The Month of Love

by Helen Greene

February is thought of as a month of love. I think of our backpack kids and wonder if they are loved as all children should be. I certainly hope they are.

God’s love causes us to care about others especially children. God has blessed our Backpack Ministry. He blesses us through your donations of food and money. He blesses us with willing volunteers who give their time to pack and deliver the food. He blesses us when he hears our prayers for these children.

May God bless each of you for your help making this ministry possible. If you feel led, we could also use your help packing these backpacks. We usually meet on Wednesday morning’s and it only takes about an hour or so. Please see Helen if you can lend a hand.

Please donate cans of pasta with meat for the month of February.

The Christmas rush is over.

by Helen Greene

All the Christmas rush has passed and we can relax a little.

With the help of lots of shoppers, we purchased Christmas gifts for 23 children.  Every shopper did a great job finding items on each child’s wish list at the lowest prices.  Doc and Jeff delivered everything to Beckley Elementary so that the parents or guardians of the kids could take the gifts home for the children’s Christmas.

Many thanks go to everyone who helped with this project.  Thanks also to everyone who has donated food or money.

Please continue to pray for our Backpack Ministry and the children we are serving.

For the month of January please bring plastic jars of peanut butter.

Christmas Shopping

by Helen Greene

With Thanksgiving passed and Christmas coming up we are ready to start plans for Christmas shopping for our Backpack Kids.  We receive a wish list for each child and try to purchase some of the items they request.  Almost every child asks for some clothing, shirts, pants, socks, underwear, etc.   With the $50.00 limit everyone shops for the best bargains.  If you would like to be a shopper for the Backpack Kids just contact me.  The $50.00 will be provided for you as well as the child’s name and wish list.

Thanks to each of you that has donated food or money for our Backpack Ministry.  May God bless you!

For the month of December please bring cans of pinto beans for our pantry. Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

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.