Thoughts of Thanksgiving

November is here and that brings thoughts of Thanksgiving. Of course we are very thankful every day for the support we have gotten from our church family and friends. May God bless you all!

Soon we will start Christmas shopping for our Backpack Kids. Each year a teacher helps each child make a Wish List. Volunteers from our church select a child, or maybe a couple of children, to shop for. Usually they ask for clothing, shoes, toys, art supplies, etc. We don’t always get everything on the list but we try to get as much as possible.

If you could like to volunteer to shop please call me, Helen Greene, at 304-253-1069 or 304-228-9204. We will give you cash to make the purchases. As soon as the school gives us the lists you can select your child. It is fun to shop for these children and search for items on their Wish List.

For the month of November please donate packets of hot chocolate.

Up and Running!

Our Backpack Ministry started delivering food to Beckley Elementary on September 18th. Due to the COVID Virus we have had to make several changes. We must deliver the food on Fridays since there are no students in the building. We notify the office we are at the school and they send someone out to take the food bags inside. We are not allowed inside the building. They give the children their food on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Currently we have 17 children with more to be added.

We have been blessed with the gift of 363 jars of peanut butter given to us by Helping Hands. Kroger stores donated to Helping Hands peanut butter given by customers during a special Feed America campaign. Since Helping Hands had an abundance of peanut butter given to them they were kind enough to gift us 363 jars. They also donated 90 jars to Beckley Elementary for their emergency food pantry. Thanks to Helping Hands for sharing their bounty!

Thanks go to each one of you who has donated food, money or prayed for our Backpack Ministry and the children we feed. May God bless you all!

For the month of October please donate applesauce or fruit cups.

School is About to Start

Schools are scheduled to open this month whether in the classroom or virtual classes. I have contacted the Guidance Counselor at Beckley Elementary School to tell her we are ready to provide food for our Backpack Kids. We are unsure as to how we will need to pack and deliver the backpacks but we will do whatever is necessary to provide food for the children’s weekends.

Thanks to everyone who has donated food or money for this ministry. We hope you will continue to pray for our Backpack Kids during these uncertain times. May God bless each of you.

For the month of September please donate packs of instant oatmeal.

Planning is Tricky

Planning for the upcoming school term is tricky. Will students attend classes in school buildings with their friends or will they continue to have classes in their homes with parents acting as teachers? No one knows yet. Whatever is decided we will continue to send them meals for the weekends.

We have decided not to purchase backpacks this year. Instead we will purchase grocery tote bags from ALDI’S for 10 cents each. These bags will hold the food very nicely and eliminate the need to pick up backpacks each week from the school. Every week each child will get a new bag eliminating the chance of contamination of germs between the students and the Backpack team.

Our Backpack teams will start packing food as soon as the school officials notify us that food is needed. Please pray for our Backpack Kids to be healthy and happy. Prayers are also needed for our Backpack Ministry to be able to continue providing nourishment for needy children. May God bless each person who has donated food or money and those who have prayed for our ministry.

For the months of July and August please donate pudding cups.

Thanks from our Backpack Ministry

We have concluded our backpack ministry for the current school term and want to thank all of our volunteers who volunteered their time every week to pack the backpacks.  We will be resuming in the fall when school resumes.   We are asking for donations of jars of peanut butter for the month of June.  Donations can be left on the rear counter in the church kitchen once we reopen.   Thank you again for your prayers and support.


March was a month full of surprises. Everyone was carrying on with their everyday lives then BAM! Coronavirus Pandemic. That changed everything. Suddenly we were faced with self-quarantine advice, grocery and TP hoarding and fear of any cough or sneeze by a stranger.

We were prepared to pack food for our Backpack Kids for March 20th and during the entire school closure. We were told by the Board of Education that they did not want us to send food the first week. At this time we have no idea when we can resume sending backpacks. Since Helping Hands is closed Doc suggested we make up a few bags of food for anyone who came to the church wanting food for their children. We prepared 10 bags packed with some canned food, mac & cheese, etc. If needed they are ready.

Please pray for our Backpack Kids during this time. We trust they will have adequate food to keep them happy and healthy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed time, food, money or prayers for this ministry. May God bless you.

For the month of April please donate Instant Oatmeal Packets. Your donation can be dropped off at the church or you can bring it when we resume services.

Having “Enough”

March is here already which means there are only three more months of school. We all have been fortunate that this winter has been mild with very little snow. Our Backpack Kids have been able to have breakfast and lunch at school every day before going home. We know they have been fed two meals even if there is not a supper meal for them at home. Our backpacks provide plenty of food for the weekends.

Our Backpack Ministry has been very blessed to always have “enough” money to purchase food for our children. The first few years of this ministry we did not have an abundance of money but we always had “enough.” This year we have been so blessed with contributions from our congregation and from sources outside Beckley First Baptist.

When Joyce Mills started this ministry about seven years ago we knew God would always provide “enough” for us to operate. How right we were! Thank God for blessing this ministry.

Thanks to everyone who has donated food, cash or prayed for our children. We appreciate you so much. God bless you! Please continue to pray for our Backpack Kids. For the month of March please donate peanut butter. Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

Cold, Windy, Snowy Weather

With winters’ cold, windy, snowy weather a body needs food to stay healthy. Our 22 Backpack Kids are receiving food for their weekends away from school. They receive food like cereal, milk, soup, canned meat, canned vegetables, peanut butter, a loaf of bread, fruit cups, pudding cups and, of course, a bag of snacks. We pray that these children will feel healthy and warm this winter with the help of our Backpack Ministry.

Thanks to each one of you who has donated your time volunteering, donated food or money for this mission. Thank you also for your prayers. May God Bless You! Please continue to pray for our Backpack Kids and their families.

For the month of February, please bring packages of fruit cup. Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

We love you, Joyce.

Christmas shopping is complete and gifts have been delivered to our 20 Backpack Kids. We hope that each child enjoyed the toys and clothing that were purchased for them. Many thanks to every volunteer that shopped and wrapped each gift. Our Backpack program could not function without our dedicated volunteers.

As you all know we lost our precious Joyce Mills on December 20th. Joyce started the Backpack Ministry at Beckley First Baptist about seven years ago. She inspired members of our church to volunteer time to shop for food, pack backpacks and deliver the backpacks to needy children at Beckley Elementary School. We will miss her serving spirit in our church and we will carry on her mission. Our loss is heavens gain.

Thanks to each of you that have given time, money or donated food to our Backpack Ministry. May God bless you!

For the month of January please bring Vienna Sausages.

There is Shopping to be Done!

Christmas is just a few weeks away and there is shopping to be done! We will be purchasing Christmas gifts for our Backpack Kids again this year.

Each year we receive a wish list for every child. This list shows us the first name of the child, age, grade and gender. Each child’s wish list is different. Usually they request some clothing items and show the sizes they need. Always there are toys and games of some sort that they want. Of course we can’t purchase everything they request but if you shop around you can find bargains. It is really a lot of fun to do!

After we make our purchases we wrap each one and add name tags. We then put each child’s gifts in a large garbage bag with the child’s wish list attached. All the gifts are brought back to the church.

We deliver all the gifts to Beckley Elementary. Just before Christmas break the parents or guardians of each child will pick the gifts up to take home.

If you would like to shop for one or more of our Backpack Kids please let me know. You will be given a child’s wish list and an envelope with the money to do your shopping. We will have $100.00 to spend for each child due to a very generous donation by an anonymous benefactor. Thank God for this wonderful and kind person. May God bless them!

Thanks to everyone who has donated food, money or prayers for our Backpack Kids. We so appreciate everything you do.

For the month of December please bring cans of beans and franks.