello!! I would be glad to email you all that I have on this. If you can please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will send you all my info. Thanks!

  16. 2 years ago
    Cyndi says

    Aboslutely a beautiful thing to hear. God Bless you and your efforts to spread his word and help those in need.

  17. Greetings:
    I think the idea is fantastic. I have a church that ordered tote bags under $1.00 each to gather food for
    the needy. They have a cross in the center front of the bags with grocery items listed on both sides of
    the cross. They pass out the bags to have them filled with groceries and can food with their name and
    details under the cross. You can search the website listed http://www.kbbestbuys.com for the bags and other
    items and email me for any questions or ordering nwchurch@hotmail.com Thank you for your comments. Tom Hay

  18. 2 years ago
    Julie says

    Great Idea. I have been looking for an outreach project for our Small Group Bible Study.
    Here are just a few of my ideas: Reusable cloth bags from the grocery store, usually only a dollar. New Testament with Psalms or a devotional book, many times available at thrift stores. Bottle of water.
    Tube of RItz or any kind of crackers, small container of peanut butter, plastic knife. Travel pack of handi-wipes or hand sanitizer. Kleenex. Gift card for fast food restaurant or grocery store for $5 or any amount. Tooth brush, travel size tooth paste. Note of encouragement with Scripture. Candy Bar (we all need a little sweets now and then). Pair of socks. I could go on and on but our own financial situation will determine our limits. Thank you Christa for the idea and the motivation. You are a Blessing to us all.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      You are welcome! I think those ideas are good are some of the items that I put in the bags. I totally agree, we all need a sweet every once in awhile!

  19. Always looking for things to do to help others. I coupon as well and can get alot of items free or low cost.

  20. 2 years ago
    Sheila Bunn says

    I would like to know what goes into the bags. It sounds like a perfect way to help others. There are always many in need around the venues. It is a good place to help out. Thanks for your information and sharing. God Bless

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      What I like is that its not just being done around the holiday. Typically we think of others then but not other times of the year. So having WOF at random times is a good thing :) if you would like to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will be glad to give you all my info!

  21. 2 years ago
    Margie Nantz says

    I too would like to know what you put in the bags and what type of bags are they. I love the idea!!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will give you all my info on the bags. I typically use just plastic grocery store bags but would like to start using recycle bags with handles. Hope to hear from you soon!!

  22. 2 years ago
    Betty says

    This sounds like an amazing idea and I would love to know what all you put into these bags and how you go about distributing them in your community?

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      hello! thanks for asking! As far as distributing in the community, when I went to the WOF conference our hotel was near a homeless shelter so it was a good place to start because we didn’t have to find people who needed items they were in front of us! If you would like my list of items please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will email you all my info on it. Thanks!

  23. 2 years ago
    Kathy Williams says

    I would also like to know what goes in the “Bags of Grace”. Wonderful idea!!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! Can you please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send you all the info that I have on these bags. Can’t wait to hear from you!!

  24. 2 years ago
    Faith Scott says

    I would like to know more about the Bag of Grace. I would like to know what you put in your bags and who and how you going about purchase the items you put in the bags. Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send you all the info on what I do. Thanks for the interest in this amazingly rewarding mission.

  25. 2 years ago
    Terri Lynn Vegter says

    Something similar happened to my girlfriend and me, several years ago, as we walked from our Atlanta hotel to the WoF Conference. We walked by numerous homeless persons, one of whom was sleeping “under” his wheelchair. This experience led my friend to volunteer at the Atlanta Rescue Mission. Every Sunday morning, she would drive the 30 miles into the city, serve and befriend the clients whom came for a shower, haircut, clean clothes, a hot meal, and some Christian fellowship. My girlfriend was devastated to lose an ARM friend whom froze to death, this winter. Sadly, the Mission had to close their doors, as they could not overcome the lack of funds.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      that is an awesome story. thanks for sharing it, it very rewarding to help out others who can’t at this moment help themselves! God Bless!

