KALIDA — Seventh-grade Confraternity of Christian Doctrine students at Kalida St. Michael’s Catholic Church plan to give away blessings during the next several weeks. The ‘blessings’ they will offer are not spoken words but actual ‘blessing bags’ that provide essentials for someone.

Recently 21 students in the CCD class gathered to assemble the bags that included a bottle of water, gloves, socks, toothpaste, shampoo, hand warmers, Chapstick, hand sanitizer, granola bars, raisins, and other items. The students donated the items for the bags.

Now each student has two of the ‘blessing bags’ in their family vehicle. They will give a ‘blessing bag’ to someone they feel needs it in the next several weeks.

“It could be someone asking for a handout while they are shopping,” said CCD leader Jill Zeller. She said the students may also give out a ‘blessing bag” later in the year when they are visiting a larger city such as Lima or Toledo.

This is the first time the students have done something like this.

“The students were all excited when I presented the idea,” Jill said.

The “blessing bags” is a service project for the students.

During their two-year-long preparation for Confirmation, it is a requirement for each student to do 14 Acts of Service, one for each of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. The students must document their Act of Mercy and write about what they did, how they helped someone, and how it made them feel to help others in need.

A few weeks ago, these students with some eighth-grade students participated in St. Michael’s Live Nativity.

The class also prays for and writes to prayer partners throughout the year. These prayer partners are individuals from the local community who have lost loved ones in the past year or have had an illness or other disabilities.

“We also have plans to write prisoners sometime later this year,” Jill said. “The students will also participate in the YES project next summer if it can be held.”

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel the YES project this year because of COVID,” Jill explained. The YES (Youth Elective Services) project is a weekend where the students do chores that local elderly and disabled are unable to do for themselves.

Following the recent assembly of the “Blessing bags,” they enjoyed fellowship time eating pizza, and playing bingo.

“Since they are not allowed to do many things in groups, they enjoyed the afternoon with their classmates,” Jill said. Assisting during the gathering were some of the mothers.