I knew in January that I was being prompted to start a program here in our new town to help bridge the hunger gap for school aged kids. So on Friday, I am delivering the first backpacks filled with food for kids who are at risk of going hungry over the weekends. You see, these kids are used to getting two meals a day during the week from the school. But most don't know where their food will come from over the weekends. That's where the backpacks come in.
Each backpack will have enough non-perishable food to sustain a child for the weekend. 2 protein items, 2 breakfast items, 2 drinks, 2 fruit or vegetable items, and 6-7 snacks will be packed with love into these packs. The packs will be delivered to the school on Thursday afternoon or Friday mornings to go home with the kids for the weekend. On Monday, the kids will bring back the empty backpacks to the school to be refilled. Having had students in my very own classes who have participated in this program, I know how important these backpacks become to the students!
But this isn't my project! This is God's work, I am just the agent he has chosen to get this started. When I first felt this prompting, I really thought that God must be crazy! I mean, I have lived here all of 7 months! Who was I to start a community program? AND I know about 5 people who live here. Turns out they are the exact 5 people I needed to know!
Here are some of the ways God has opened the right doors for me:
1. My mom is the director of a non-profit in Michigan who knows the director of a very successful backpack program called Generous Hands. Last year, they delivered over 10,000 backpacks to kids!!!! And that was in a community about the size of Turlock! This director was so generous with her time and information.
2. The director of my MOMs CAFE group on Thursday mornings was so excited and had me speak to their ministry board. They have donated the space and hands to help pack the backpacks!
3. I had NO idea how I was going to get backpacks! Without my asking, the assistant principal and a teacher at the school offered some leftover, brand new packs to use for the program!
4. The West chapter of the Turlock Moms Club members generously donated food to get me started!
5. One of the board members from MOMS CAFE has connected me with a church that is willing to help me get food to fill the packs! We are headed over there is just a bit to see what they have and to meet this latest angel God has given me!
There are SO many more things that God has done just since January! I am so excited to see how He is going to use these simple backpacks to show His love and mercy!
The name of this new program is Open Hands.
Therefore I command you to be open handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
Deut 15:11Please be praying for the kids who receive these packs and their families.