Backpack Ministry – Preparing for Snow Days

by Helen Greene

With another month of backpacking passed we prepare for November and colder weather.  We always try to make sure our Backpack Kids get their food when “Snow Days” threaten.  Also we pack more food for long holiday weekends.  Our Backpack team members are dedicated to this ministry and are always willing to adjust their schedules to make sure our children get their backpacks full of food every week.

Thanks to each one of you who has supported this ministry by bringing food, donating money and praying for our children.  God bless you!

For the month of November please bring canned vegetables for the backpacks.  You may leave them on the back counter in the kitchen.

School is Back in Full Swing

by Helen Greene

On September 22 I attended the American Baptist Women’s Ministries Fall Rally.  The theme was Hunger Action Month.  We all learned of the different ways churches are serving those facing hunger.  It was interesting to see the diverse groups each church targets. The offering that was taken was combined with a $200.00 donation from American Baptist Women then divided among the five ministries represented.  Our backpack ministry was given $83.00.  We are very grateful for the donation.

I was approached by Mr. Wood, the former Vice-Principal of Beckley Elementary, as I was leaving the meeting.  He was our “Sound Man” for the event.  He told me that he observed our Backpack Kids on Friday afternoons when they came to the office to get their backpacks.  He said he could see them smiling and happy when they got their food.  He said “The kids will forget almost anything but they did not forget their backpacks on Friday”.

For the month of October, we will be collecting granola bars.  Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

Thanks to each one of you who has supported our Backpack Ministry in any way. May God Bless You!

Back to School!

by Helen Greene

Back To School!  Not what students want to hear at the end of summer vacation.

Our backpack team has been shopping all summer for bargains and we have purchased food from the Mountaineer Food Bank.  Our pantry is full and we are ready to deliver backpacks full of food to our students at Beckley Elementary School.

Please pray for our Backpack Kids to have a successful school year and they will not suffer from hunger when they are home.

For the month of September we will be collecting 15-16 oz. cans of vegetables.  Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

Thanks to each one of you who has supported our Backpack Ministry in any way.  May God Bless You!

Time to Replenish the Pantry

Summer is the time for vacation and rest.  While we do not pack our children’s backpacks during the summer we shop to replenish our food pantry.

We are ordering some food from the Mountaineer Food Bank at a greatly reduced cost.  Other food we purchase locally when it is on sale.  New backpacks are needed to start the school year.  After the children use a backpack for a full school term they are tattered and dirty.

Please pray for our children during the summer that they will be fed and safe.  Also continue to pray for the continued success of our Backpack Ministry.

For the months of July and August we request you purchase packets of instant oatmeal.

Thanks to you all for your contributions.  God Bless You!

School is out!

School is out!  Not only do students love those words so do the many volunteers who work weekly to make sure our Backpack Kids receive their food.  A little break is good for everyone.

May was a month of blessings for the Backpack Ministry. Once again New Vision Pioneers provided $300.00 to purchase sneakers for every child.  Thank you New Vision Pioneers!   L&S Toyota of Beckley granted our ministry $200.00 from the L & S Toyota Facebook Challenge.  Thank you to Shawn Ball! We are blessed to have companies in our community who care for the well-being of our children.  Thanks again to everyone who has helped in any way to make this ministry possible.

For the month of June we will ask for more peanut butter contributions.  You can never have too much peanut butter for kids!

Please pray for our kids during the summer that they may have adequate food.

Only one more month of school is remaining!

by Helen Greene

Only one more month of school is remaining for the 2017-2018 school year.  We have been successful in delivering backpacks to Beckley Elementary weekly thanks to the efforts of many volunteers.  We have a menu planner, shoppers and packers.  Volunteers pick up the empty backpacks and those who deliver the filled ones back to the school. Of course we can’t forget those who donate food and money every month.  Without all of these willing volunteers it would be impossible to complete these tasks weekly. Each volunteer is such a blessing to this ministry.  Thanks to every one of you and May God Bless You.

Continue to pray for this ministry and each of the children being served.

Please donate 16 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter for the month of May.

  

Beyond the Call of Duty

by Helen Green

The past month has been a hectic one for our backpack group.  In anticipation of the teachers’ walkout, we packed our food on Tuesday, Feb.20th and delivered the backpacks to school the same day.  We wanted to be sure food would be available for the children on the eve of the walkout.

Our next problem was how would the children get their food the following week?  We were contacted by the principal of Beckley Elementary and asked if we could open the Welcome Center of the church for the families of these children to pick up the food if possible.  Of course, we agreed.  On Friday, March 1st members of our Backpack team set up tables and chairs to be used from 11AM till 1PM.  Soon teachers from Beckley Elementary arrived bringing even more food for the children.  At 1PM the teachers determined which children had not gotten food.  They then delivered food to every child who was not able to come to the pickup location.  Our teachers went BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY!

Many thanks to each and every one of you who have brought food or made monetary contributions to our Backpack Ministry!  May God bless you!  These children look forward to getting their food every Friday.  We understand that some of the children come to the office and ask if it is Friday yet.

For the month of April, we will be collecting individual servings of applesauce.  Please continue to pray for our ministry and each child being fed.

84 Meals

Another month of filling backpacks is behind us.  We are currently serving 28 children each week with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, a loaf of bread and a bag of snacks.  When we enter our pantry to prepare the backpacks the shelves look full of food but after packing 84 meals the shelves look very different.  We must constantly search for food items at a reasonable price to replenish our stock.

We so appreciate everyone who has brought food or donated money for our backpack mission.  Praise God for kind, giving hearts.

Please continue to pray for our mission to feed hungry children and for the children who are being fed.

For the month of March please bring cans of pork and beans.

Keeping Up-to-Date with the Backpack Ministry

by Helen Greene

Making sure our 27 backpack students at Beckley Elementary School get their backpacks during the winter months is sometimes a challenge.  The backpacking teams do their best to deliver to the children before school is closed for snow days but Mother Nature just does not always cooperate.

Our Backpack Ministry was blessed with a grant of $252.00 from Woodforest Charitable Foundation.  The grant is to be used through the Mountaineer Food Bank which offers items we can order at a fraction of the price they cost in stores.  We are very grateful for this gift and thank God for agencies that join us to fight childhood hunger.

Please continue to pray for our Backpack Ministry and the children that are being fed.

For the month of February please bring cans of chili with beans.

It was a Busy Month

by Helen Greene

December was a very busy month for everyone.  Our Backpack volunteers were especially busy purchasing gifts for our 25 Backpack students and three younger siblings too young for school.   They tried to purchase gifts from the children’s wish lists.  Many of the children requested clothes, shoes and socks.  December 18th Doc and Ryan delivered 28 large bags of gifts to Beckley Elementary School for our Backpack children.  We hope that every child received gifts that will be a blessing to them.

A big Thank You goes to everyone who worked so hard shopping and wrapping the gifts!

For the month of January please bring pasta with meat for our backpacks.  Donations can be left in the             kitchen on the back counter.