These are backpacks. They belong to my kids, who fill them up with the things they need to take from home to school, and back again, in order to be successful at school. That includes but is not limited to: pencils, binders, books, homework, lunches, notes to and from teachers, the order form from Picture Day two weeks ago. (I’m not bitter.)
But for just a minute, let’s think of a backpack as a metaphor. Think of yourself as a schoolkid. Or if you’re a parent who’s sent kids off to school, think of them. What are the intangible things we send our kids off to school with to help them succeed each day — the resources that go in their metaphorical backpack?
I don’t know what’s on your list, but mine looks something like this:
– Unconditional love and acceptance
– A listening adult ear
– Responsibility for themselves
– Times and places to play and laugh
– Help with homework and value for reading
– The ability to navigate conflict
– The ability to say no to destructive things
… and on and on.
These things have an enormous – ENORMOUS – impact on how a kid does at school. In fact, everything on this list is far more important than a pencil or a book or a picture order form.
Here’s the reality: There are many, many kids in our city who are going to school with “backpacks” that are pretty empty. Maybe it’s because parents or guardians are struggling themselves, are overwhelmed, or just don’t know how.
And the reality is that every kid in our city, even the ones with the most support, could use a backpack that’s a little fuller. A little more attention, a little more love, a little more help.
Every child, every teenager in Springfield deserves a full backpack.
With all my heart, I believe that this is what we’re about at SCYM: Filling kids’ metaphorical backpacks. Each program, with its catchy name and description, is really just a place to give kids more love, more attention, more opportunity, more hope. The 250 people who volunteered with SCYM this year do it because they have a God who has filled them up, and they want to spill that same love and hope back out to kids.
So what we’re going to do to keep filling Springfield kids’ backpacks, all 460-some of them so far this year, is have a fun little event on Giving Tuesday, December 1, called #Stuffthebackpack. Every dollar you give helps to fill a Springfield kid’s backpack at STARS, GirlPower, Manpower, Biz Ba$ics, and more!
- Come over and make a donation at our #Stuff the Backpack party at Westside Christian Community (corner of North and Bechtle – you won’t miss us!) from 12-1pm or from 5-6pm on Tuesday, December 1
- If you can’t come in person, make an online donation at our Stuff the Backpack page.
- Help spread the word by sharing our posts, inviting your friends, and letting your church knowTogether we can fill the backpacks of 500 Springfield kids with love, hope, help, and friendship. Will you join us?