I suppose I heard the term ‘ditty bag’ before, but I had not really thought about it very much. As a volunteer I saw boxes of soaps, nail clippers, and pens in our storage area and helped Chaplain Trish set up the storage boxes for a bag brigade. Last winter I delivered a couple large bags of ditty bags to ships in port at Port Manatee. They are our holiday gifts to seafarers; a way to share the love of God in a practical way. We don’t ask any qualifying questions. We simply ask they accept the gift from Anchor House. Every year we see smiling faces. I am told when ships have Christmas trees onboard the ditty bags go under the tree to be shared on Christmas day. Sometimes we get pictures when they are opened.
Ditty bag is officially defined as a bag used by seafarers to hold small articles such as needles and thread. Our ditty bags have watch caps, gloves, toothpaste, shampoo, devotional booklets and more. We give out hundreds of bags each year.
Yesterday two moms and 3 children along with Chaplain Trish and her sister Pam filled bags with our gift goods. These small gifts are collected and placed into hand sewn bags with a string tie. The caps are hand knitted and brought to us all year round. I enjoyed seeing the bags come together. The team was joyful as they packed them, realizing they are doing a good thing for seafarers who they will never meet. Truthfully, when we start giving them out around Thanksgiving, there will be blessing to the givers and the receivers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your gifts. They are a blessing.