  26. Add me to the list —

  27. 2 years ago
    Marleita says

    I loved that idea and would love to do it as well–or keep a few in my trunk for when I approach homeless people. What do you put in them?

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will forward you all my info on these bags. I am so excited about the amount of people who want to do this! God Bless!

  28. 2 years ago
    Teri says

    Help, I also would like to know what are in the bags. How can I find out? Perhaps if it was posted more people who want to help could find out right here.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! If you can email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I would be glad to give you all of my info about these bags. Thanks so much for the interest.

  29. 2 years ago
    Melanie says

    As stated from many already, I too would love to learn more about your Bags of Grace mission. What goes into the bags and what you do to prepare them? What do you say when you are giving the bags out? How do you get donations? I have 3 young children and have been praying that I could do something with them that could strengthen them and their walk with Christ.

    • What I great God we serve! Your blog seems to be a confirmation from God…
      For the past 3 days, God ‘opened my eyes’ to SEE two particular homeless on my route to work. I usually ‘notice’ the homeless as i drive by, but these 3 days i SEE them; and God has been pressing on my heart to provide for them some sort of ‘care package’ in a packpack and include a gospel related material ( small Bible, gospel in pictures …), food ( Protein bars too), a jean and t-shirt. I also felt compelled to do their laundry at least once a week, if they leave their laundry at a designated place I could pick it up, each them and return. Basically demonstrate Christ Love to them in this tangible way.
      Could you please tel me what else to include in the package? Or provide info the type of gospel materiel to include? Any info will be great!
      Thank you. Blessings

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! I have a list of items I give out. We just line up everything on tables and grab bags and walk around the table. I normally put them all in a walmart bag so they have handles, but make sure there are no holes in the bags, ha! When we give them out we just say walk up to someone and say would you like a bag, normally the people see you and want one for their friends etc. We have had people not want a bag so we just say ok and move on (but that’s not normally the case). As far as donations, I just ask my church family if anyone wants to donate. Last year at our church the mission for VBS was the bags so we got a lot of donations that way. Please email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will give you all the info on the bags. Thanks!

  30. 2 years ago
    Annette says

    Please tell me what is in the “Bags of Grace”

  31. 2 years ago
    Jeannie Beene says

    I too would like to know what you put in these bags. I work downtown OKC and there is a great need for something like this

  32. 2 years ago
    Catherine Rochell says

    Great ministry. We have a lot of people on the streets here. I like to keep stuff in the car to hand out. What type things do you put in your bags?

  33. 2 years ago
    Gail Bucholz says

    What a wonderful ministry you have going. I have been to the WOF and it was Awesome! Several of us also go to the Joyce Meyer’s Women’s Conference every year and there are many opportunities there to bless others. We would also love to know what kind of items you put in the bags. Thank you for sharing your idea with all of us.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      I have never been to a Joyce Meyers conference but would love to!! If you want to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will send you all of my info. Thanks!!

  34. 2 years ago
    Ellen says

    This was a wonderful mission idea. What types of things did you put in your bag?

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      if you would like to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will send you all my info. There is about 10 or so things I try to put in the bags :)

  35. 2 years ago
    Kaliah says

    Please share the items you place in the bags. I would like to try this as an outreach.

  36. 2 years ago
    Jean says

    Wow, this sounds wonderful. What types of items do you place in the “bags of grace” besides a Bible. This would be a great ministry for a group to get involved in especially with the weather starting to turn cooler. Thanks for sharing what God laid on your heart. Jean

  37. 2 years ago
    Marilyn says

    Christa, what a wonderful idea. What are some of the items you put in your bags of grace? I would like to help a few people out this way

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! There are about 10 or so items, if you want to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will be glad to give you the list of items and all that I do. Thanks for wanting to pay this forward like this…

  38. 2 years ago
    Wanda says

    What an awesome idea and ministry!

  39. 2 years ago
    Bonnie says

    So cool!! Christa – what did you or do you put in the bags?

