Backpacks for the Homeless

BackPack Ministry, Helping the Homeless of Charleston at Christmas


Acts 20:35 reminds us of the words of the Lord Jesus and how he himself said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” This year in the season of Advent as we anticipate the arrival of our Savior’s birth, we invite you to join us in the ministry of giving.  This is a great time for all of us,  especially our children, to actively participate in the expression of God's love through gifts or acts of kindness to others so that all might see him.  And so we invite you to bring a backpack or shoulder bag, filled with necessities and treats for those in Charleston who will spend their Christmas on the streets anytime between now and Sunday, Dec. 17th’s,  Nativity Service.

The backpacks will be presented during the hymn “Silent Night” at the Nativity Service. Ministers will pick them up and distribute them on Christmas Day. 

Who will it support?

We have brothers in Christ who are ministers to the homeless of Charleston. Each Christmas they hand deliver back-packs of Christ's love to men and women living on our streets and in area shelters. They invited anyone who would like to join them on Christmas Day at 4.30pm at the corner of Meeting and Lee Street, to sing carols and give out the bags as Christmas dinner is served.

Who can do this?

Anyone can do it! Married, single, young, old etc. But if you are a parent, grandparent or mentor, please consider spending a few hours with the children in your life to prepare a gift bag for the homeless members of our Charleston community. Make sure that they are fully involved in the process.

How do I know what gender to prepare for?

Prepare for male or female. It’s your choice. Just label the bag in some way to let us know.

What does a gift bag look like?

Each gift bag should be a new backpack or shoulder bag with a toiletry pack, food pack, warm weather pack and inspiration pack placed inside. Please separate items according to category.  Place items common to each category in a gallon/quart size ziplock bag (1 bag/pack each...toiletry, food, warm weather, love/inspiration).

What should I put in it?

Suggested items are on the other side:  choose as many as you care to contribute from each category. A lot of items can be found inexpensively at the dollar store.

And finally…

The smallest things mean so much to those who have so little. Please prayerfully consider taking part in this ministry.  Allow the Lord to lead you and have a joyous time preparing this gift.  It is a perfect opportunity for discussions and reflection about helping others and sharing God's love at Christmas and all through the year.

Possible Items to Pack

Women's toiletry pack (3-4 oz or trial size)

Disposable razor

Bar of mild soap / Shampoo / Conditioner

Toothpaste / Toothbrush


Nail clippers / Nailbrush


Tylenol/ Ibuprofen

Wet wipes

Hair brush/comb

Lipstick / Emery board

Hand cream / Body lotion

Feminine hygiene products

Men's toiletry pack (3-4 oz or trial size)

Disposable razor / Shaving cream

Bar of mild soap / Shampoo

Toothpaste 3oz / Toothbrush

Hair brush /comb


Nail clippers / Nailbrush

Hand cream


Clotrimazole cream / Tylenol/ Ibuprofen

Wet wipes


Love/Inspiration pack

Hand written Christmas Card sharing the message of Christ and words of encouragement. If signed, please use first name only.

Homemade picture, Christmas card or note from your child(ren).

Devotional/ Small Bible

Homemade Christmas Cookies or treats

Food pack

Bottle of water

Peanut butter/cheese crackers or nabs

Nuts or trail mix

Easy open small nonperishable food items (fruit cups, Vienna sausage, tuna kits)


Warm weather pack

Gloves/ Hat/ Scarf