Since today we recognize Martin Luther King Jr, and it is also the inauguration of The President of The United States, I told my boys that today, we would be giving back to others by donating our time somewhere in the community. We decided to volunteer with “Back Pack Pals”. The four of us, my husband included, headed over to Congregation B’nai to help out. Several churches and temples in the area were holding “days of service”‘ in celebration of Dr. King. AlthoughI wrote about Back Pack Pals in an earlier post. I had never actually seen the packs of food assembled. When we arrived at the temple, we began to set up an assembly line. Each bag of food includes, four meals (2 lunch, 2 dinner), 2 milks, 2 juices, 2 applesauce cups, 2 fruit cups and 2 breakfast bars. This enables a child to have enough food to get them through the weekend. Today volunteers helped pack over 110 bags. All of the food goes to students in our school district. I asked how many weeks this would last and was shocked to hear that nearly 70 bags are given out each week. What seemed to be an enormous amount of food would not even be enough for two weeks of meals! One of the organizers, Dave, told me that every week, he has groups, (like the girl scouts and other local organizations), come together to pack up the bags. The bags are then delivered to the students at their schools so that they can bring them home in their back packs and not be hungry on the weekends. Many of these children are able to receive free or reduced meals during the week at school, but on the weekends, might otherwise go hungry.
This is such a worthwhile cause. A lot of the money raised for Back Pack Pals comes from the Rent Parties – (this is from an earlier blog, https://aprojectforkindness.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/rent-party/). If you are looking for a way to donate, I really want you to check out this program. Both of my boys were as surprised as I was at how many children in our own school system benefited from it. Check out their facebook page, and like it, to see some of the ways that you can help. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rent-Party-BackPack-Pals/244596515582876