By Linda Murdock
The “Backpacks for Kids” collection program is well under way at all three St. Luke sites. Since our kick-off on August 3, we have helped to assemble 25 backpacks for students in the Whitmore Lake School district. The need continues to rise as the first day of school approaches next month. Andrew Bishop, program coordinator at Northfield Human Services (NHS), now reports that there are 50+ students in the elementary school and high school who have requested backpacks and school supplies for the 2014-15 school year!
The need for backpacks is no surprise knowing that NHS supplied food, hygiene items, and other necessities to 793 families (242 children) in the month of July. Food Gatherers brings 2,000 lbs. of food each week, in addition to food donations from various organizations like churches. In turn, NHS distributes 10 tons of food each month!
One of their programs helps to feed school children during the summer vacation months by providing the ingredients for easy-to-prepare sandwich lunches for over 60 children each week. This year the a local Kiwanis group is working with the Salvation Army to provide returnable backpacks filled with food for children to eat on the weekend during the school year.
Since our kick-off on August 3, we have helped to assemble 25 backpacks for students in the Whitmore Lake School district.
If you haven’t already gone shopping or written a check for the “Backpack for Kids” program, please do so now! School starts on Monday, September 2. When you are shopping the sales, quantity is more important than quality. It’s been reported that backpacks can be found at places like Walgreens for as little as $5.00 each!
Right now the demand is greatest at the elementary school level, so please shop accordingly. In Whitmore Lake, the elementary school now serves grades K-7 and the high school, grades 8-12. For those who “live to shop,” the Backpacks for Kids program is a fantastic “opportunity.” Please take up the challenge and make a difference in the life of one or more children in Northfield Township!
According to Wendy Dignan, the Living Water liaison for “Backpacks for Kids” and the wife of school board member Ken Dignan, “I don’t know about you, but I love shopping for new school supplies! Many of the families in the Whitmore Lake community struggle to get their kids new backpacks and school supplies. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is something cool about a fresh notebook or a new box of crayons!
Please help by bringing a backpack, pencils, paper, crayons, and any of your other favorite school supplies to St. Luke-Ann Arbor or Living Water by Sunday, August 24th. Volunteers will deliver them to Northfield Human Services. This will have a profound impact on 50 kids in our community.”
It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is something cool about a fresh notebook or a new box of crayons!
Caring adults have been shown to be a major factor in school success. A child who receives a backpack of school supplies from someone other than his/her parent will know that someone cared for and valued them even when they have never met! The St. Luke collection of “Backpacks for Kids” is a little touch of Jesus’ love for these children. Thanks for making a big difference!
You can drop off school supplies at the St. Luke-Ann Arbor site as late as Wednesday, August 27th! For a list of supplies needed see the blog Backpacks for Kids.