Back to School 2011 was a huge success thanks to YOU! In addition to JOY and HOPE -- There were 310 backpacks full of supplies given out this year. We were excited to be able to place the following items in the bags.
- 3 spiral notebooks
- A pack of 10 ink pens
- A pack of 10 pencils
- A pack of loose leaf paper
- A box of 24 crayons
- A box of 12 colored pencils
- 2 pocket folder portfolios
- A bottle of glue
- A glue stick
- A pack of Lance Peanut butter Crackers
- A pack of gummy snacks
- A pack of Reese Cups
We invited 300 people to the event. We went and picked up many of the families that didn’t have a way to get there. Hotdogs were prepared and served along with chips, drinks and cake for desert. They enjoyed a free meal and then were invited to receive their backpacks filled with some of the necessary supplies for a successful school year.
I loved hearing the oooo’s and aaahhhh’s of the kids as they looked at the rows of backpacks that would soon be given to them. The workers and I completely enjoyed the shrieks of happiness as the kids opened their backpacks and pulled out the Reese Cups. This thrilled my heart to NO end!
I was thrilled to see several of the kids from my own neighborhood there. One of the parents told me thank you and expressed how helpful this was as the expenses of going back to school were growing each year. Even though he works all the time, it’s still hard to make ends meet.
One lady was telling my sister that she couldn’t believe she forgot to invite her neighbor and wondered if there would be enough left so that she could take some to her children. As they were having this conversation, the neighbor actually walked through the door and I hugged her, not knowing what was being discussed by the others. I had “met” the neighbor as I was shopping the night before. I had a buggy full of hotdogs, buns, chips and other things and had invited her to come, bring her kids and enjoy a meal & a free bag. This was very cool that the need was met in this fashion.
Many people expressed an interest in doing this with their church & members. I told them that I’d be happy to come and help them with organizing this. I have lots of ideas and when you have an entire church behind you, the possibilities are limitless. I can already see great things for the kids in those churches for next year!
If you are in NC, SC, VA, GA or TN – I can easily make a day trip out to help with ideas for this. Fundraising, organizing and other things can be discussed. We can also discuss other ways of encouraging your group to do more, remove their focus off of what you can’t do, don’t have and move the focus on the amazing opportunities that await you. I can help with finding joy!
I want to say a huge thank you to those who supported this event financially. Without your gifts, we would not have been able to give out bags of hope and joy. You are a unique kind of hero! One that steps up and helps, doing what you can with what you have. I’m honored that you’d choose to help Spreading Joy give back in such a huge way.
I also want to say a huge thank you to those that came and helped with packing the bags. This was done in a matter of a few hours with the assembly process we had. Amazing!
Thank you to those that came and worked on the actual day we handed out the bags and meals. There is no way this could have been done without you.
Thank you to my sister in law who made the cool shirts for us to wear. I love them.
Thank you to Pastor Taylor and the members of New Grace for allowing me to use your wonderful facility and to those who volunteer your time to make this happen. I’m honored that you’d help and support our back to school efforts.
A special thanks to my Mom, Stepdad, Angie & her family and my bestest friend and her husband for always supporting, helping, praying and assisting in any way possible. I love you and you make my world a much brighter place!
And a HUGE thank you to my precious family -- Steve, Todd and Megan. For allowing me to ignore household duties, for running errands for me, making deposits, picking up things, unloading 2 carloads of supplies in the blazing heat, loading them BACK a few days later and tolerating me getting up at 4:30am (I’m not the quietest in the world) to be at walmart by 5am to do shopping among the many other things, including but not limited to endless excited chattering, tired whinyness and the bratty little girl that poked her head out every once in a while -- that you endured for back to school. Without your love and support I wouldn’t be spreading much joy at all. I’m thankful for such love from you guys.
I’m honored to be used to help others, encourage others and to able to be Spreading JOY and giving back. I know that there is no way it can be done alone and am thankful for your heart for spreading joy!
If you were involved in this event, I invite you to leave your comments below. If you received a backpack and want to say thank you, I hope that you will. Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts below!
photos: courtesy of mary whisonant
I received this thank you in my email box and wanted to share it with YOU:
MY GRANDSONS AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE BACK PACKS AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES.
ALL THE CHILDREN WERE DELIGHTED. SOME EVEN SAID THEY WERE EAGER TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.
MY 5YR OLD GRANDSON STARTS KINDERGARTEN AND WAS PLEASED TO RECEIVE HIS RED BACK PACK.
HE SAID, ” NOW I AM READY TO GO! THANK YOU JESUS!”
GOD BLESS YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELPING KINDNESS.
A HANDS ON GRANDMA AND SISTER IN CHRIST,