We believe God created everyone for a purpose. Knowing you were created for a purpose by a God who loves you can be a great source of comfort in times of uncertainty. If there’s ever a time when things are uncertain, it’s the day you enter foster care. That's why it's our mission to tell kids in foster care they're valuable to us, our community, and God, Blessing Bags are the vessel we use to deliver that message.
Every Blessing Bag includes:
An encouraging faith based book
A pack of at least 6 pairs of socks
A bag to carry their things in
An invitation to S.E.E. Night events where we'll go beyond the Blessing Bag to support, encourage, and equip their foster family
In addition to all of that each Blessing Bag also includes several fun items that vary depending on the age of the child it's intended for. We focus on items social workers tell us are most needed and items therapists tell us can be used in coping strategies that kids often learn in therapy sessions.
If it seems like we're particular about what goes in a Blessing Bag it's because we want the quality of the gift to exemplify the message it's tagged with, "You are VALUABLE to a God who loves you." We also have to respect restrictions and avoid safety concerns that partnered foster care agencies express to us.
Blessing Bags make a difference. They make the transition a little easier, Sometimes they’re the first brand new items a child has ever owned, and they help to preserve their self-esteem and dignity. Long term what these children need is a loving and committed role model. We want to encourage you to be the supportive, stable, and committed adult in the life of an at-risk youth. Click here for resources on adopting and/or fostering.
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT BLESSING BAGS
Some of our most needed items are packs of socks, 24 pack crayons, coloring books, composition notebooks, and packs of unscented baby wipes. We can only accept new unopened donations.
Packing Parties are held a few times a year and are announced on social media, come help us assemble a big batch of Blessing Bags! We also have a continuous need for volunteers to tag bags, package hair ties, and more.
Monetary donations made specifically to this program are used exclusively to create Blessing Bags. A $20 donation funds an entire filled Blessing Bag with an average retail value of $50.
S.E.E. Nights are special events where we Support, Encourage, and Equip foster families. Supporting foster families is an opportunity to continue showing the kids how valuable they are, beyond giving them their Blessing Bag.
This program meets several needs for
foster families, S.E.E. Nights provide:
Legally required training hours
Dinner for the whole family
Child care, which is one of the biggest obstacles foster families have to overcome to get their continuing education hours
A community of foster parents who understand each other's unique challenges
A community of kids who get to see other families that look like their own, a blend of biological, adoptive, and foster siblings
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT S.E.E. NIGHTS
Own, manage, or otherwise have a connection with a local restaurant? Would your business like to help us feed foster families at an upcoming S.E.E. Night? We'll give you due credit as a dinner sponsor!
From serving dinner to setting up and tearing down there's plenty for your team or group to help with! Volunteers with professional skills like magicians, hair stylists, musicians, and more really make S.E.E. Nights special.
Monetary donations made specifically to this program help us pay for professional trainers, dinner supplies for events that don't have a dinner sponsor, and our child care program. Yes, your donation is tax deductible!
Are you a foster family who needs supported, encouraged,
and equipped for the challenges ahead?
Please contact our Director of Foster Parent Support, Melissa Eldridge, to get details about upcoming events: MelissaEldridge@OperationBlessingBag.com
First delivery of 110 Blessing Bags made to Butler County Children Services
Three Packing Parties and a total of 691 Blessing Bags packed for NYAP, Necco, Ohio Mentor, and Hope's Closet
Three Packing Parties and 820 Blessing Bags packed for Hope's Closet, Ohio Mentor, NYAP, and NECCO.
S.E.E. Night program developed and prepared for launching in 2022
Two Packing Parties and a total of 195 Blessing Bags delivered to Butler County Children Services
Officially registered as a charity with the state of Ohio
Three Packing Parties and 620 Blessing Bags packed for NYAP, NECCO, Focus on Youth, Ohio Mentor, and Hope's Closet
Two Packing Parties and a total of 317 Blessing Bags packed for Ohio Mentor, NYAP, Hope's Closet, and Butler County Children's Services
Officially recognized as a 501(c)3 Tax exempt Non-Profit
Three Packing Parties and 400 Blessing Bags packed for Hope's Closet, Ohio Mentor, NECCO, and NYAP
OUR CORE VOLUNTEER TEAM
Director of Inventory Management
"I could feel God calling me to come alongside this ministry in any way that I could. In the beginning that meant sponsoring bags, collecting socks at church, and volunteering at packing parties. Now as a Core Volunteer, it means answering God's call with "Here I am, send me," when a need arises."
Director of Foster Parent Support
"I started working with Operation Blessing Bag after many conversations with my friend, the Executive Director. We had a vision to make SEE Night bigger and better. And with our two minds combined, it definitely seemed like a project worth working on. I am beyond excited to start this chapter. I look forward to many months and years to come, and helping our community feel like a community again. "
"God put it on my heart to tell kids in foster care how valuable they are. I volunteer at Operation Blessing Bag to plant that seed of love in as many of their hearts as possible. I love that OBB is growing and reaching more kids than I ever could have on my own."
"I think it's very important for kids to feel loved, wanted, and needed. When I was growing up God put people in my life who poured the good news into my life. I volunteer for Operation Blessing Bag because it's the least I can do to help someone else."
"I love helping people, especially kids because they should never have to suffer. My friend, Carly, told me Operation Blessing Bag had a need for my specific skills and I've been honored to help ever since."
Care Team Coordinator
"Volunteering with OBB is an opportunity to fulfill God's command to love and serve the vulnerable. It's an honor for me to use my gifts and experiences to share God's love with children and families experiencing foster care by offering support, encouragement, and a relationship through their journey
Our Care Team Volunteers
Christina Upchurch, Doug Upchurch, Stephanie Taulbee, Joan Roenfanz, Rhonda Hoskins, Wayne Hoskins,
Tiffany Acuff, Sherri Profitt, Sabrina Hartshorn, Lisa Neff, Sarah Curley, Zach West, Rita Zeiser, Jamie Wilkins,
Erin Summerfield, Caitey Banks, Shelby Cole, Deana Sisk, Marcie Phelps
OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Our S.E.E. Night Committee
Carly LaGory, Melissa Eldridge, Lisa Neff, Christina Upchurch
Our Fundraiser Committee
Amanda Picard, Rebekah Butz, Danielle Morehead, Chad Morehead