Are you a Champion for Kids?
Did you know that over16 million American children live in poverty? If you have had to buy school supplies for your kids, you know how pricy it is. In our small community, we know of people with needs directly in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our families. Just being able to buy the items needed for school can be a challenge. So we joined up with Champions for Kids and Elmer’s Bag It Forward program to help our neighborhood.
I know three local churches that each work closely with administration of three elementary schools, one school per church, and they adopt the school for the year. Those schools let the churches know how many students they have that do not have food for the weekend and the churches provide backpacks full of food each week for these kids. This program is called Backpacks for kids They are typically items that the kids can make themselves from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, to microwaveable bowls of Mac n’ cheese, and more.
I knew these same schools had needs for school supplies for these kids, and probably more. So I held a little school supply drive and invited several friends to pull items together to give to our local schools. We will be donating craft supplies to Asbury UMC Preschool, and school supplies to St. James Elementary School.
I am so proud to say that I had 5 friends drop off supplies, and have 3 more bringing more items this week. Here is what we had Friday night, I will post another image on Instagram this week.
If you are not from here and want to get involved, here are some different ways for you to help
Take part in Champions for Kids’ SIMPLE Giving program this summer! Visit your participating Walmart store between July 7 – August 1 and look for the purple product display and yellow donation bin. Choose school supplies and donate them right inside the store to help children in your local schools!
Look around your own community and see where kids need help the most
Start your own Backpack for Kids program in your local school by talking to the school administrator. Even if you can help just one child, that is one more child that doesn’t have to suffer.
Provide supplies for a craft event in your neighborhood. Bond with your own neighborhood kids with a craft project.
Check with local schools for the kids that need supplies, coats, shoes, and more.
How do you know?
How do you know who to help or whether they deserve it? Listen to your heart. Does it matter? If someone “scams” you into giving them school supplies, what have you lost? Some school supplies. What did they gain? school supplies. We talk to the kids the ride bikes through our yard to the neighborhood behind us. We have animals so its a great way to start a conversation. We have made great friends and learned a lot about the kids immediately near us.
Most of them don’t want to just be given stuff. They work around our yard and house. One middle school boy wanted to do yard work to earn money for his football cleats. We found things for him to do alongside us. Some need that small job for food for the week, or school shoes and supplies. There are lots of ways to help, teach, and be an example to these kids as well as to your own.
How will you #bagitforward?
We chose to give to our local schools because the administration knows the kids that need help from the lunch applications and their daily appearance. It also is simple to have a teacher provide the supplies to a student without any, while preventing embarrassment to the student. We have a good relationship with the school because our child attends. We also know of direct needs in our neighborhood that feeds into that school.
I am reminded of the song by Matthew West “Do Something”
Follow me on Instagram and back here for the follow up for our total collected items and drop off.