|Our youngest monkey girl with her first backpack many years ago...sniff!|
Remember getting ready for back to school when you were a kid? I sure do. It was such an exciting time full of anticipation and yet bittersweet because the beloved summer break was coming to an end.
Growing up in a single income family meant that we had to make our school supplies and new school clothes last. We didn't have fancy clothes or name brands, but we had a mom who choose to stay home with us and a dad who worked his tail off to provide for us and that was worth more than Guess jeans or Izod shirts in my opinion.
As I look around today at what is going on in our country, I realize how much my siblings and I did have. We never went to school without the supplies that we needed to participate in class. We had gym shoes for gym class. We had lunch money for the reduced lunch program. Mom sent us off with breakfast in our bellies each morning. Yet today in America, there are kids who are dreading the first day of school because they will not have the basic supplies that they need. Kids who will not be able to participate in gym class because they only have flip flops to wear. Kids who somehow do not quite qualify for free or reduced lunch, yet they do not have enough food to eat on a daily basis at home.
Our church meets at a local middle school on Sunday mornings and each year we are able to help pack backpacks full of supplies for the kids in need who attend the school. Last year, the principal gave us a list of 14 students who needed help. They each received a backpack full of the long list of supplies that each grade requires. It was awesome! This year when the principal was asked how many kids needed backpacks with supplies she said 72! I was shocked! These kids are from families who are really struggling with basic needs like food and shelter. To them, school supplies are a luxury.
As a community, we reached out and helped with the needed backpacks and supplies. It makes me smile when I think about a student who I may never meet, sitting in a classroom on the first day of school with all of the school supplies that they need to start the school year off right.
If we look around us, we can find open doors of opportunities to help others. It may be a backpack with supplies, a new pair of shoes, a meal, etc. Sometimes it is the little acts of kindness that make the most impact.
How will we continue to impact our communities, friends?