Crafty family entertains neighbors with free 200 grab bagsJun 11, 2020 11:53AM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray
Kambrie Brownlee in her mom’s craft room, which has provided supplies for more than 200 free grab bags to entertain local kids. (Photo courtesy of Tiffanie Brownlee)
By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]
The idea was simple and special. Herriman mom and grandma Tiffanie Brownlee loves to craft and has an entire basement full of supplies. As stay-at-home orders from the pandemic began, Tiffanie looked around her basement craft room and thought her extra supplies could help kids stuck at home.
“I got to thinking, ‘I have all of this stuff that we could put to good use,’” said Brownlee. “We thought we could make up bags for kids, and that is what we did.”
Wearing masks and gloves, and with the help of her fiance and her 14-year-old daughter Kambrie, the family went to the basement and got to work.
“We wandered around and thought about what things could go together,” said Brownlee. “We laid everything out on a table and decided, and then put the supplies into paper sacks.”
In their first run, they assembled 20 craft grab bags with all of the supplies each child would need. They put the bags in front of their house and posted a message on their neighborhood Facebook page.
“People kept messaging and commenting and asking if there were any bags left,” said Brownlee. “We would run outside and check and let them know. When they were all gone people keep commenting and we thought, ‘We have to make more bags.’”
“We thought a few people would come to get them,” said Kambrie Brownlee. “But they went really quickly. It was exciting; we weren’t expecting them to be gone that quickly.”
Realizing that their idea was a huge hit, the Brownlees wanted to expand their grab bag project beyond their neighborhood. After gathering supplies and making a second round of 30 grab bags they posted on even more Facebook pages for Herriman residents. The bags were quickly claimed again, and the Brownlees just kept on going.
Over the past month, they have assembled and given away more than 200 grab bags including supplies to make a DIY catapult, stuffed animals, DIY monsters, bugs, and various other crafts and activities. Brownlee even created teen grab bags with headbands, fun question prompts and bath bombs. She said their family has had so much fun with this service project.
“It is a good feeling,” said Brownlee. “What was really special to us is when people sent messages or pictures about how much their kids were enjoying it. One person said it was the first time their kids had smiled in days.”
Kambrie Brownlee said her mom has always taught her about the happiness that comes from helping other people.
“She is always big into helping others and making sure to brighten people’s days,” said Kambrie Brownlee.
Brownlee said they have lots of supplies left, and they will continue making grab bags to spread joy during this uncertain time.
“[The grab bag project] has really made us happy,” said Brownlee. “It is nice to know that what we are doing was good and worthwhile.”