Compassion and Empathy Activity: Creating “Care Kits”

A few years ago, our family spent a Sunday afternoon creating “care kits” to keep in the car and give to homeless and needy people that we see around town. We passed the last one out last fall, and our daughters have been asking ever since to make some more. Recently, we read The Teddy Bear a handful of times early in February, as it was a big hit from our list of more than 50 compassion and empathy books to go along with our February Family Focus Traits of compassion and empathy. We also listened to the Big Life Kids Podcast, episode 17: Discover the Superpower of Kindnessa few times, giving us an opportunity to learn about one girl who was able to give homes to homeless people! The combination of these stories and the family conversations we’ve been having about compassion and empathy meant that the time was ripe for us to take action as a family. And, fortunately, the girls were eager to make more care kits!

So, when we had a free morning a few weekends ago, we all went together to the store to pick out items for new care kits, and then spent the afternoon packing them up. My car is now loaded up, and the girls are eager to be able to give to people in need over the next few months!

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So, what is a care kit? It’s incredibly simple– a ziploc bag filled with items that a homeless person might find useful. Care kits are often kept in cars, so that families can access them easily when driving around town and seeing people in need. In our family, when the girls notice someone who might benefit from these bags, I roll down the window and hand out the bag while the girls send them good wishes and prayers. I wish that I could remember where I initially came across the idea, but unfortunately, I can’t. However, Doing Good Together has put together a wonderful list of ideas and resources for creating care kits for the homeless, if you and your family are inspired to do so (click here to see their resource page). In the meantime, we put the following items into gallon-sized ziploc bags for our kits:

  • combs
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • bottles of water
  • applesauce
  • granola bars
  • chapstick
  • first aid kits
  • socks
  • tissues

We also wanted to include sunscreen, but we were unable to find travel-sized sunscreens this time around.

My car is stocked, and the girls are ready to act with compassion and make a difference while we drive around town. Have you and your family ever done anything like this? Do you think you might take a day to put something together now that you see how easy it is?

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