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Communities that KARE: Blessing Bags

Two women used the power of social media to tap into a market of blessings.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A little girl-talk turned into a movement.

 "We were just chatting one night. It just turned into a conversation about our IPSY subscriptions that we both had," said Stacy Greshowak. 

She and her friend Abby Stavig decided to do something good with the more than a dozen makeup bags they had each accumulated.

"We realized that there are a lot of people less fortunate and we often feel like we have the means to help out," said Greshowak.

And that's when Blessing Bags were born.

"We can't be the only two in the world that have a bunch of bags in our closet that are just sitting in there," said Stavig.

The women spread the word on Facebook. They needed a lot more makeup bags and Minnesota delivered.

"We're sitting at about 550 IPSY bags that have been donated from all of the Twin Cities. From Wayzata to Woodbury," said Stavig.

"The first day, I personally got about 45 IPSY bags in one lunch hour. It was just crazy," Stavig recalled.

Inside each blessing bag are basic necessities, like soap, shampoo and other personal hygiene items that are now headed to charities.

Credit: Stacy Greshowak

"We've collected hotel toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, body wash. We've got toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash," Greshowak said.

The ladies hope you can help out with the donation of an used makeup bag too. "You're probably just collecting them in a drawer somewhere and it can be better used in this world where people have nothing," said Stavig.

Stavig's house has become the base of operations. It's filled with special shelving and containers for the organized chaos.

"We're not going to let any bag go unfilled," said Stavig. "I will say the first person that I picked up from - I think she said it best. I was like, 'thank you so much, I really appreciate your help.' She said, 'You know it really takes just one person,' and it's so true," recalled Stavig. She continued, "It really feels like we've kind of started something."

Greshowak agreed; she said they wish to "Give a little bit of hope with each one of these bags."

Greshowak and Stavig have earmarked several organizations and nonprofits for the blessing bags including, "And now she rises," a nonprofit for women fleeing domestic abuse situations.

"The Backpack Project MN" is another organization they hope to donate to. That nonprofit fills backpacks for homeless youth.

To make a donation, contact Stacy Greshowak at amgreshowak@gmail.com

Communities that KARE is sponsored by Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

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