IUPUI Student Donates 300 Blessing Bags for 4th consecutive year to The Salvation Army

Dec 20, 2023

“I had this burden from God that he wanted me to do something,” said Derek Mount, senior at IUPUI. “I wanted to help, and God lead me to The Salvation Army where I started delivering blessing bags.”

Derek Mount was a freshman at IUPUI when he first had the idea of helping people who are in need. Mount had connections around the Indianapolis area, and he knew if he kept working at it, he would break through to find his way to help.

In 2019, Mount delivered his first Blessing Bags to The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center. He and a couple friends packed the Blessing Bags which consisted of essentials like shampoo, soap, a blanket, bible and encouragement letter. Four years later, Mount and his friends are delivering Blessing Bags in the hundreds to two locations: Harbor Light Center and The Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center. Mount credits the people working with him for his success.

"We got the chance to serve 300 bags this year and a lot of that is thanks to all my partners who buy toys and other items we pack,” said Mount. “It’s really a collection of people working together. I call myself a middleman and I couldn’t do this by myself.”

Boone Prairie School has been a fundamental piece in helping Mount. The school helps buy items for the Blessing Bags and also helps packs. Students from Boone Prairie also write encouragement that go to children who enter The Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center.

“The encouragement letters can mean so much to the people receiving the Blessing Bags. A little letter can make people feel seen and just mean so much when people read them,” mentioned Mount.

In the four years of delivering Blessing Bags, Mount has expanded his operation. He is now able to create Blessing Bags specifically for children that include crayons, soccer balls and other interactive items.    

"The Blessing Bags have become a normal Christmas event for me ever since I started,” said Mount. “We love coming to both Harbor Light and The Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center and hearing about the stories of people opening our Blessing Bags."

Mount’s donations didn’t stop at Blessing Bags this year, as he was able to donate toys and $1,000 to The Salvation Army of Central Indiana.

Mount is graduating from IUPUI this spring, but it doesn’t mean his mission of serving is complete. He hopes to continue helping those who need it as long as he can. To see more photos of Derek's delivery click here.


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