  40. 2 years ago
    Crystal says

    Hello, Cheista! My husband & I have been talking & wanting to foo something just like what you have been doing with the “grace bags”. Can you give me some idea of what you put in them?
    You are blessing many lives & planting the seed. May God continue to bless you & your family for being His hands & feet.
    Thanks!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! If you want to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will be glade to send all my info to you. It is an awesome ministry to do no matter how small or big you make it :)

  41. 2 years ago
    Jo Nell Martin says

    What a wonderful idea….it touched my heart!

  42. I LOVE THAT IDEA. I HAVE TO ADMIT AS I WALK TO ARENA PASS ALOT OF HOMELESS & AM TOO QUICK TO JUDGE. NEVER KNOW WHERE A SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS WILL GO.

    GOD BLESS YOU FOR TEACHING YOUR BOYS KINDNESS & HELPING YOUR FELLOW MAN.

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      What you said about the small act of kindness is exactly what Andy Andrews talked about. He said that you never know if what you say or do will impact someone else, its so true!!

  43. 2 years ago
    Blanca Serrano says

    Can you send me information or a list on what you include in the Bags of Grace?
    I like the idea!!!! Thank you! Blanca

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! If you would like to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com I will be glad to send you my list as to what is in the bags…its a great ministry!!

  44. 2 years ago
    Robyn M Johnson says

    I love this idea!

  45. 2 years ago
    Tamie says

    Will you please share more details with me about ‘bags of grace’? I have been attending WOF for the past 7 years but do not remember this. I and family and a couple of friends usually attend and now this year a handful from my church are going as well….sounds like something i would like to do. Thank you!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      This is just something that my church and I have been doing it wasn’t anything that WOF does so it wasn’t really known. I just felt led this year to share after listening to Andy Andrews speak. If you would like to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com, I will be glad to pass on the info to you!

  46. 2 years ago
    Nicole says

    Please do tell what are the typical items in the “bags of grace” so I can put some together!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please feel free to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will send you all my info!! Glad to get a good response to this!

  47. 2 years ago
    kathy wade says

    What is in the bbags of grace? I would like to do that too!

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      please feel free to email me at cebmullins@yahoo.com and I will be glad to send you all my info about it. I am super happy that others want to do it!!! Very exciting!

  48. I was really moved by your article and wanted to ask what is it you put in the bags? I would like to present it to my church to possibly start something in our area.

    Love in the name of Jesus,
    Diana Bayer

  49. 2 years ago
    shirley clark says

    Very inspiring. There are so many ways God uses a willing heart.

  50. 2 years ago
    Tammy Strickler says

    Hello,
    I would like to find out more about these bags of Grace. Our church is always wanting to do things for the community and abroad, please contact me and let me know more about these. What all you put in the bags, where do you get the donations etc.
    When you email me I will give you my phone number.
    Thank you
    Tam

    • 2 years ago
      Christa Mullins says

      Hello! I typically put socks, toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, wash cloth, deodorant, comb, tissues (pocket size), powder and of course bible. I use all trial sized items and the bible is from the dollar store. Please feel free to email me. I can send you all the info :)

      • 2 years ago
        Christa Mullins says

        email address would be nice, ha…its cebmullins@yahoo.com, thanks!

        • 2 years ago
          Tammy says

          Thank you, I will keep your email for reference. I just started a new church and they are always looking for ways to help out others. This is truly an amazing thing.
          Thank you so much!
          God Bless!
          Tam

      • 2 years ago
        Kaliah says

        Thank you for this info. I did send you an email :) Our women’s ministry is currently doing something similar but we’re putting travel size hygiene items in a plastic school pencil box for durability. I need to figure out how to squeeze the bible & socks in.

      • 2 years ago
        Donna Mathis says

        On April 1 2012 we were hired to Pastor a small church but until till then for the past 5 years once a month we took clothes and socks and other items to the homeless of Dallas Texas, I found a place online it is Dollardays.com and you can buy alot of the items you need alot cheaper then just trial sizes, my heart is for the homeless but our new church is about an hour from Dallas and is in a small town, but the bags are a great thing, just wanted to tell you about dollardays,com so maybe that will help you
        Donna

    • Praise God that is so awsome