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.

Backpacks at Beckley Elementary

Our backpack program here at FBC has been a true blessing to the children of Beckley Elementary who take home a backpack filled with food items for the weekend. This is a sad but true reality of the times that we live in that these children when they are not in school sometimes go hungry. Your contributions this year, both in food items and money, have been greatly appreciated. Also a special thank you to all of you who help to fill our backpacks each week and taking and picking up the backpacks. You are a vital part of our backpack team.

We are also doing Christmas presents for some of the children who might not otherwise have much under their Christmas tree. See Helen Greene if you can help with this project.

For the month of December, we will be collecting plastic jars of peanut butter. The dollar stores are a great place to shop for these items. They can be left on the back counter of the kitchen.

As always, please keep this program and these children and their families in your prayers as we enter this holiday season.

One Child’s Story

by Helen Greene

Each week while preparing our backpacks to be taken to Beckley Elementary, we pray that they will make a difference to our Backpack Club children.  A few weeks ago one our church members that is a school nurse shared a conversation she had with one of her students.

A student came to see me for a health need.  As we conversed, I asked about the schools she had attended prior to arriving at high school.  As she explained her middle school and elementary school career, she elaborated about elementary school.

“You know, I went to four elementary schools – we moved a lot.  You want to know the best school I went to – Beckley Elementary because every Friday my siblings and I knew that we would be called to the office and they would give us a backpack filled with food.    This was really important because, you see, we were hungry.  My dad was gone and my mom was really havin’ it hard.  It was the best school I ever went to – because we had food.”

Things are better for this child now – hunger does not accompany her and her family each day.  When she left my office I had to have a few minutes to compose myself before getting back to work.

The Backpack ministry is GODS’ work – local, personal and makes a difference – one child at a time.

Thanks to all of you for your donations of food, money and most of all for your prayers for these children.

For the month of November please donate Vienna sausages for our backpacks.

Off to a good start!

Our Backpack Club is off to a good start this school year.  The first week we had ten children and have gained two every week since.  Please bring canned pasta with meat in October for our backpacks.  Your monetary donations as well as food is greatly appreciated.   Please keep these children and our Backpack program in your prayers.

Well, summer is over.

Well, summer is over and school is back in session again. Once again we are partnering with Beckley Elementary School in our backpack program.  Some of these children live in poverty and sometimes healthy food is scarce and that’s why this program is so vital. We have been blessed with many, many donations.

For the month of September we will be collecting cans of beanie weenies.   These can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.    Monetary donations are also needed and would be greatly appreciated.  Please keep this program in your prayers as we continue to reach out to children and their families in need.

Happiness is Like Jelly

bu Joyce Mills

It has been said that “Happiness is like jelly; you can’t spread even a little bit without getting some on yourself.”  This is so true when you think of mission projects and especially the Backpack Ministry.

When we know there is a need and we help by giving time or money for that hungry child it makes us feel so good and even happy.  Our initiative is to provide six nutritious meals each weekend of the school year for hungry children at Beckley Elementary School.  We hear comments from the families that receive backpacks.  The comment most often is something like “the backpack food helps us so much.”  And, we have been told that children who receive the backpacks are seldom absent on Friday.  This bit of information helps us understand that the filled backpack does make a difference.

Summer is a good time to help us stock up for the coming school year.  Of course, we need money.  If you gave $30 each month that would take care of one child.  If you have a meal at a fast food place, the cost for your meal would feed a child for a weekend.  No one likes to think that there are hungry children in our community.

A suggestion for you might be if you’re having a family picnic or a birthday party, etc., have everyone bring a 16 oz. plastic jar of peanut butter.  Be creative!  We have a big pantry for the Backpack Ministry.

Thanks for any contribution of food, money or time that you give to the Backpack Ministry.  School will be starting in August and we always need people to help with this Ministry.  Contact Helen Greene or Pastor Doc if you can help.

We’re stocking up on Peanut Butter for the next two months.  The jar should be 16 or 18 oz. size and plastic.  Just put your contribution in the church kitchen on the back counter and enjoy that happy feeling because you gave.

Another School Year is Behind Us

by Helen Greene

Another school year is behind us and we are preparing for the upcoming 2017-2018 term. This year we have served 24 children every week with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, a loaf of bread and a bag of snacks.  Due to a $300.00 grant given to us by New Vision Telephone Pioneers we were able to purchase a pair of new sneakers for each child in May.

To help us restock our food supply,  please bring jars of peanut butter in the month of June.  Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.  Many thanks to each person who donated money, food or your time volunteering to make this a very successful year.  This project could not have been a success without you.