At Grace, we talk a lot about doing good. We also have a lot of opportunities to do good. We have been supporting a local school, Burrus Elementary, since last year with our backpack donations. We have also helped with teacher appreciation, through reading programs, and with Christmas presents. This year, we were able to hear some of the stories of how our donations impacted the students.
Some of the students live in households with their grandparents as caregivers. One grandfather is taking care of his two granddaughters on his own because their mother is unable to care for them herself. The grandfather is on assistance, and their family doesn’t have a lot of clothing, bedroom furniture, or a washer and dryer. He was able to receive some of the uniforms that we donated to the school. If he has the funds, he takes them to the washeteria to wash, but if he doesn’t, he washes the clothes by hand and uses a leaf blower to dry them. Our contact at the school, the Wrap Around Specialist, Ms. Harding, said that she was able to connect him with the clothing, and also help him get additional assistance and employment.
We made a difference in the lives of this family. In November, we will continue making a difference by starting the Grace Backpack Buddies program. Ms. Harding has helped us select students to help, and through the Grace Backpack Buddies program, we will send home food for the weekend for the children. These meals will be simple ones that are kid-friendly, but they could make a difference between whether a child goes hungry in between school days or not. Once a month, we will pack up enough bags to be distributed each weekend of that month with the students.
One of my favorite stories is about a child who was walking along a beach littered with starfish. He would come upon one and toss it back into the ocean. A man asked him why he was doing it since he couldn’t save them all. The boy replied that he made a difference to that one. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can make a difference to some. I hope when you hear more about this program that you will joyfully step up to help pack bags and to pray for the children that receive them.