When the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced the Commonwealth of Virginia to close schools, The Salvation Army of Staunton went into action supporting families in their community with “Blessing Bags.” The bags contain games and activities for the entire family, with daily devotionals, snacks, craft supplies, and encouraging messages and prayer cards for the Lenten season.
“When we had to cancel our weekly youth programs, we were concerned for families who may be feeling anxious about the health and well-being of their families,” explained Lieutenant Kelsey Meredith. “Those parents may also be feeling anxious about local business disruption and its impact on their finances.”
The first batch of 20 Blessing Bags were created for families with children in The Salvation Army youth music and character development programs. As bags were loaded in the van for delivery, one caring neighbor arrived at the building with a donation of baby food and formula for the Corps’ food pantry. “She is a mom with children in the program and here she was sharing blessings with us!” said Lt. Meredith. “We will keep sharing God’s love while we find ways to meet the needs of the moment.” The Corps plans to make more bags for first responders to deliver to families in need.