St. John’s, Fallbrook works closely with the local food pantry, donating a bushel basket of food nearly every week. Last fall (2013), when Outreach Chair Michael McCormick was talking with Pantry Coordinator Onelia Lopez, she happened to mention that a number of the children from the 600 families registered with them would be starting school soon without the supplies and backpacks they need for academic success. St. John’s, a small parish of just over 100 members, offered to fill that gap for 30 kids.
So before the end of July 2013, when school starts in our area, we bought 30 backpacks and shared the pleasure of filling them with ring binders, paper, dictionaries, calculators, pens, pencils, and an age- and gender-appropriate book. Students from grade school through senior high and their parents were guests at a party at the food pantry, where each one received a filled backpack. Watching their excitement as they explored the contents of their new school bags made the party a happy occasion for us.
After last year’s drive we sat down with representatives from the food pantry to find out how great the need for this help really is. We were surprised to find out that the true number is somewhere over 300 students.
This is a project that is much bigger than one church or organization can deliver. The total estimated cost is around $8,000 to $10,000. As of April 1, 2014 we have raised $4,000 toward this year’s goal, but we are approaching additional churches and civic organizations for their collaboration on this joyful project.
If your church would like to work with us or initiate this outreach in your own area, Mike McCormick and a representative from the Fallbrook Food Pantry would be glad to do a presentation for your members and answer any questions you might have (email@example.com or 562-505-1779).
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