Columbus House Christmas Bags 2016

Columbus House Christmas Bags

The Columbus House Christmas Bags have become a great tradition around here. They get bigger and better every year!

First, let me tell you about Columbus House: their mission is to serve people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, by providing shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence. They are located in New Haven, Connecticut, and they quite literally change lives. Their goal is to end homelessness and help people succeed and get into permanent housing. This is a group we are so proud to help in any way that we can.

One of the donations we make to Columbus House is the Christmas Bags, which include basic necessities, though, to someone without resources, even necessities can seem like luxuries.

This is what we included in this year’s bags:

  • Long-Sleeved T-Shirt
  • Sweat Shirt
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Day Planner Calendar
  • Travel Game
  • Playing cards
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries (such as shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, lip balm, toothpaste, and toothbrushes)

This year, we packed 260 bags. As you can image, it takes a lot of people to get this done! Just the set-up for the packing events is a major undertaking. We took over our large cafeteria, and our team members dropped in when they had a moment and volunteered a few minutes of their time to sort sizes and pack the bags. We held 4 separate packing events, and by the time we were done, we’d packed up 82 bags for the women’s shelter and 178 for the men’s shelter.

The best part by far was getting the bags to the shelter. A dozen team members volunteered to help deliver them. It was an amazing sight to see a “Care-o-Van!”

We all gathered outside to load the cars and see them off. It felt so good to know everyone in the shelter would get a gift bag for Christmas.

You can learn more about Columbus House here.