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Catscankim

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Me and a friend of mine were talking last night, and she mentioned that she was making bags for a womens shelter.

My first thought...lets fill the bags up! I definitely have soap to put in there. Then our wheels started turning. Now we are planning a benefit to raise some money to get the bags filled and make a cash donation to the shelter. I have a ton of fabric to help make more bags.

I am really excited about this. My own wheels have been turning with ideas for items to put in the bags. Would love to hear anybodys ideas. I love helping with benefits.

What do you think? Stuff like essential items, pampering type items...a mix of both? Or something completely different?
 

TheGecko

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I donate soap a local homeless shelter and a food bank. For the shelter I cut my bars in half, then put it and a wash cloth in a quart freezer bag. I get the wash cloths from Wal-Mart and generic freezer bags from the store. For the food bank, I wrap full bars in wax paper from the Dollar Store, hand write the fragrance name, put on some fun stickers (from the Dollar) and an ingredients label.

If I were doing bags for women’s (and men’s) shelter I would hit the travel-size section of the Dollar Store. Toothpaste and brushes, bushes and combs, deodorant, mouthwash, hair ties, shoe strings, chapstick, hand lotions, etc
 

Catscankim

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These are great ideas!!

I was also thinking “womens products”, cause that stuff can get expensive. Not sure if that would be a weird thing in a bag though
 

dibbles

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Is this shelter for homeless women, or women from abusive circumstances? If homeless, I would definitely have the bag contain mostly necessities. If it's a shelter for abused women, I would try to include at least one pampering item. Do you know if the shelter has its own supply of necessities and what they are?
 

cmzaha

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These are great ideas!!

I was also thinking “womens products”, cause that stuff can get expensive. Not sure if that would be a weird thing in a bag though
If you have a regular dentist you might be able to get them to order a box of the toothbrushes they use for giveaways. We did a big donation a few years back and our dentist donated a box of toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste.
 

BattleGnome

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If you’re focusing on women leaving abusive situations.... are you considering potential kids? I‘m not thinking anything that screams “this is for a kid!” But something like fruity/food scents or fun shapes. Whimsical for an adult but not inappropriate to gift (like bubblegum scents or toy embeds). Something a mother can separate out from her bag and share with her child.

As a pampering item: shower steamers? A relaxing scent to help feel like someone is getting a full soak without relying on a tub being available. I imagine it’s easier to find a shower to get clean rather than a tub and the time to soak. Bath bombs would be my other suggestion if your chosen shelter has tubs.
 

Dawni

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Does it get cold and dry where you are? Lotion bars are easy to make and can be molded in almost anything. You can put em in tins or anything else that they can be sure to reuse :)
 

dibbles

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Shower steamers are a good idea. I know it's FL, but I love new socks - maybe a pair of fluffy spa socks. Some lotion or body butter - something to make the women feel good. Small, but nice chocolates or some other little indulgent treat.
 

Catscankim

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Love all of these ideas!

edit...florida has a lot of rules about "selling" bath products other than true soap. My question is, can I make it for a function or donation that doesn't involve me selling it? I can make bath salts and scrubs. I have never made bath bombs, but would love to try. Never made shower steamers before. They would be fun to make. But I am thinking that as long as I don't sell them or brand them it should be ok...legally??

Ooooh @Dawni lotion bars would be fun to make too!

@dibbles Walgreens has these poofy socks for $1 a pair. I bought two pairs and I love them. Love that idea.

@BattleGnome ...I didn't think of the kids. I am going to have to find out specifics for this particular shelter that my friend is talking about.

@cmzaha my dentist, who is new to me, has their own donation functions that they do (as evidenced by all the tvs in their office). I am not sure that they would do that for another cause, but I can ask. But I think it would be like asking the Susan Koman foundation to donate something to another breast cancer foundation. But I am sure we could get some dollar store toothbrushes. Toothbrushes would be awesome I think. When my dentist didn't give me a toothbrush on my last visit, I was disappointed.

What do you think about local grocery store gift cards?
 
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BattleGnome

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Gift cards are a smart idea. It’s a step towards normalcy, independence (for someone who may be suffering financial abuse), and an opportunity to get the little things you need (there was a mention of adding chocolate to the bags, good idea but sometimes I NEED twizzlers and you can’t anticipate something that specific for a stranger)
 
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